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Patricia Weikersheimer took this photo of our workshop

I took a workshop with Hadar Jacobson over last weekend.  It was jam packed with fantastic information and I feel empowered in so many ways.  I thought I understood what went on inside the kiln during a base metal firing before.  I mean, I have a chemistry degree so I should be able to figure this stuff out.  I realize that Hadar has done so many experiments with kilns all over the world.  So she has a lot more figured out than I had even started to wonder over.  The amount of trouble shooting information she gave us is priceless.  She also gave us some great information about various techniques she has been using to create great patterns using multiple metals.  She is very generous with her information.  If you ask a question you get an answer.  I highly recommend to any of you who work with metal clays that you take a workshop with her.

Patricia Weikersheimer took this photo of Hadar with her bracelet that explains how sintering works

She has written self published text books.  You should check them out at her on line store.  My mind is still racing with all the possibilities for ways to use what I learned so I will try to hit just the high points.  She has already published the technique that we learned first.  You make a deep texture in copper or bronze, dry the piece and then fill the texture with the other metal.  Sanding removes any overfill so you can be generous with the fill metal.  Using metal clay instead of sheet metal makes this easy as can be.  She also showed how to finish the result and what she shows works really well.  Next we learned a series of different things you can do mixing metals and extruding them, then slicing and laying out or squidging together.  These techniques will form the basis for a book she has been working on and will be publishing soon.  There were so many variations and each one gave radically different results.  She also showed how to blend two or even three metals into a smooth gradient.  We did not have time to use that technique.  She had several pieces to show us that demonstrated the power of each and every technique.

Another thing that was fantastic about that workshop was the source information for various firing options.  We also had an in depth discussion of extruders, parts for extruders, what is wrong with pretty much every brand and kind available, why we might want a different size and so much more.

I came away with a pair of earrings and a pendant that were fired and finished.  I also retrieved a pendant from one of the fiery furnaces itself moments before I had to leave.  I have a few other pieces in the clay state to work with and two of those are in my kiln right now.

Some of my pieces from the workshop after finishing

I feel most grateful to have had the opportunity to take this workshop.  All of the information and inspiration I gained was incredible.  If anything can trump that, it would be meeting other people that I share an interest with and getting to know them.  I met and got to know some great folks over this weekend.  I also got to spend some time exploring Chicago with my niece.  The whole trip was like a dream come true.  It was everything that I had hoped it could be and much more.  I want to thank Patricia Weikersheimer for allowing me to use a couple of her photos of the class.  By the way, the back of my head appears in the first photo above.

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One Comment

  1. Great post, Joan. I especially enjoyed seeing your creations.


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