I have always felt the need to make things and, I suppose, to design things. I remember being a young girl and making clothes for my Barbies as well as furniture for them from household objects. I played with scraps of lumber and wire to see what I could create. My Gramma worked for Craft Master and she brought us “seconds” and leftovers from their paint by number and crushed gravel art. My dad would paint in oils and water colours when I was young and I too loved to sketch and paint. An elderly neighbour taught me all kinds of crafts, such as weaving on a small loom. At Christmas I received rock tumblers, bead looms and other craft kits. When I wasn’t reading or organizing my library I was using my hands to create. I was lucky to live a life filled with creation – I sang in school groups, church choirs, I wrote stories and poems, and I took piano lessons for 13 years. I was blessed to be surrounded by people who cherished and encouraged my talent.
I think we had this kit!
In my 20s and 30s I focussed on easy to complete crafts while my career and son took the bulk of my time and attention. I still made jewellery, and often took my whole lunch hour to poke through the beads and findings at Arton on Queen St West. I wrote so much creative copy at work that my writing dropped off but I took endless classes at what we now call Creativ Festival. I learned embroidery, cross stitch, blackwork, bobbin lace making, tatting, Bargello, battenberg lace making, felting, punch embroidery. I made cross stitched Cristmas decorations for friends and family for years. I spent most of my time on intricate, silk thread on linen samplers.
Then one day my friend Deborah and I decided to go to the Toronto Bead Society’s bead fair to get some beads for needlework pieces we were working on and I fell in love all over again with making jewellery. I joined the group, then the steering committee and took on programming then the chair. I started taking classes and soon began teaching them too. I haven’t looked back. All of the creative energy I had stored up, all of the mentors I learned from and all of the knowledge from a breadth of crafting endeavours have coalesced into this moment. I am so happy to be in a place right now where I can call creation, and sharing the excitement of creation with others, my job.
I am spreading my teaching “net” even further this month with the addition of Craft Arts Market as a teaching venue. Join me this Saturday for my Vintage Soldered Rings class from 1 to 3 pm. The store is at 6 James St, St Catharines. Cost all in, including kit, is $50. The web site is craftartsmarket.ca.
Sunday, I’ll be at Beads of Colour in Dundas, teaching my Infinity Bracelet on the Now That’s a Jig! as well as basic torch enamelling. Check their site for details and to register. There are a few spaces left.
And on May 9, I’ll be one of the great line up of teachers at Beadfabulous, being held at the downtown YMCA in Toronto. For details or to register go to the TBS web site. My class is a little different but I invite you to stretch yourself and try something new. You won’t go wrong learning how to create custom moulds and then unique paper clay components that you can colour and finish to suit your project. So much fun.
Paper Clay Rose used as a necklace component
Later in May, on the 15th and 16th, I’ll be back at my second home, BeadFX, for Open Metal Night on Friday from 5 – 8 pm. Then on Saturday I’ll be teaching Viking Knit and, by demand, the Twisted Forged Bronze bracelets.
Guaranteed fun. Guaranteed learning. Guaranteed beautiful finished project. Hope to see you at one of these classes!
All photos copyright Cindy Goldrick
Recently, I have seen articles about adult colouring books and how calming they are. There is something soothing about the action of colouring and there’s definitely something comforting about the act as you relive your carefree childhood colouring fun.
Last year, in a class with Gail Crosman-Moore on colouring metals, she touched on using pencil crayons on metal but we didn’t get to really go into it. But my curiosity was piqued, so I decided to do more reading online then experimenting to see what kind of results I might get.
I’ve been excited about my results and want to share with you. I taught this last night at TBS techniques night because I think it’s a great way to create custom components for your jewellery creations.
I start with metal stampings with shape and depth. To prepare them, I take some medium grit sandpaper and sand each piece to create a “tooth” on the metal for the gesso. Clean and dry the metal before brushing on a light coat of gesso. I do this about three times to get good coverage. Now you have a blank canvas to work on.
Using Prismacolor pencil crayons (they have a high wax content), colour your metal as you like. Then use mineral spirits or turpentine on a brush to blend your colours. You’ll find the pencil crayon lines begin to melt and blend and you get a very painterly effect. I continue to colour and build up depth using various pressures on the pencil then blending with the brush and mineral spirits. When I’m happy with the piece I make sure the mineral spirits have fully evaporated then seal the piece with Mod Podge or Diamond Glaze.
Your custom coloured component is now ready to be incorporated into your jewellery. Try this technique. I guarantee fun and a unique talking piece to wear.
So last week I went crazy making rings. These rings are the same easy soldered rings I teach in my classes. My final ring tally was 34, although six of them were leftover samples made in classes with students. The rings are destined for sale in a recently opened shop in downtown called Craft Arts Market. They will be selling for $20 each, so I hope they fly out of the store.
Below I’ve outlined how these rings are made and I share a recipe for homemade pickle.
Yes, I set up my work station on my living room floor so I could watch TV too. Look at that pile of ring shanks waiting to be soldered. I cut the flat wire, filed it and made a “D” shape to ensure a surface where both ends meet tightly.
And the flux flares and the solder flows.
Here’s the pickle I made. Worked quickly and my kitchen smelled like salt and vinegar chips. Warm up, in a covered metal or glass pan, two cups of vinegar and two tsps salt. That’s it!
After the vintage stampings were soldered to the shanks (I pickled them too to ensure a good clean surface for soldering) I pickled the ring to remove fire scale then shaped it on my mandrel using my rawhide hammer. Then, using a buffer wheel on my Dremel, I cleaned and shined each ring. A final coat of Renaissance Wax and, in a few cases the application of a Swarovski crystal, and they are ready for sale.