But more than learning about this amazing medium, the world of metal clay has opened a world of new friends. When I first started making jewelry, I was working out of my daughter's old bedroom (turned home studio.) Using a few books I taught myself metal clay. Growth doesn't happen in a vacuum so I sought out classes (which were non-existent in my area.)
My first class was in NC. My daughter and I went to a bead store and learned how to make an S-hook out of silver clay. (I call that my $65 S-Hook, which really cost more than that since I had to take my own clay.) It's a wonder I didn't quit after that one!
But, I persisted and headed to Tennessee to take a PMC Connection Certification I Course with Leslie Tieke. It was at that class that I made my first group of friends. There were five of us and we hailed from PA, TN and SC. We got along so well that we got together to take the Certification II class and some of us went back to Gatlinburg two more times for PMC Connection's Metal Clay Retreat.
I've made friends (both through being a student and having students) while in Florida. Sarah Triton (AKA Sarasota Sarah) taught a class in Photo Polymer Plate making which creates molds from drawings. My Florida students/friends hail from Canada and Maine.
Speaking of students, several of my students from my Transit Studio classes have become good friends that I get together with often........ Ginny and Deb! (Also it's nice to have a studio in a building that has 23 artists studios....... more friends.)
Joining a guild (I really needed to seek out others who were doing what I was doing) has really added to my growing list of metal clay friends. Through guild meetings and classes taught by leading artists in the metal clay field, it has been easy and fun to interact with others and make new friends.
And of course, I have my online metal clay friends like Zoe Nelson. (Who I was able to meet in person at the last PMC Conference.)
As mentioned in my previous post, I attended a couple of classes in Pittsburgh this weekend. One with Wanaree Tanner and one with Carol Scheftic. It was because of these classes that I added several new friends including Peyton Barrett. "Pete" came all the way from Canada to take these classes. She and her family are involved in metal clay, silkscreening, guided tours, jewelry making, teaching, and pewter casting among other things. We all really enjoyed having Pete in class as she was just as crazy as the rest of us.
Pete does cultural jewelry from Newfoundland and Labrador. She was so sweet and gave us all an Ulu (woman's knife ) pewter cast necklace that she made.
So............ to all my old and new metal clay friends...... looking forward to more good times!