It's hard to believe July is almost here.  Our weather forecast tells us to expect 102 degrees tomorrow.  That is hot for Ohio.  I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple of pieces and plan to stay indoors with the kids.  Maybe a swimming pool in the evening.  

This is a new copper foldform cuff with little stamped designs.  I haven't made a cuff in awhile so I really had fun with it.  Now I'd like to make more, but they will have to wait for a couple of custom projects to be finished up.  
That is just about all for today.  I waited until almost midnight to post, so I'm too sleepy to think let alone write.  Off to bed.

Click here for info about the Lewton-Brain Foldform Award or the annual conference Aug 3-6, 2012.

Let's get my little post out of the way first, and then to the important stuff.

One of the first things I ever grabbed to foldform was a piece of plumbing pipe.  It just happened to be laying around the house.  I liked the result but that's as far as it went.  Then last week I saw a demo for making a puffed ring with dapping tools, and thought about that pipe again.  So I cut off some short lengths, annealed them with my torch, and started hammering them into my dapping block.   Here is what I got.
Too bad I can't get any two to look alike, because don't you think the one in front would make a great eye?  (Hehe little things make me happy.) 

Yes, I know.  Get back to jewelry, crazy girl.


Guess what's coming up?

A Foldforming Conference with Charles Lewton-Brain
I have a VERY exciting trip coming up in a few short weeks, Aug 3-6.  I will be at the  Center of Metal Arts in New York for more incredible foldforming instruction from Charles Lewton-Brain.  YOU COULD GO TOO.  There are still spaces left!  Check out the web site and click on Upcoming Seminars in the left column.  
NOTE:  Ask about available housing and work-trade opportunities!!

And a foldform competition DEADLINE JUNE 30
After registering, keep scrolling down to see the Call for Entries for the inaugural Lewton-Brain Foldform Award.  If you do foldforming, enter your pieces!  It's a great way to get your work in front of amazing judges Charles Lewton-Brain, Tim McCreight, and Ed Mack.  And if you do metal at all, I'm absolutely sure you own a copy of The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight... or have received copies of those pages as handouts in class-- Right?

Not quite sure?  
Here is a great write-up about the event: 
Foldform Inventor Charles Lewton-Brain to Give Away Jewelers' Secrets at NY Summer Event 

...and a tasty video to push you over the edge.   
Now enter the competition and get your work in front of these world class judges!!
Charles Lewton-Brain
Tim McCreight
Ed Mack (far left)
Ed Mack was awarded the Julius Blum Award in March 2012 for contribution to the national metal arts community.
Yes, I kind of skipped my blog post last week.  I was in Denver for a 5 day, one-on-one workshop with the wonderful Lexi Erickson, a contributing editor for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine.   Her work has graced the cover five times, and she is a regular writer for Jewelry Making Daily.  Originally an archaeologist, Lexi's pieces are influenced by her love for those artifacts, making her pieces interesting as well as beautiful.

I began learning from Lexi via her popular how-to videos.  I started with the set about soldering jewelry and instantly loved her.  Not only was it full of great tips, but watching Lexi was like meeting a friend.  Her personality comes through along with her infinite patience and insight.  And in person, Lexi was an absolute delight.

These are the pieces I made last week under Lexi's most enjoyable supervision:
And now I'll tell you the real reason my post is late.  I didn't want to post photos until after I proved to myself that I brought more than jewelry back to Ohio -- that I brought the ability to create it independently, too.  So I made this onyx and aventurine pendant at home yesterday (yay!):
It's all hand cut, soldered, and set... and between you and me, it was pretty exciting to use Lexi's tips and tricks in my own studio, successfully.  The only piece I still wonder about is the large two-stone copper pendant.  I'll try setting stones on copper soon, once I buy the right flux (Prips).
Tips from Lexi
Lexi's workshop was packed with great jewelry-making tips.  Here are some of my favs:

1. Roll your wire solder at the tightest setting of your rolling mill before using it.  It will stay in place better, flow faster, and you'll be less likely to cut too much for the join.
2. Cut a long thin strip of sandpaper, attach it in your jeweler's saw in place of the blade, and use it to sand tiny inaccessible areas like the inside of your pierced shapes.
3. Cut the handle off a plastic tooth brush and use it as a bezel pusher.  It's solid enough to push the bezel over, but can't scratch your stones.
4. Buy your supplies at Allcaft Tools (and by the way, Charles Lewton-Brain had the same advice.)  You have to know what you want, but it's the go-to place for quality products at competitive prices.  Call 800-645-7124.
Sue Lacy Lexi Erickson
Sue Lacy and Lexi Erickson
What a fast and fun week! 
If you're local to Columbus and plan to visit the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend, look for me tomorrow at 3p.m. in the Big Local Art Tent where I'll be doing a foldforming demo.  The tent is located near the corner of 2nd and Main and I'll be there for just under an hour.  (When you click the Big Local Art Tent link, the demo will be called "form folding."  Just saw that.  Common mistake...)

These are my demo samples:
This week I have something a different to show you.

I used to play guitar a little bit.  In fact, I was pretty into it in high school.  After that I'd dust off the guitar every five years or so and re-learn how to play.  Don't do too much math there; the statement alone makes me sound old enough.  Anyway, maybe it's time again.  

These copper guitar picks were just plain fun.  They are corrugated with a bit of foldforming thrown in.  I made a few that are hand-stamped, too, and they're cool -- but if you know me at all, you know these are the ones that make me happy :-)  
Very early Monday morning, I'll be on a plane to Denver.  I will try to post from there next week.  I've been looking forward to this trip for months, and I'll tell you why next time.