When I decided to explore metalworking, I was entranced with the work of Lynn Merchant. I loved her style...strong and purposeful, tribal and sophisticated too. But I couldn't swing a trip to California to take a class, so I found the book, Bead on a Wire, by Sharilyn Miller. Sharilyn was a student of Lynn's, and wrote a fantastic book about the basics of wire jewelry. I bought every single one of the tools that Sharilyn recommended, and even took a day workshop with her in Louisville, KY. It was a great class, and I knew that I had found something to 'call my own' in regard to learning a skill with passion.
For a year or so, heavy gauge wire work was enough for me, but then I got bit by the soldering bug. I was selling my wares at the Chattanooga Market, and Marian Heintz, a potter and jewelry designer that set up at the market too, invited me to attend an impromptu bezel setting class at her studio. I had to leave during the middle of the class because of all the clay dust, as it brought on an asthma attack, but I was forever hooked!
When I decided to dive into more advanced metal work, I happened upon Joanna Gollberg's books. She has amazing projects, and her style is one that I am immediately attracted to as well. I just found out that she has a studio up the road from me in Asheville, NC. Her teaching style is easy to understand and the photos in her book are excellent references.
Right now, I am about to venture off into some mixed media territory. I thought I would start by investigating art journaling, to see where this new flirt takes me. I received a gift certificate to an art supply place and am going to blow it all on Vintage Metal Patina paints and some paper inks, pens and other ephemera for my journal. One thing that I have learned from my journey into metalwork is that you just have to start. You have to find that place within you that was a natural way of being before red pens marked up your efforts, not judging but trusting; and reach out for any resources you can to get you going on your new adventure. And don't wait. If you feel it, reach for it.
|My first attempt painting my own wrapping paper, scanning and printing...|
I wake up with new dreams every day. So the more I can do to channel that into things that I love to create is healthier for me and probably for everybody around me. And the older I get, the earlier I get up. The second my feet hit the floor, I'm awake. I'm like hurry, hurry. I just love life. And I feel like we ain't got but a certain amount of time anyway. I want to make the most of all of it. (Source: Reader's Digest - January 2006)