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Adventures in Charlottesville

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Adventures in Charlottesville

Jody Ochs

Finally! Home a week and still catching up! Spring is such a busy time, getting the garden amended and in!

Meet Meg!

Meg and I met at Chris Nelson’s workshop last June, where we learned how to fuse gold to steel. She and I had benches next to each other, and I was charmed by her intelligence, graphic illustration talent and sweet humor. We became friends. What I didn’t know at the time, was that she was a master at Precious Metal Clay, but did not yet have a professional torch in her studio. So upon returning to her studio, and after trying to do it herself, Meg hired a local blacksmith to come into her studio and set up her torch for her.  The blacksmith did a very professional job of it, but but Meg was still uncomfortable using the torch.  So last week, at Meg’s request, I went up to help her get comfortable with her oxy/propane torch and add the things she needed to make use of Chris’ awesome workshop. Fire and Heat are serious! She ordered the enhanced tips that Chris suggested in his workshop, most importantly the extension tip. When you are fusing, it gets really hot and Meg wanted her hands as far away from the actual heat as possible. Success! The rest of what we did was just reinforce what she had learned at the workshop. You know… use it or loose it and it had been almost a year! She hadn’t lost it, that’s for sure, but needed someone who had been doing it, to feel comfortable as it came back to as she went through the steps. She followed along with her notes from Chris’ class and I mostly stood as support coach. She had a couple of pieces that she’d made in a blacksmithing workshop, so she fused gold to those, see pics on my Facebook page. While I was there, because she wanted a few more pieces to practice on, we looked at her electro-plating machine, which she had questions about too. Boy was that an experience. Meg had purchased it used/new. And we spent hours trying to figure that bugger out. The readings were in the negative as you can see in the pic, and no one, (I called many people) could explain why). What I finally deduced is the machine was made in China, no one stood behind it and it simply read the wrong numbers but still worked. So she can proceed, ignoring the readings and watching the activity taking place in the salt water bath. Whew! All in all we had fun and Meg can now go forward with what we learned in Chris Nelson’s fabulous workshop. By the way, if you are interested in learning fusing gold to steel, Chris teaches workshops all over the country and abroad. You can contact him here:    http://www.urban-armour.com/Workshops.html    If you want regular silversmithing & fabrication help in your studio, I’m happy to travel and help you as I did Meg. I also offer workshops in my studio here in Western North Carolina, information is on my website under classes and workshops! http://www.jodyochsdesign.com/workshops-and-classes/

 

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