Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hello my friends and students.
Sorry I have been away for so long. This is my second post. I started this blog two years ago and have been unable to access it ever since.

Anyway I finally got time to figure it out and here I am again.
I have been busy teaching and making jewelry over the past two years. I also completely remodeled my bathroom at home from the studs up. In fact I just got it finished. It took a long time. I did all the work myself - but it turned out great. My wife is very pleased to be able to shower inside again. I rigged an outdoor shower that was supposed to be used for just a couple of weeks but ended up being 5 months.

So now I want to get back to this blog business.
This is all new to me.
As I said before I want to talk about jewelry making and teaching and students and design and and and all things related.

First of all I love to teach people to use their hands to make things - I think because I love to make things with my hands. My dad was always making things and using tools and he taught me how to use and respect tools and how to make things with my hands. We made presents and printed our own cards when I was a kid. My brothers, sister and I always had the coolest toys that we made ourselves or our dad made for us.
We used wood, paint, discarded things, papier-mâché, glue and stones.
So that is where I got my love for making things. I am happy I am able to make a living making things and teaching people to make things. In a way it's a dream come true.
I first started making jewelry in 1972. I was in metal shop in high school. We had a assignment to do a sand casting. The molds we had were form the 50's or even 40's. They were trays for candy and ashtrays believe it or not. My stepdad was a smoker and I did not want to cast an ashtray so I asked if there was something else I could make. Mr Lanning - my shop teacher told me to make it a candy tray. I still wanted something else.
There was an odd looking bench in the corner of the shop. I asked him what it was for and he said that's a jeweler's bench. Can I do a jewelry casting? I asked him. I bugged him all week about it. On Friday he finally broke down and handed me an old chunk of carving wax and a book on lost wax casting that had been gathering dust in his office. Here - read up in this book and carve something to cast from this wax.
A good friend of mine had gotten a Sears Gem Cutter for his birthday. I went to him and with his help cut a calif. jade cab. I used a sharpened screwdriver, some old files in the garage, an old kitchen knife and some coat hanger wire to carve a wax ring model over the weekend. I brought these in to class on Monday. I showed them to Mr Lanning. He was impressed. He showed me and the rest of the class how to cast the ring - I had some scrap silver from my mom. After that he taught me how to solder and told me I could just work at the jeweler's bench all semester long. I was hooked.
For what it's worth -

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