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2018 Class / Workshop Offerings
Thanks for checking here!
This page is never finished: I'm always adding classes!
Some get scheduled months in advance; others, maybe a week or two ahead.

The list is mostly in reverse-date order (latest-first), but
please scroll down for earlier listings: many still have openings.
If you see something you've missed and would like me to offer again,
at the same site or even at a different location,
let me know! I love offering classes "by request"!


NEW in 2018:
I am trying to offer open Studtio Sessions on the Second Saturday of most months!
These are not classes, but are intended for folks who'd like to follow-up on topics from classes they have taken.
Those are described on a separate page.

Please note: Unless noted otherwise, I provide all the tools necessary for each class.
BUT:
If you use magnification and/or lighting for other craft-work, please bring that to any of my classes too.
(Plus an extension cord, just in case, if your device needs to be plugged in.)



Here are the events I have confirmed so far.
(More will be coming!)
Beginners are welcome at all of these sessions!
(Any occasional exceptions will be clearly noted.)
Those with some experience can learn new construction and/or finishing techniques.

Date Topic Location

Saturday, August 18
1 - 5 pm

Register via: Eventbrite

Please register by 10 am on August 13.

(I will order materials at that time. Artsmiths may permit you to sign up later, but you may incur express shipping charges for your materials!)

  Reversible Silver Shadow Box Pendants

Make a stunning reversible silver pendant in a shadow box style. You will be able to choose from a variety of shapes. Each side may be textured or left plain. A small gemstone, or other sculptural elements, may be added to one or both sides to add to the dimensionality of your piece!

For those with experience using metal coloring techniques (e.g., enamels, pencils, patinas, etc.), we’ll also discuss ways to design your piece so that, if you wish, you can further enhance your creation after class.

Level: beginner through intermediate.

The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
1635 McFarland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(412) 341-2299


Sunday, July 29
1 - 4 pm

Register via: Eventbrite

Please register by 10 am on July 23.

(I will order materials at that time. Artsmiths may permit you to sign up later, but you may incur express shipping charges for your materials!)

  Introduction to Base Metals: Reversible Domed Bronze Pendant

Reversible Domed Pendants are a simple way to dip your toes (well, fingers!) into metal clay! We’ll use a bronze formula that ends up as a lovely golden-yellow color. Since bronze costs than silver or gold, you will be able to work larger than is usual with the precious metal clays. That’s useful for those who like larger “statement” pieces, and for beginners who are just learning how to handle the clay.

Your piece can be round, as shown above, or you may choose from a variety of other shapes. It can be textured on both sides, as are the pieces shown above, or you may choose to leave one side smooth. Yours can be domed, as shown above, or you may choose to leave it flat. If you wish, you can learn how to add a bit of extra color with a small gemstone. More samples will be available in class that we’ll use to discuss how to develop your own unique design.

You will have the choice of working on one [larger, fancier] piece, or creating several [simpler, smaller] ones. And you won't be forced to dome them: flatter is fine too! Even if you're a complete beginner, you could end with a little collection like this:

Another thing about working with bronze is that sometimes -- and totally unpredictably! -- the kiln will yield a piece with fantastic colors!

Level: beginner through intermediate.

The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
1635 McFarland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(412) 341-2299


Friday, July 27
Noon - 4 pm

Register at: North Hills Art Center

Registration deadline: July 20.

(NHAC does not accept registrations after their deadline.)

  Introduction to Base Metals: Reversible Draped Bronze Pendant

Come and make a truly unique bronze pendant (or a pair of earrings) by learning how to roll and drape thin sheets of bronze "metal clay"!

You will learn to use this relatively new product—powdered metal mixed with a moist organic binder so it feels almost like clay—in a very interesting technique that is easily performed even by absolute beginners. We will roll and texture thin sheets of clay, drape them like fabric into interesting folds, cut out shapes, and add a few decorative flourishes (if desired), to create reversible, solid-bronze art jewelry.

Your pieces will be kiln-fired after class, which will convert this clay-like form into solid metal, and then tumble-polished to a bright golden color! They will be returned to our class site the following week.

This project should be great for those who like larger “statement” pieces: bronze is less expensive than silver or gold, so it’s easy to go big without going deep into debt!

Level: beginner through intermediate.

North Hills Art Center
73432 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412-364-3622


Tuesday, July 17
Noon - 4 pm

To register, please contact
http://appalachianrockshop.com/



Please register by 10 am on July 10.

(I will order materials at that time. The Applalachian Rock Shop may permit you to sign up later, but you may incur express shipping charges for your materials!)

  Hollow Silver "Rocks"

I have to admit that I initially learned this technique from the first of Hadar Jacobson's wonderful books, The Handbook of Metal Clay Textures and Forms. (Both the first and second editions of that book are now out of print but, as I write this, the second edition is still availabe on CD.)

I made a number of silver rocks, and even a few copper and bronze ones soon after those clays were introduced. I eveb taught a few classes on doing that, close to a decade ago. It is a really fun project, but you need just the right audience for it.

And then the Appalachian Rock Shop & Jewelry Emporium invited me to teach there and asked for class proposals: where better to teach the Rock Project than at the Rock Shop?!!

Come and join us as we learn how to model some favorite rocks (smooth ones work best!). They can be left plain, like the rock models, or decorated in a number of interesting ways. After seeing the process demonstration, we'll discuss the factors (e.g., time and materials cost as well as design) regarding whether you would prefer to make one larger piece, or several smaller ones.

Your pieces will be kiln-fired after class, and returned to our class site in about a week. Since the Rock Shop has a metal studio, we'll discuss whether you want me to tumble-polish your pieces before returning them, or would rather do some post-fire finishing of your own.

Level: beginner through intermediate.

Appalachian Rock Shop
& Jewelry Emporium

508A Perry Highway
Harmony, PA 16037
724-452-9356


Friday, June 29
Two different sessions:

1:30 to 3:30 pm

or

6 - 9 pm

Register for either session at:
North Hills Art Center

Registration deadline: June 22.

(NHAC does not accept registrations after their deadline.)

  Lovely Reversible Silver "Nests"

Have you heard about metal clays? Have you wondered what it’s like to create with something that feels like clay as you handle it, but ends up as a piece of wearable, all-metal art?

Come and make a pendant (or, if you prefer, a pair of earrings) hand-decorated with silver strings and balls that can easily be shaped into an interesting "nest" design.

Once you know the process you can arrange the parts in various patterns of your choice. We will also consider several ways to decorate the other side to create a unique piece of silver art that is reversible!

Your pieces will be kiln-fired after class, and returned to our class site the following week.

Level: beginner through intermediate.

North Hills Art Center
73432 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412-364-3622


Saturday, June 16
1 - 5 pm

Register via: Eventbrite

Please register by 10 am on June 11.

(I will order materials at that time. If Artsmiths permits you to sign up later, please let me know! I shoulc have enough material on hand, but better to be safe than sorry!)

  Reversible Hollow Domed Silver Art Jewelry

Have fun working with powered metal that has been mixed with an organic binder and water to create a clay-like form! You will learn the basics of working with metal clay, including how to form it into a domed shape. You will attach two domes to make an impressive reversible hollow "lentil-shape" pendant/bead!

We will cover a range of design options, including the use of various textures, hanging mechanisms, and (with examples beyond those in the photo above) enhancing your piece with additional silver embellishments.

Level: beginner through intermediate.

The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
1635 McFarland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(412) 341-2299

Four Mondays
from April 23
through May 14


Currently recruiting for:
6 to 9 pm

but let me know if you'd prefer
1 to 4 pm

Registration closes
on April 16.

To register, contact me directly. Use the email address at the bottom of this page.

  Introducing Metal Clays
using both sterling
& fine silvers!



Guess what? There is no actual "clay" in "precious metal clay"!

This class will help you to discover how silver, a precious metal, is made to feel like a lovely, soft clay so that it's very easy to work with. You will create your own design that way, and then we'll turn it all back into a solid, all-metal piece that you can wear with pride!

You will be guided through the creation of silver art jewelry that can easily be made fully reversible. You will explore textured, draped, embellished, layered, and hollow designs. Your pieces will be kiln-fired between sessions, and you’ll learn a set of finishing techniques to further enhance your creations.

We will explore the similarities and the differences within the silver family, including both fine silver (.999) and its alloys (e.g., sterling silvers).



Beginners are welcome!
Those with previous metal clay experience can learn new techniques and improve their skills.

Convergent Series Studio
Wilkins School Community Center
7604 Charleston Street
Swissvale, PA 15218

(Advertized earlier for a differnt site. Now scheduled for WSCC studio space!)


Saturday, March 24
12:30 to 5 pm

To register, please contact
http://appalachianrockshop.com/

Registration closes on March 16.

(You may be able to sign up after that, but will probably have to pay extra for the materials because I'll have to place another order that will incur express shipping charges for your materials!)

  Reversible Woven-Silver Art Jewelry

Create either a pendant or a pair of earrings as you learn to work with powdered metal that has been mixed with an organic binder and water to create a clay-like form. For this project we will use a clay that remains somewhat flexible, and thus weave-able, even after it has “dried” out! You will weave strips and strings of this fabulous “metal clay” material to create a unique, reversible piece of sterling silver (.960) art jewelry.


These can be any size you wish but,
if you are someone who likes big "statement" pieces,
then this is the project for you!
The open-weave allows us to create larger pieces
with relatively less silver than many other designs.

Level: beginner through intermediate.

Appalachian Rock Shop
& Jewelry Emporium

508A Perry Highway
Harmony, PA 16037
724-452-9356

Thursday, March 15
Silver Buttons

(with holes for attaching)
12:30 to 4:30 pm

Registration closes
on March 8

To register, contact me directly. Use the email address at the bottom of this page.

  Hand-Made Silver Buttons
(or charms, earrings, small pendants!)

Originally designed for fiber artists, but anyone who uses buttons is welcome too!

You found the perfect artisanal yarn, fabric, or other great product. You spent time fashioning it into a marvelous hand-made item. Now it’s time to take the next step and add your very own hand-made buttons as closures or embellishments!

In this workshop you (yes, you!) will create your own sterling silver buttons. We’ll use a relatively new technique involving reclaimed metals in a finely powdered form. They get mixed with an organic binder and water to yield a substance that feels almost like a silky-soft clay. You will roll this over a textured surface to impress a design. We’ll have pastry cutters and decorative scissors you can use to cut the outlines of your buttons, and you’ll learn how to smooth out the edges, add the necessary holes, and finish the surface so it will have a beautiful shine.

Some Silver Samples
(on their own & in use)

Please note:
  • We will be making buttons with holes (as many or as few as you want) for attaching them.
  • If you want to learn to make buttons with shanks I'm happy to schedule that for another date. (We'll likely use the less-expensive bronze then, because shanks require a lot more material!)

And there’s no need to limit yourself to buttons!
With just minor adjustments in the size and placement of the holes in your pieces,
you can end up with charms, pendants, or earrings!

Level: beginner through intermediate.

Convergent Series Studio
Wilkins School Community Center
7604 Charleston Street
Swissvale, PA 15218


Wondering what else I might teach?

I'm working on some new projects for late 2018 or maybe 2019, but I'm happy to repeat any of my classes from 2017!

(The issue isn't really the projects; with several, it's more to do with deciding which ones may be worth my spending the money to buy enough additional tools for students to use!)

If you haven't yet figured this out, I use colors as a code for different locations!


Convergent Series Studio
Wilkins School Community Center
7604 Charleston Street
Swissvale, PA 15218

Unless noted otherwise, we'll meet upstairs, over the front door, in Room #25.
And I'm sorry, but his facility is not ADA-compliant.
If that could be a problem for you, please do contact me to discuss your needs & my options!
I really will try to find a way to accommodate your needs.


The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh
1635 McFarland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(412) 341-2299

Yay! This facility is ADA-compliant.
Classrooms are downstairs, but there's a elevator to get there, and a unisex accessible restroom.


North Hills Art Center
73432 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412-364-3622

These classes might be on the main floor or upstairs.
The main floor classroom is ADA-compliant. but upstairs is not.
If that is a concern for you, please let me know and I'll see if I can confirm that we can use the main-floor room.


Appalachian Rock Shop & Jewelry Emporium
508A Perry Highway
Harmony, PA 16037
724-452-9356

This one is a bit tricky...
The classroom appears to be handicapped accessible, but the door to the restroom is small.
If that is a concern for you, please contact them to discuss whether this could work for you, or not...

Other Locations

I am happy to offer workshops at other locations:

If you know of another suitable site, please let them know about me!
If you manage such a site, please let me know!

Additional Workshops in My Studio

Garden Web Pendant with Jade

Another Option:

Pick YOUR Date!

Often when I schedule workshops, people say, "I'd like to take that one, but can't make it on that date..."

So here's another option: you pick the date!

  • Because the schedule at my studio can be fairly flexible, let me know if there's something you'd like to learn!
  • I'm always happy to schedule a private lesson (just you) or semi-private session (you and a friend or two).
  • Once I have several people interested in a particular project or technique, we can sort out a date and time that will work for all!
  • Or, we can talk about options for meeting at one of my other occasional sites, or even at one that you can arrange.
Convergent Series Studio
Wilkins School Community Center
7604 Charleston Street
Swissvale, PA 15218

Garden Web Pendant, Mosaic side with Citrine

I hold additional events at other sites...

Have Metals — Will Travel!

I also offer private lessons and home parties at your site
where you can learn about metal clays ...
or just relax and shop from my many creations!

If you can't wait for a regular class or sales event, do get in touch and let's see what can be worked out.

And please remember my blog! Its intended audience includes students of mine and fellow-creators who use powder metallurgy / metal clay techniques. Whether you read the content in detail, or just browse the sample photos I try to include with most items, do feel free to leave comments there, especially where I present something you'd like to learn! (I also list upcoming events in the right sidebar, often sooner than I get them up here.)

Also, of course, if you know of another venue (e.g., gallery or shop) that might be interested in carrying my work or hosting any of my workshops, do let me know. Thanks!

And host still other activities at my studio!

Information Sources...

I willl admit that I find it a challenge to keep up with all the various online sites where I could / should post class information these days. But if you want to see if there are any other workshops or classes that pique your interest, feel free to see if any of these got updated before this site:

Or, if you'd like a session at one of my other sites, do feel free to contact them to request one! (These places often schedule many months in advance, but your making a request really does help me get on their schedules!!!)



The best way to make initial contact with me is via email:
convergentseries [AT] gmail [DOT] com


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This page was last updated on 8 June 2018.