In a switch from obsessive candy-making, I spent yesterday in a jewelry-making intensive class at The Crucible. I have decided that The Crucible is possibly THE coolest thing unique to the Bay Area. It’s a nonprofit institution that covers all sorts of mostly fire-related crafts: blacksmithing, welding, jewelrymaking, enameling, glassworking of all varieties, but also woodcarving, moldmaking, and, uh, stuff. Lots of stuff. If you want to learn how to forge a blade or a medieval helmet, they have classes in that. Want to make an art car, either to drive around or to take to Burning Man? They have classes on that. Fire dancing? Fire eating? Yep. Go check out their course catalog, they’re the coolest thing ever. (And it’s like they were made for SCA and Burning Man. Come to think of it, they probably were.)
Anyway, this jewelry making intensive is only two days long, but it covers a lot of territory. Yesterday we made copper/brass name tags, in the process learning: how to saw metal (it’s a bit trickier than wood), how to anneal copper, how to solder, and how to polish the finished product. It was fun! And now I have a name tag that I can (ahem) cast in chocolate and have a “name” chocolate in English. (No, not obsessed. Really. 🙂 )
Today we’re making silver rings from a strip of silver, which we are going to cut, anneal, stamp with all sorts of interesting indentations (letters, patterns, etc.), and then bend into a ring shape and solder with a butt-joint to make ourselves a silver ring. I’m really looking forward to it, as I’m looking forward to the jewelry making lab (free working time) in a month or so. (Mike and I signed up for class and lab simultaneously.)
I’ve already decided that I want to take Jewelrymaking B (the followup class), I’m having such great fun. I’m also in love with the Crucible’s course catalog and want to sign up for the blacksmithing, continuing blacksmithing, and the blade-forging class. Wouldn’t it be special to have your own hand-forged chef’s knife?