Hinges and portholes with Mary Hettmansperger 

The most memorable class I took at Bead and Button has to be Hinges and Portholes with Mary Hettmansperger. Mary is a wonderful, patient and generous teacher and her creativity is inspiring. In her day-long class, we were encouraged to play, experiment and innovate. She demoed her basic techniques then we were let loose to create. I worked away at my desk at the back, moving from torching station to the tool station then to a side table where we could plunder additions to our work from her boxes and boxes of beads, metal pieces, small gemstones and rivets. What fun.  

I tend to teach the same way, so I found her class very comfortable. I put some amazing patina, using a variety of methods she shared, on the copper provided and I brought lots home to continue playing. In class I finished one piece, which is a meditation on the concept of circle contained in a square. The metal has a dimpled hammered finish, circles and blobs of heat-created patina, portholes that reveal a mother and child, and randomly-placed holes and rivets. I was so thrilled when Mary sat down beside me to say how much she liked the design of my piece. Here it is. 


circled portholes and hinges


inside my portholes and hinges project

So I took pictures of Mary’s samples for inspiration. You can also find inspiration in her books Heat Color Set and Fire and Mixed Metal Jewelry Workshop, which are my favourites. 
Do you think I should work out a project to teach? Let me know what you think. 


work by Mary Hettmansperger


wow you can own a Mary Hett work for under $75!


portholes and hinges class samples


more class samples from portholes and hinges


One response to “Hinges and portholes with Mary Hettmansperger 

  1. ABsolutely you should work out a class to teach, maybe a series… I’m curious about the patina on the copper and other ways to achieve different patina effects; how to tell a story with a pendant (as you did), including how to personalize with home photos and image transfer techniques); how to make the portholes (can same be done with other shapes?), hinged pieces. Etc. Maybe a two day clas, or a series of classes that work together towards a finished piece. Just a thought!

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