Friday, September 18, 2009

Back to School

Well, summer is over and classes are soon to start. This fall I am taking over teaching duties from my silversmith guru, Lois Allmen.

Lois is now into her 90s and has decided to retire from the instructional world. She is a life-long educational devotee. Along with raising a large brood of lovely children, she taught for a LOT of years in the Oxnard School District. I think she has earned a break, don't you? I hope she will be able to come to class from time to time, as her schedule allow. She is a storehouse of information, and a delight to spend time with.

As for class, I have decided to implement a stricter enrollment of new students, to allow more personal attention to newbies. There is nothing more stressful than having five or six people asking you five or six different questions at the same time- while keeping one eye on the torch table to make sure nothing/nobody is going up in flames! I hope this will provide a more thorough educational experience for each and every student.

I have also decided that although the OGMS lab will be open to returning students, they are on their own when it comes to trying new techniques. Since we offer "Beginning" classes, I will not be offering casting, prong settings, keum boo or other advanced techniques to lab students. Perhaps with a little luck and some time to grow accustomed to my new role, I will add a class for other techniques. Perhaps workshops held over a weekend. For now, however, cabochons and simple fabrication techniques will have to do. In the mean time, students can try their hand at teaching themselves. I will offer what advice I can and encouragement of course, but the baby birds must learn to fly, and so they shall!

For students interested in adding techniques I will be recommending Joanna Gollberg's excellent books on metalsmithing: Joanna's Amazon Page

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