Project Overview: Statement Earrings
So let's dive in and talk about what you're going to learn in this class because you're gonna get a lot out of this day. So what we're doing here is we are going to be making statement earrings, but more than that we're gonna use that as an entry point into the basic skills of metalsmithing. So this class is perfect for you even if you know nothing. If you know zero about metalsmithing, if you have never touched a tool before in your life, you are still in the right place. In fact, I love teaching beginners. I used to teach a jewelry for non-art majors class and I love seeing someone go from never having made anything to making something new and amazing with their hands, 'cause if you haven't done it before, it's totally gonna blow you away. Now if you maybe are familiar with some tools or some techniques, you're still gonna wanna stick around, because we're also gonna do some design skills here. So for me it's really important that I'm not just teaching you guys techniques, and I'm no...
t just teaching you how to, say, copy a project from start to finish. I wanna help you develop your voice as a designer. So even if you know some basic skills, I think you're gonna get a lot especially out of this first segment. But let's talk about what those basic skill are that you're gonna learn in this class. So really this class is all about getting comfortable with this guy, which is our jeweler's saw frame. Have any of you guys used a jeweler's saw before in our in-studio audience? Everybody's new, I love it. Yeah, so this is one of those tools that can be really intimidating for people. We'll get to this in a minute but we use these really tiny little saw blades and you've probably heard people complain about they break all the time and it's really hard to use, so this can be, even though it's a simple tool, it can be really intimidating, but today we're gonna demystify this tool. And the reason we're gonna do that is because when you know to work a jeweler's saw, the whole world of possibilities opens up to you. So I've got some samples here of some projects that we're gonna learn how to make in this class. And what you'll find is that, once you know how to use a jeweler's saw, any shape you can imagine, you can create out of metal. Which is really, really cool. So we're gonna start by learning the basics of sawing and piercing, so we're gonna learn not just how to cut out shapes, but also how to do a little bit of piercing, which is that fancy term for cutting out the inside of our shape. So if you've ever wondered how you get those shapes on the inside of a piece of metal, we're gonna talk about that today as well. And then we're also gonna talk about all of the basic finishing. We're gonna take our ugly, unfinished metal, and we're gonna turn it into something really pretty that you can wear, or you can share, you can gift, or you can even sell. And then beyond those kind of basic skills, basic finishing, we're also gonna talk about how to put your pieces together, not just to make statement earrings, which is of course the promise of our class, but also how to turn that into other pieces, like necklaces, and bracelets, and other things. So you can actually complete this class just with the tools that we have here. You can really get into it pretty cheap. This is a torch-less class, I wanna be really clear about that. So if you are like, "I don't have a torch, "I can't have a torch, my landlord won't let me," this is the right place for you 'cause we're gonna do this all without a torch and at the end you could have a complete line of jewelry. So I wanna talk about why I chose to focus on statement earrings for this class. There's a lot of different ways that you could approach a beginner project, but I decided we were gonna do statement earrings for a couple of reasons. First of all, they're really in right now, right? Big earrings are in because they're fun. But what I like about this as a project is it let's you kind of play with something that's got a little bit of scale to it. What you'll find in sawing is that there's a size that's easy to work at and when you get really small it's a little challenging, and when you get really big it's a little challenging as well, because we have some limitations with the depth of our saw frame here. So statement earrings are actually a really great size to work with and we wanna actually use a slightly thinner gauge metal to keep the weight down, but that's gonna make it a little bit easier to learn to saw as well. So we're starting with statement earrings, but as I mentioned, we're gonna expand that out into a whole jewelry line by the end of the day which is really exciting. So let's talk for a second about the tools that you'll need to complete this class. Now I am not going to do a whole walkthrough of the tools in this moment because if you guys, hopefully those of you who are watching online noticed, we put together a little pre-req video for you where I introduce you to all of the tools. But what I want you guys to know is that everything that you need to complete this class you can do for under $100 in tools. I ran the math. Now there are a few things, I personally like a more expensive pair of pliers, there are a few things you might wanna splurge on here or there, but if you're thinking, "I don't have a lot of money "and I just wanna learn a new skill," under $100 in tools and materials and you can get started in this class, which I think is a really big deal, 'cause who thought metalsmithing was really expensive and intimidating to get into? Yeah, are in-studio audience is like, "Yeah, me," and I really, really wanna break that down for you guys. It's so simple, you can do it in your home, at your kitchen counter, in your bedroom, anywhere you're at. In fact I had a friend who, basically using about the tools that we're using in this class, she packed everything up and her and her partner toured the US by bike for a year, and she had a metalsmithing studio. Yeah. On her bike, while they were biking around the US. So this is stuff that you can really do in a small, compact space for not a lot of money and create really cool projects like what we've got here. So are you guys ready to get started? Alright. So before we do that, I wanna share, and if you guys have never been on a class with me before, you guys know I love audience interaction, both from our in-studio audience and online. It's the reason I love Creative Live. I love that we actually get to interact and talk. So don't be afraid to ask questions online as we're going along. But I wanna actually just have our in-studio audience start by sharing, and you guys can share online too, and tell us where you're from, what you're most excited to learn in this class? Tracy, what are you excited to learn today?
Well, like you said, it always just seems like a really intimidating area, so just, I guess, learn everything, and I'm excited to know that it's a lot more approachable than I thought it was.
I'm from San Francisco and I'm very interested in just learning from someone who I see as a great teacher. So I'm very excited about this class. Thank you.
Hi, I'm Julie, and I'm a decorative painter. Complete beginner, but I'm a big fan and I just love jewelry, and honestly you were just speaking and I was just diving deep on a craft site and saw sheet metal, and was like, "Huh, what could I do with that?" And now maybe I can do this!
I'm excited to learn about the sawing and piercing.
Yeah. You've been kind of a wire-working girl, so this will open up a whole new door for you.
I'm a graphic designer and I mostly work on the computer, and I think it would be awesome to work with my hands, work with a material, and get started making things for, like you're saying, under $100.
That is amazing. When we were developing this class, I was like, "You know who I think would really love this, "or who I want to love this?" Is someone who is like that. A graphic designer, who spends all day on a computer and just wants a hands on outlet, and this is so great for that, 'cause it's totally different than spending all day on your computer.
And Megan, from one of our students from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, chimes in and says, "I'm glad to learn "I won't burn myself. I'm scared of chemicals and crazy tools. By the way, you have the best hair."
Yes! Thanks! Yeah, you do not have to worry about burning yourself, no crazy chemicals in this one, we wanted to keep it as approachable as possible. This does not have to be scary or intimidating for you.