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  • Off to Class

    Fireman's name engraved on the back.

    Fireman's name engraved on the back.

    I sent this custom horse hair bracelet off a week or so ago.

    Oscar's name engraved on the front.

    Oscar's name engraved on the front.

    Hopefully by now the owner of Fireman and Oscar has it in her hands or on her arm. Her friend had this bracelet made after she lost both of these horses in one short month. Her friend wanted a memorial of the two and asked me to make the bracelet with the stainless steel nameplated engraved front and back with the horses’ names. Both horses’ tails are woven into this bracelet.

    The barn where she kept the horses also creates memorial stones for lost horses. The stones and bracelet arrived within days of each other so both could be presented at the same time to the owner. They were presented together so we’ll “only have her cry once,” her friend said.

    Here’s to Oscar and Fireman.

    On a lighter note, I’m off to class this weekend to learn metalsmithing with Doug Salmon. The class is through the Pennsylvania Guild of Crafters, and I’m hoping to come away with not only $175 worth of handmade jewelry (that’s the promise from the class literature), but also some new applications for my horse hair jewelry. I already have ideas brewing and hopefully we’ll cover ringmaking because I’m anxious to develop a horse hair ring using silver to protect the horse hair.

    Someone suggested I could encase the horse hair in resin to prevent wear and tear of the horse tail. Obviously this was not a horse person, for he didn’t understand that horse people would actually want to touch the horse hair.

    I realized this is only the second art/crafting class I’ve ever taken. Sure I had art class in school and learned a variety of crafts in Girl Scouts and from my mom. But last year’s Precious Metal Clay class was the first time I ever paid an expert to teach me something.

    Interesting, considering how many different classes I’ve taught. I taught basic jewelry making at Michaels craft store, horse hair work at local stores and porcupine quillwork at the Indian Museum. All these crafts (and many others I’ve tried) were self taught, requiring lots of trial and error to get it right.

    That was back in the day when I had seemingly endless amounts of time. Now, it’s great to have an expert show me in 2 days what I could take years trying to learn on my own. So off I go to burn up some silver (they’re not letting us near gold…too expensive these days!) and brass and copper. I’ll let you know how it goes.


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