Adventures in Jewelry Making: Taking & Teaching Classes

See the fun we've had in our employee studio so far this summer!

I love jewelry making… let me just start with that. As you might have read in my June blog post about my trip to Harold Studio, last year the Halsteads surprised us by turning a storage space into a brand-new employee studio. We had a total of seven classes over the summer and, by the time it was over, I was hooked. Completely. I even built a bench and soldering station at home! Now, I’m taking classes from experts in the community and teaching classes here for my fellow employees. I’m having the time of my life! Over the next year, I’ll be sharing some of my jewelry making adventures here on the blog.

Since my classes at Harold Studio, I’ve registered for the Jewelry 101 fall class at Yavapai College, taught two classes here at Halstead and attended an asymmetrical design class with guest teacher Bonnie Ogilvie-Apra. The Halstead Jewelry Studio is in full swing! Here’s an overview of my recent jewelry making adventures:

Cold Connections was one of the very first classes I ever attended here in our studio with Hilary as the instructor. I became hooked! So, to turn around and teach it to others was extra special for me! We also did sawing, texturing, hand stamping and patinas. You can see a few of the pendants people made in the photos below. Everyone’s was different!

Cold Connections Class

Soldered Bangles was all about using the torch. I love teaching that class! Most of our staff chose to participate and I loved to watch people who were at first hesitant to use the torches quickly become used to and comfortable around them. The majority of people textured their pieces and they looked great. Lucky me, I happened to teach this class right when Katie Hacker, host of Beads, Baubles & Jewels, was visiting. She jumped right in and soldered her own bangle!

Soldering Bangles

Asymmetrical Design Class covered balance, weight and wearability in a fun workshop with guest instructor Bonnie Ogilvie-Apra. We were loaded with beads, chain and lots of components during this class. We all designed statement necklaces layered with all types of stones and findings on big, heavy steel chain. We hadn’t had a lot of background in beading so everybody walked away learning something. Thanks, Bonnie!

Bonnie Apra

We have great things lined up in the near future! Johanna, my instructor from Harold Studio, will be coming up here to teach us how to make spinner rings. We have so many people eager to take that class that I’ll stand in as her assistant, then I’ll be able to help other staff members who want to try it out.

In mid-September Belle Brooke, our 2007 Halstead Grant winner, will arrive to show six of us how to make hollow rings over a span of 2-days.

As for myself, I have demo classes lined up on how to use wraptites, snaptites and bezels. I also have one more hands-on class scheduled for early August, but I haven’t decided what to teach yet. Advanced cold connections or cabachon setting… I love both of those topics. What do you think?


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