Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas from the heart

There have been several students these past months who've been working on Christmas presents.

My most prolific student is Virginia who has been working diligently on her presents for all of her family members since June. She's had her own seat in my studio where she's spent many hours in class, during open studio days and other days. We've become good friends and it will seem strange not to see her during the winter months. (Metal clay has brought me many new friends!)

My cousin's grandson, Ryan, who is ten wanted to make his Mom a necklace for Christmas. (The last time I taught an elementary student was 25 years ago...... not counting my grandson.) So, a week ago he came in after school. He already knew what he wanted, circles and a piece of dichroic glass. He even knew what shape he wanted it to be (a tooth shape. At least that's what it looked like to his Grandma and me.) He drew the shape (I enlarged it to allow for shrinkage) on an index card and cut it out to make a pattern. Ryan rolled it out on a texture plate, traced around the pattern with a needle tool, sanded, and drilled the hole.... all by himself. (This kid was good.) I did enlarge the hole after we decided to hang it with two jump rings and used syringe to circle around the glass. (That syringe is tough, even for an adult!)
After firing (and about 3 hours to let the kiln cool down ...... during which time he did his homework and went for pizza) he brushed it to create a matte finish.

I do have to say that Ryan has been my most exuberant and excited student. He did manage to wait until Christmas to give his mother her present (after threats from his Dad.)

It was fun working with him and so far he is the only one able to avoid the motion detector chime at the door to my studio. The trick is to be young and get a running jump! (There's no way I am even going to try!!!)

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