Wedding Wednesdays were lots of fun for me.  I hope you enjoyed the sparkle. It's all about true love though, isn't it?  So with true love in mind, I'm ready to switch up my blog theme and re-focus on MY true (jewelry) love -- metalsmithing.

There is nothing more fascinating for me right now than a technique called fold forming.  It was developed by master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980's and -- this is the most amazing part -- it was officially certified as a NEW and history-making metal technique.  In the gazillion years that mankind has been working metal, fold forming was never done until this Lewton-Brain character came up with it.

This was partially due to the ready availability of sheet metal, which was also unprecedented.  But, the guy is a true genius and a recognized leader in the field to this day.  If you're a fellow metalsmith, you're probably already familiar with his Ganoksin Project, the largest free educational site for jewelers in the world with 7 million+ visitors each year -- if not, run don't walk here to join.

In late July, I will travel to the Center for Metal Arts in New York to study fold forming with the man himself... Charles Lewton-Brain!  I'm a little star struck, and SO excited.

Fold forming begins with a flat sheet of metal, and is transformed by folding then hammering and/or running it through a rolling mill.  Metalsmiths generally shape their metal using techniques designed to overcome the natural properties of metal.  Fold forming, on the other hand, seeks to understand and then use/exploit those natural properties.  The results are organic and 3-dimensional, with a startling resemblance to organic living things.

These are some samples I've made recently. 
Just one item from the photo above did not come from a flat piece of sheet metal... it began with plumbing pipe. 
I'm new at this but will be working hard on the technique over the summer.  My first piece was just a few months ago during my March 2011 One-a-day Jewelry Challenge.  If you're interested in seeing the fold forming pieces I made during March, they are here:  Item#1, Item#2, Item#3, Item#4, Item#5, Item#6, Item#7, Item#8 . 

So my plan is to keep my Wednesday blog date but switch up the topic to include some of my adventures in fold forming.  Come along with me and see how things progress!  It will be fun.

By the way, I've also made a video of the 3rd Annual Columbus "Eco-chic Craftacular," last weekend's show.  Such a fun time.  It's just 3 minutes long so take a look and plan to visit again next year.  Photos were snapped by fellow Etsy Team Columbus team members Jan Dennison, Kathryn Gorney, Patricia Wooten-Jones, and Jamie Hevener.
Suddenly we're having warm, pretty days.  I think they are a Mother's Day gift because that's when they started.  We've planted some day lillies, pulled some weeds, and grilled outside a few times.  Went to the park and walked along a creek that looks like a mighty river right now after all the rain we've had lately-- but so beautiful.  Finally broke out the shorts and t-shirts.  All very nice!

I've got a sweet hair comb to show you today, designed for a flower girl.  The flowers and swarovsky crystals matched the wedding colors and the little girl's dress sash; the rest of her dress was white like the bride's.
I hope you'll come visit the Columbus Craftacular here in Columbus this weekend.  You'll find my booth inside the Whetstone Rec Center with quite a few others.  There will be tons going on both inside and outside -- bunches of green-friendly art and demos.  Great food and entertainment.  If it rains, come anyway; there will be plenty to see and do.
3rd Annual Eco-Chic Craftacular!
Saturday May 14th 10am - 6pm
Sunday May 15th 12pm - 5pm
Outdoor & Indoor Eco-focused Arts & Crafts Show
Whetstone Recreation Center
Clintonville, Ohio

Please stop by!
This is a design I came up with for a beautiful group of bridesmaids a few years ago.  It's sterling silver with Swarovski crystals to match their dresses.  What do you think?
I should really get my Wednesday posts out in the morning.  In some ways it was easier to post every day than to post twice a week... this way, I seem to get caught up in other things and it's evening before I know it.  No promises for Monday though, right after Mother's Day. 

Have a happy Mother's Day!
I haven't made anything completely noteworthy in the past few days.  I'm getting ready for the Eco-Chic Craftacular, a huge, very fun show on Sat/Sun May 14/15.  I'll post more later but follow the link to see what it's all about.  So I've spent time making a lot of sterling silver earring wires (eye-crossing boredom), assembling many pairs of simple one-bead gemstone earrings to offer with my other stuff, and organizing things.  I was desperate for some organization, believe me.
I've also made a new video showing the March One-a-day Jewelry Challenge pieces.  See what you think of the video.  I love Animoto software :)

If you're not local and you're wondering what we've been doing for fun here in Columbus for the past infinity weeks, here you go:
Take care and talk to you soon!