Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rita's Soldering Workshop

After the Silver Fusing class I took a while back over at Blue Moon Glassworks, I decided I wanted to attempt soldering again. My first few experiences with soldering had been pretty negative and I was almost phobic when it came to torch work. But after the glass bead lampwork glasses and then Gwen's Silver Fusing class, I really felt like I needed to give it another chance. I'd heard several people say really good things about a local artist here in Austin that holds soldering workshops. Her name is Rita Marie Ross. She has two day workshops in which she teaches design, sawing, sanding/grinding, soldering, placing and setting bezels, and polishing.

I could not recommend this class more to a beginner looking for great one-on-one instruction. You come away from this class with a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, as well as coming away super confident and educated about the torch, and everything else that went into the process of making your first original piece. Another really unexpected thing that I didn't feel very comfortable with initially, but which ended up being something I was extremely thankful for as things progressed through the workshop, was that Rita really pushes you to think outside the box and come up with a design that really reflects you unique personal artistic vision, not just something you'd buy out of a catalog.

After it was finished, we were looking at some of the other pieces I brought in to show her and found that a green piece of viking knit I'd already made worked perfectly with it, so I went home that night, added an extension of jens pind chain weave to get the length I wanted and finished the piece with a fancy store bought clasp. I think my first finished piece is really stunning, very unique, and something I will always cherish as a huge milestone in my creative arts education.

Thank you, Rita, for a wonderful workshop, excellent instruction, and a genuinely fun experience.

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