Sunday, March 8, 2009

On TV!!!

OK, now that it's all over I'm just SOOOO excited! But I'd better start back at the beginning. A few months ago, I sent an email to my college alumni correspondent. I found out that she lives in my town, and edits a local business journal, so I contacted her to say hello. When she found out that I make silver jewelry, she asked me if I would do a presentation for a group she is a member of - the Monroe County Earth Science Association. They go on gem and fossil digs, share mineral samples, discuss earthquakes, and are interested in all manner of earth science based careers. Apparently, they had been hoping to find a silversmith to do a presentation for the group. Well, I teach Earth Science, and my daughter is a major rock hound, so it sounded like the perfect match.

Over the last few weeks, I considered how to go about this presentation. Intro, a bit about silver, pass some stuff around, show some of my work. Zzzzzzzzz. What about a demo? Everybody loves fire, right? Can I bring a torch with me? Sure, said the library. If the fire alarms sound that night, we'll just shut them off again. Go right ahead.

I was a little tense as I pulled up to the library the night of the meeting. I asked my daughter to say something so I wouldn't be nervous. She said, "Mom, you are an intelligent, educated person. You have nothing to worry about." Huh?? WHO was this in the car with me? No child I've ever met! My darling Rick showed up to help out and support me. I was covered.

So, in we went. I talked about how to harden silver with a hammer, and how to soften it again with a torch, and then I went about hardening and softening some silver while I demonstrated how I make a leaf pendant for them. I had a great time. I must be a natural ham. It wasn't until halfway through that I saw the camera. I can't believe I had forgotten - my contact had told me the local cable station might come out to film that night! I had been sure they wouldn't show up. As it turned out, not only did they film, but I even got a private interview afterward! I was on TV!!! I was on cloud 9. (I was on TV!!) I don't know when the show will air. (I was on TV!!) I never even found out what show I was on. But heck, I was on TV!!! (I must be famous!) My 15 minutes of fame, at last.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forging Ahead

I had a fun time I had teaching my February metals class. The subject was basic forging, and the goal was to create a sterling silver neck ring and a sterling silver cuff bracelet in 3 hours. It was tight, but everyone did a great job! We practiced on copper first, to get the feel of the hammer and the metal, and then we switched to silver. The sounds of metal on metal could be heard throughout the store, the sound of a happy class hard at work. Just look at them go, hammering away, helping one another out. Here's Diane, proudly modeling her new copper neck ring with the pierced tree pendant she made in our first class. Many who missed that first class would like to try it now! Like all of the students, she did a great job!

I have been really busy planning for future classes, writing lists of materials to order, developing project ideas and creating sample pieces. If I can get of my ideas off the ground, maybe the time will be right for some second level classes. How cool would that be? Already, I’m preparing to make a pitch for getting a torch in the room. First comes annealing, so we can move more metal. I think fusing isn’t far behind. And I hear there have been some requests for soldering!!! Big happy face here! We’ll start seeing some interesting projects from these classes, I think. Can’t wait!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finally -- Off and Running at 1000 Markets!

Whew! Finally, I'm waiting for approval to go public with with Silver Vine Jewelry on the web at 1000 Markets! Even as easy as makes it, it still takes time and energy to upload all of your photos and descriptions, and learn your way around a new site. I'm having fun organizing my work into collections, and my Leaf Collection is getting filled out first.

I can tell I'm going to love it here! Everyone is friendly and personable, and the shops are wonderful. I keep getting distracted by the variety of fascinating hand crafts produced by craftsmen and artists from all across the nation. I really want wone of the amazing artistically knitted hats I saw - I've never seen anything like them before! Browsing around is so easy with the "browse" tab just staring at me from the top of the page, and before I know it, another hour has passed, and I have barely begun to post my pieces!

Well, it's time to get back to posting. But wait, there was a beautiful watercolor I saw just a few minutes ago, I wonder what else she paints.....

Friday, January 30, 2009


Well, it's been a while since I posted, and have I been busy!!! My first jewelry teaching gig is behind me, and the next is coming up fast. I am so lucky to have found Meredith and Cherie, at The Garden of Beadin', our local bead shop (if you're in the Poconos, that is). They are warm and friendly, just great to work with. Cherie's lovely little shop is a perfect place to take classes in jewelry making. My classes in cold connections for jewelry have been warmly recieved. I can tell I'm going to like it here. Our first class, held Jan 10, was a piercing class. It covered the basics of using a jeweler's saw, and piercing a pattern into metal by drilling a hole inside the pattern. Students learned how to thread and hold a jeweler's saw, how follow a pattern, and how to use a light touch. I am so proud of them! Conversations, questions, and amazingly few broken saw blades, an incredible feat for a first experience. I was very impressed as dragonflies, trees, wolves, and more emerged from under their saws. Everyone walked away with a copper or silver pendant to be proud of.

Our next class will be held on Feb 7, and I will be teaching basic forging while we make bracelets and neck rings to hang our pendants from. I really enjoyed teaching the class. It's quite a different experience from being a student, and I can't wait for the next class. I have posted a few of the pieces that I made as class samples. Before class, I readied another pendant that had a scattering of viney leaves on it. I pounded it with a rawhide hammer to help harden the silver when it was complete. Well, my wonky, misshappen hammer hit that piece at some weird angle, shot it off the workbench, and I haven't seen it since. Oh well, some day in the future a beautiful, dusty, viney disc will appear from out of the sawdust, and I'll be back in business, ready for a new groupof students!