I was in heaven this Sunday. Surrounded by tools, metals, findings, sparkles, cabs, jewellery, wire, blow torches, chemicals, glass, polymer clay and not one, but two dogs! Sigh, bliss.
A wonderful bunch of ladies descended on the Whimsical Bead in Healesville for the most incredible workshop - 'Combine, Connect, Consolidate' - run by the amazingly generous Kay Lancashire of Kay's Artycles.
There are some great pics of the big mess and beautiful stuff we made on the Whimsical Bead's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheWhimsicalBead).
In one whirlwind day Kay took us through the basics of cutting, forming, texturing, annealing and tempering metal. Creating patinas with flame and liver of sulpher. Design considerations. Capturing cabs with wire and other cold connection techniques such as riveting. Etching with ferric chloride. Making bead caps. And much, much more.
Above are a couple of the pieces I created. On the left an etched brass square and on the right my very rustic attempt at capturing a cab with wire. I'm actually not putting up a picture of my best piece because I have secret plans for it! But you really need to visit www.facebook.com/TheWhimsicalBead to have a look at the stunning creations made by the other attendees. My efforts pale in comparison!
One of the ladies at the workshop, the graceful Georgina O'Shea, brought along a selection of her amazing handmade glass beads. Talk about eye candy! If I wasn't so skint then I would have snaffled up every last one of them. Cast your eyes over this pair of beauties that I came home with (apologies for my naff photography skills).
Workshops, for me, are invaluable in so many respects. As much as I appreciate on-line tutorials nothing can beat face-to-face teaching for all the extra tips and skills you pick up, for the hands-on practice, for the opportunity to meet new people and bounce ideas off of them, and for the much needed break from real life.
So thank you very, very much Dani Rapinett of the Whimsical Bead for organising and hosting this wonderful workshop. It was awesome!