Learn Something, Make Something

3W Plastics  It’s been a while! The life of an artist is always busy. There is always something creative going on in my life (thankfully!). I’m not going to bore you with the day to day ramblings of what I’ve been doing since I last posted, but I do have a few exciting episodes to share. So a lot of my recent posts are about teaching at 3rd Ward Philly. That hasn’t changed! Here’s a run down of the classes that I regularly teach (days and times change each month): Intro to Plastic Jewelry: Cut, Carve, Cast, and Finish; Stone Setting: Bezel; Stone Setting: Prong; Casting with Pewter: Clay Sculpting and Silicone Molds. For a list of days and times visit www.philly.3rdward.com. And don’t forget to check out all the other great classes 3rd Ward offers.

3rd Ward also does some pretty great events. (Some are of which are open to the public. Drink’n Draw anyone?) I recently did a 1 hour workshop on plastic jewelry at Urban Outfitters (picture on left). Participants used pre cut plastic parts to make necklaces and cuffs. Wanna learn? Take the class- next section starts in December.

So what about outside of 3rd Ward?  The real question is: am I still designing and making my own work? YES! It’s a little bit slower going since I don’t have my own studio, but I am still designing and making pieces. Am I going to be selling anything? Well, some pieces in my portfolio are for sale for the right buyer. So am I going to be doing any production style pieces like I did back in April? Yes! or at least, that’s the plan. If any of this interests you, or you haven’t looked at my website, go! now! www.andiewinemiller.com. And, I just updated the mobile site. Check it out!

Pewter Casting

IMG_1312 Pictured left is a rubber mold and a casting in pewter from that mold from my last session of Casting with Pewter at 3rd Ward Philly. I’m sure I’ve posted about it already, but the class is running again this month, starting on Wednesday.  You are not too late to sign up!  There are plenty of spaces available. For more information, see my previous posts such as ‘Cuttlefish Casting’ or ‘Casting, Fabricating, and Etching’. To learn more about the class, or sign up follow this link: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/casting-with-pewter/1930#/section/100075

Plastics: Acrylic and Resin

photoOne of the classes I am teaching this month at 3rd Ward Philadelphia is Introduction to Plastics. In this class, you will learn all the basics of using plastics for jewelry making and design. The advantage of working with plastics is that they provide a cheaper lightweight alternative to metals like silver and bronze.

The class starts by covering the basics of working with acrylic: how the cut it, drill it, and carve it into an awesome piece of jewelry.  Then, using your freshly made acrylic creation or a found object of you choosing, we make a rubber mold. Once the rubber is set, we remove your object. What is left is a hollow cavity, into which you learn how to cast epoxy resin.  Through this process you will learn the basics of working with resins: how to mix it, add colors, and trap objects in resin.  Last, you’ll learn how to polish your plastic creations to a beautiful shine. You’ll leave the class with one acrylic creation, a rubber mold, a few resin creations, and the knowledge of how to repeat all the processes safely at home.

Sign up for the class here: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/introduction-to-plastics/1912#/section/100074  It starts this Sunday! OR, there is also a class offered at the end of September.

So how did I make this awesome ring? The shank (the part the goes on your finger) was carved out of acrylic. The crystal clusters were attached with an adhesive.  It was molded with rubber and then cast in resin. (As seen on: @3rdwardphilly ‘s instagram!)

Photo Etching

pinwheelsIf only there was some way to combine graphic imagery and pattern with metals and jewelry…. Oh wait, there is! It is called photo etching and I’m teaching a class about it this Sunday August 11, at 3rd Ward Philadelphia.   It’s a one day workshop where you learn the process of photo etching and leave with an etched plate of copper. Cost is only $79!!  Sign up here: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/photo-etching-workshop/1953#/section/100073

Here’s how the process works–

You take a sheet of metal (in the class we will be using copper) and apply a resist. Once the resist is applied to the metal, it is placed in a bath of a corrosive liquid.  The exposed metal is eaten away, creating a shallow recess in the metal. Then sheet is then rinsed clean and the resist is removed. That’s it! It is the same process used to create circut boards for electronics, and the results are pretty spectacular.  It’s a process that I really enjoy, and I’m excited to teach. The piece pictured right is an earring that I made in the fall of 2012.  The sheet in the center is a piece of rhodium plated, photo etched copper. Interested? Take the class!! Need some inspiration? There are three pieces on my website that use photo etched metal. (www.andiewinemiller.com)


Cuttlefish Casting

IMG_1284 IMG_1281As a way of promoting some of the classes I will be teaching at 3rd Ward Philadelphia (www.philly.3rdward.com) over the next month, this post will be the first in a series about some of the processes that you can learn by taking a specific class.
I chose today’s topic of cuttlefish casting because it is a process that is taught in Casting with Pewter: Clay Sculpting and Silicone Molds. The first section of this class started last week, but another section of it will be starting August 14 (details here: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/casting-with-pewter/1930#/section/100075). Pewter casting is a great process for beginning jewelers to do because it is lo-tech and can easily be done at home.
Casting is a process in which a liquid material fills a hollow cavity which is then allowed to solidify. An everyday example of this is the simple process of making ice cubes. The ice cube tray is the mold, and the ice cubes are the castings. Cuttlefish casting is when a cuttlefish bone is used to create a mold into which metal can be cast. Cuttlefish bones are extremely soft and can easily be carved with simple carving tools. The bones are also soft enough that hard plastic and/or metal objects can be pressed into the bone to create a mold. On the first night of the Casting with Pewter class, this is the process that students will learn. Pictured in this post are a cuttlefish bone and the resulting casting which was made into a pin for an event at 3rd Ward.
If you are interested in cuttlefish casting with other metals and casting processes such as lost wax, you may want to take this class: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/introduction-to-casting/1956#/section/6363

Lost and Found

IMAG0231  If you go back through my posts, you’ll see that I spent some time in the UK last summer and then came back to the states and made a piece inspired by my travels. Like your average artist, I have a mild interest in photography, especially film (due in part I think because of my Mom’s experience as a photographer when she was young). As you can see in one of my older posts, I took a 35mm camera with me on my trip to the UK; a minolta x-7a to be exact. I was upset upon my return home because I realized my second roll of film from London was missing.  I just assumed it got lost in the shuffle of moving from place to place and changing rolls of film on the go.  Well, to my great delight, I found that roll of film in my camera bag a few weeks ago, presumably where I had left it in among some filters.  I finally got it developed and got the film back today! Most of the photos were from Westminster Abbey, but this shot of London from our floor at the St. Giles Hotel in London is acutally my favorite.


Make Something


     So far, this summer has been unpredictable and crazy, but I’m really enjoying it. I have exciting news to share. I’m teaching six, count them, SIX more classes at 3rd Ward Philadelphia in August. So here they are, with links to each class page. I will do more posts later about the specifics of each class.

First up, a class that starts next week that I’ve already blogged about, Casting with Pewter. I am now also teaching a section of the same class that runs in mid-August. See link for details: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/casting-with-pewter/1930#/section/6275

Next up, and a personal favorite of mine that I am sooooo beyond excited to teach TWO sections of, Photo etching! See link for more: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/photo-etching-workshop/1953#/section/6575

Then, starting August 11, I’ll be teaching a new and improved intro to plastics class, so keep an eye on this link for a change in description and dates: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/introduction-to-plastics/1912#/section/100074

Then, I’ll finally get my hands back on a torch with some soldering and some stone setting with a class in the most basic setting a jeweler can learn: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/stone-setting/9101#/section/100127 and Last, but certainly not least, I’ll be teaching some lucky students how to set some lovey stones in a traditional four prong setting: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/stone-setting/9100#/section/100125

Get excited because I’m working on developing some other really awesome classes for September and October, but I won’t share what they are just yet. And even if you don’t want to make jewelry, 3rd Ward Philly has some other cool classes that you should really check out and MAKE SOMETHING! Cheers!

Fabricating, Casting, and Etching

Fan Ring

Exciting news! I am teaching three classes this summer at Philadelphia’s 3rd Ward co working space. First up is an introductory course about fabricating and casting with plastics that starts TOMORROW! It’s not too late to sign up! For more, visit https://philly.3rdward.com/class/introduction-to-plastics/1912#/section/6237

Second on my list is a sure to be awesome class about casting with pewter, which is a process that can be done at home! This class starts on July 16, so there is plenty of time to sign up for this one. For more see: https://philly.3rdward.com/class/casting-with-pewter/1930#/section/6275

Last,and probably most exciting, is a Photo etching workshop on August 3rd! In this one day workshop I will be teaching students how to design a pattern, transfer it, and etch it into a piece of copper. If you check out my website you might spy a few pieces that use this process, like the one pictured at the beginning of this post ( http://www.andiewinemiller.com ) For more info about this class, visit https://philly.3rdward.com/class/photo-etching-workshop/1953#/section/6575


Pewter Casting

As usual, I’ve been busy so I haven’t had time to post. First, I graduated!! I can now say I have my BFA in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler. Even more exciting, I have two jobs this summer. One is teaching jewelry at a summer camp where I am hoping to implement some project projects that relate to contemporary studio jewelry. My other (and arguably more exciting) job is teaching at 3rd Ward Philadelphia. I’m going to be teaching a three night class in July about casting with pewter, which is a process that can be done at home once you know how! Here’s a link to the class I will be teaching: https://www.3rdward.com/class/casting-with-pewter/1930#/section/6275 and if you are interested, they offer some other pretty amazing classes. You should check them out. There is also a 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, Ny if you are not from Philly.

Making a Statement

Recently, I posted about an Exhibition/Sale that I was involved in. For it, each artist was required to make a limited production of jewelry. Following the sale, each artist is making a “statement” piece. The statement piece is a one of a kind piece that in some way relates to the production. I’m excited to share an in progress photo of my statement piece. Finished product coming soon!! Also, don’t forget to check out my website http://www.andiewinemiller.com