Jewelry At The Foundry
Mar 29th, 2019
All winter I went to craft fairs looking for Christmas presents for my friends and family. Being involved in a Maker community makes you more aware of the care, time and skill that goes into the creation of something. Either you’ve tried to make it yourself and know how difficult it was, you’ve seen it made by people you admire and saw how difficult it was, or you’ve never seen it made so you can only assume how difficult it is.
Jewelry-makers were in high quantity at the markets – all different types showcasing their wares from intricately made delicate things to funky little animals carved from sterling silver. It was amazing to see the range and the quality of things on offer.
What even is this thing?
Jewelry is one of those things that eludes me. I don’t know what I thought about how it was made but I’m fairly sure I just assumed that rings and necklaces were mined out of the earth directly as they are sold – just maybe cleaned up a little.
This is not the case.
Jewelry is all about fire and patience. It is about tiny sawblades and heating temperatures and rocks and dainty clasps. It is about repurposing everyday things to turn them into little works of art.
Idea Foundry Jewelry Space
We were very lucky to make a connection with Lee Mash, who is a very talented jeweler with a lot of heart and who wanted to bring back more jewelry classes to the Idea Foundry.
Our current long-term instructor, Joe, has been teaching a class on how to anodize (i.e. paint with electricity) titanium and niobium metals and turn those into jewelry items. A budding friendship has formed between them and they are now teaming up to work on some collaborations.
Even our metalwork-based staff instructor, Rachel, has hopped on the jewelry train. She had done some jewelry work previously and with some private instruction with Lee, she is now teaching our jewelry orientation classes. I also know of at least two more instructors who are interested in collaborating in different classes with Lee (stay tuned!).
All this activity has livened up our Yellow Lab, or as Lee likes to call it “Lee’s room”.
We currently offer ten different jewelry class experiences, ranging from our two orientations which teach you the basic skills needed to be cleared on our tools here to use them on your own time, to 3-4 hour make-and-take style classes where you pick up a bit of knowledge but get to leave with a fully formed beautiful piece.
Please check out these listings and tell me that this doesn’t change your opinion on jewelry making too:
There are also a range of open studios coming over the summer months so that students can practice their techniques as well as meet fellow jewelers. Lee and the crew are looking for the next team of amazing silver-and-gem-merchants – with our classes, anybody can do it… could it be you?