Category Archives: Workshop Review

Tool Time Tuesday – Workshop Review And Giveaway – Wire Weaving with Sarah Thompson

It isn’t often that I get to learn new techniques in a class setting. I don’t have the time or money to travel to workshops, there aren’t many taught here in Utah, and I have been so busy working on my book and videos that I rarely have time. Can I just say how much I love the day and age we live in? I can now sit in bed before I go to sleep and watch amazing people with amazing talent teach me all sorts of new things. And I do it on this ultra thin, ultra light “television” that I hold in my hands with tiny speakers with amazing sound quality plugged into my ears,  and the blankets pulled over my head so I don’t keep my husband awake. Did you ever imagine we would have this ability when you were a kid? If you were born after 1990, DON’T ANSWER!

It reminds me of when I got my first iPod Touch. We were thrilled that we could connect wirelessly to the internet and watch videos on YouTube, or even better, download a full length movie to entertain the kids. I am still waiting for the holographic set ups we used to see in “Vision of the Future” types of set ups at Disney land. We have 3D televisions, who knows, perhaps that is next and nobody will ever have to miss out of an amazing workshop again and we will be able to have our favorite artist or teacher right there at our shoulder in the workshop. Ahhhh, the dreams of the future.

Okay, back to what we are really here for. I have just spent the last couple of weeks reviewing Sarah Thompson’s Craftsy workshop.

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When I started making jewelry, it wasn’t by stringing beads. I started with wire. I have always loved wire. To this day, you will find quite a bit of wire work in my metalwork. I love the movement that it adds. I have done a few wire weaving things, but it never really clicked for me before I get into doing more metal work. But I have always adored the style of Sarah. (See more of her amazing work on her website: http://www.sarah-n-dippity.com/, Her Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahndippity or her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-n-dippity/240358204033?ref=hl You may want to have some tissues ready to wipe the drool, her work is that amazing.

I have always wanted to do this style of work, but was intimidated by the amount of work involved, the meticulous nature of the tight weave and, well, I just never thought I could actually do it. So I was thrilled when I was approached and given the opportunity to evaluate her workshop.

In addition to well thought out projects, she uses large props while she teaches the weave fundamentals. And she does it in such a way that you remember it. That doesn’t mean to say that I never ran into a problem…. but that isn’t Sarah’s fault.

The Craftsy format is great too. You can view the video in Full Screen mode, watch at several different speeds, rewind when necessary, add notes and even ask the teacher questions as specific locations within the video. You can easily skip around the 7-part lesson for easy navigation and review.

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This is quite a detailed technique and the video is great to watch with TONS of close ups so you don’t get lost and can see exactly what Sarah is doing.

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Most of you know that I truly have ADD, I have since I was a child. I have a hard time sitting still while doing online workshops. One of the things I love about the Craftsy workshops is that I can change the speed. So most of the time, the first time I watch a workshop, I will put it on double speed. Then I can move to a slower speed if I need to see something more clearly or get a better understanding. Even though I did this with a good portion of this workshop, I found that even when I was watching at normal speed, Sarah was very engaging and easy to follow. She was very clear, well spoken and made certain every little detail was covered.

Want to see what I came up with? This is what I started with. I know, it is a bad cell phone photo…. I started with 18 gauge sterling silver for the base and wrapped with 28 gauge fine silver. I added a few 2 mm crystals for a bit of sparkle. The focal bead was made by my good Ohio friend Laura Critchfield.

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After finally getting everything attached and the clasp connected, I added a bit of LOS (Liver of Sulfur) patina, removing from the highlights with a bit of #0000 steel wool.

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I would highly recommend this workshop if you have ever wanted to try this technique. I just look at Sarah’s work and i get so inspired. I can’t wait to try more.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Now for the exciting part. I have one free workshop to giveaway to one of my fabulous blog readers. I will make it really simple. Take a look at Sarah’s work and just leave a comment on the blog telling me your favorite piece, a link back to the page would be great too.

I will draw and announce the winner next Tuesday, May 5th.

If you don’t want to take your chance on not winning and would like to get started learning with Sarah, she has given my readers 50% off for the next two weeks (until midnight, Tuesday, May 12th.) Just use THIS LINK for 50% off her workshop.

Sarah, Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop. I learned quite a bit and I cannot wait to add more of this style into my work. And I am quite proud to say, I never broke a wire. 🙂 You are an excellent teacher and very talented artist.

Online Workshop Review/Giveaway: Debora Mauser/Craftsy – Creative Wire Wrapping Techniques

As I mentioned in my previous post I have an online workshop review and a giveaway. I am very excited about this one because the star of the workshop is one of my good friends, Debora Mauser. Debora and I met probably 7 years ago when I attended a retreat in North Carolina. We hit it off right away and she remains one of my good friends to this day. In fact, she was one of my roommates in Tucson. Since meeting Debora all those years ago she has become a sought after instructor teaching at events and locations including William Holland, Bead and Button, Tucson Gem Show and many more. She has recently teamed up with Craftsy.com to make a video on Creative Wire Wrapping Techniques.

I had the good fortune to be able to watch and review this workshop. I haven’t ever seen a Craftsy workshop before so it was fun to be able to see this in action. I have quite a few friends and colleagues that are currently filming for them and I am thrilled to see these professional videos available at such an affordable price. One of the things I like about the videos is that you have them for life. They never expire. You can return to the video and watch again and again as you would like. These videos also have the option of speeding up or slowing down the playback rate. This is really nice if you want to really see how something is done and need it just a bit slower. Or, if you have already heard the topic, but don’t want to miss anything, just increase the speed a bit. The videos are really well done.

Debora is very easy to watch and I love listening to her sweet Southern accent. See the picture above? She walks you through every little thing in that beautiful necklace. The workshop is laid out in 7 sections, each about 20 – 25 minutes long. Some of the lessons build on the techniques learned in the previous lesson. By combining techniques you can really step up the look of your components and end up with a truly artistic piece of jewelry.

She begins with hammering techniques to create paddles and chain links. You will learn troubleshooting techniques to address uneven hammer blows, texturing, proper wire working techniques and tools, along with the safe use of said tools. Learn multiple ways of creating coils and take that even further to created coiled embellishments. She also demonstrates wire weaving, lashing, and the proper way of connecting multiple pieces of wire together for a great focal piece. And there is so much more.

This workshop is technique based and not project based. At the end of the workshop you will have learned a number of wire techniques and be able to combine them all to create unique pieces, but you are not guided through an entire project from start to finish. You are left to your own creative devises for the execution of the final piece.

For the next two weeks (Until March 5, 2015), you use this link: Creative Wire Wrapping Techniques and you will receive 50% off your purchase of this workshop. That makes the course only $15. Even if you just go to the Craftsy.com website it is on sale for $20.

To enter just click the link below and fill in the form so I will be able to contact you when you win. I will do a random drawing for names of the entries on Friday, February 27th.  There is just one condition, and even then, not really. Please leave a comment on your experience with online workshops. Have you taken any? Plan to take any? What would you like to see? You won’t be added to any lists, your name and information won’t be shared. Good Luck! 

Creative Wire Wrapping Techniques with Debora Mauser GIVEAWAY