Tuesday, July 31, 2012

an awfully big edVenture

I enjoy any Sunday where the most pressing question is: "I wonder what will happen if I hit this with a ball peen hammer?" Every year when the list of edVentures courses comes out from the City I'm filled with thoughts of spending my summer in the adult equivalent of summer camp.  With more than 60 week-long, weekend and one-day courses in various arts and craft disciplines, your imagination can run away with you!   This year I managed to finally schedule my first edVentures course: a day of jewelry making!

Bright and early on Sunday morning I arrived at the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design.  This school always has me entertaining thoughts of giving up my day job (which is already pretty artsy!) to pursue my so-far-undiscovered talents in silversmithing or ceramics.  Our instructor for the day was Trudy Gallagher who teaches at the college but who is better known as the award-winning creative and business force behind Bejewel.

There were six students in the class including a mother and daughter and two friends who were attending together.   How great would a workshop like this be as an alternative to a spa day or girls' night out for a little female bonding?  The workshop had been billed as wire artistry focusing on pendants but since most of the class had attended the wire class for earrings the day before, Trudy decided to introduce some other basic metal working techniques.  I was really excited about this because while I've done some wire and bead jewelry before it's not a type of jewelry I wear personally.  So as Trudy took us to the metal working room and showed us the different effects you could get from hammering metal, the wheels started to turn.  And when she dug out the various stamps, my inspiration struck. 

I wanted to create something very personal to me and had the image of ancient medallions in my mind.  I also knew that incorporating text was a must.   With a design in mind I set about choosing my material and opted for a piece of brass.

After cutting the circle I hammered part of the pendant with a ball peen hammer for texture (it also kind of reminds of a full moon) and then set about to stamping text.  I first thought I would do "Be Glad" but for a silly reason (I couldn't find the "A") I decided to do BG BG BB ( the rules of The Glad Game: "be glad. be good. be brave.") which I actually prefer because it's a bit more mysterious. 

Trudy was a great instructor through the entire process, walking us through techniques and really encouraging us to explore techniques and materials.

 During our afternoon break we strolled across Barracks Square to the casemates where a number of art and craft shops are set up for the summer.  We stopped by the Fredericton Arts Alliance casemate where jewelry artists Kristyn Cooper and Kristianne LeBreton are in residence for the week demonstrating their work.  (Check out Kristyn's work -  if Alice in Wonderland had grown up to be a jewelry artist this is what I imagine she would create.)
Then it was back to the studio. After finishing off the pendant and polishing and buffing it to a gorgeous shine, it was time to figure out what else I wanted to add.  My initial design had planned for beads at the top of the pendant but I actually went with a single rough blue jade and some hammered silver wire.   I wanted a simple and contemporary piece that had a bit of roughness to the texture.    The result exceeded my original design and I couldn't be more happy with it.

This was such a great one-day experience.  Now I want to do all of the edVentures.   What would you try?


Kandise said...

I love it!

miss allaby: the glad girl said...

Thank Kandise!

Sherrie said...

Blanket weaving! Pottery! Basket making! Herbs & medicines! Oh my - they all look wonderful! Maybe next summer I'll have to work one into my plans. Your necklace is lovely, by the way! :)

miss allaby: the glad girl said...

Thanks, Sherrie! It was so much fun - hard to choose just one class!