Glass Elements

Recently, I took a break from the glass studio and took a wood jewelry class with Julia Harrison at Pratt Fine Arts Center. Julia carves and crafts intricate wood jewelry. I've been a fan of her work since we met at Pratt several years ago.  Her "Jewelry that Grows on Trees" class had been on my short list for quite a while, and I was happy to see this class offered on one of my open weekends.

I love trying out new techniques!  It gives me a chance to step away from my normal activities and stretch my artistic style. It is also humbling to pick up a new material and realize that, although the scale is the same, the tools and tricks I use everyday don't apply. Taking a class like this is the perfect way to clear my mind (and my hands) of preconceived notions and start from scratch. Come along with me as I learn a few new things... 

First up was becoming better friends with a hand saw and creating shapes that would hopefully match when I was done...

Cutting out wood jewelry shapes

A little extra practice and the help of a file helped create a few matching pairs of wood components...

Refining wood jewelry shapes

This took much longer than I anticipated and I must admit that I was dreaming of a mini power sander long before the components were complete!  I'm a huge fan of power tools...

The Joys of Wood Veneer

The most interesting project for me was learning how to work with wood veneer. Before this class, I never thought to work with it.

veneer-starters

Gluing multiple sheets and then slowly manipulating the bendy, but brittle, pieces over a bracelet mandrel took patience.

bending-veneer

We allowed the glue to set for 24 hrs, creating a surprisingly strong piece that could be carved up to create a clean design.

carving-the-bangle

A nice long time with a file to create a clean finish... and playing with a wood burning tool resulted in my favorite piece from the class:

veneer wood jewelry bangle

To Be Continued...

Taking this class was a fabulous way to get a taste of a new medium. Just from this short course and my love of wood in general, I know I'll be working with it again soon. 

Interested in seeing a few more photos from the class? Follow me on Instagram! What about you? What have you learned recently?

Written by Marja Huhta —

Comments

Lindsay Hartwell:

That sounds like a really fun class. I’m on the other side of the sound from Pratt. I am starting a jewelry business and want to work with wood and metal. This seems like a good place to start.

January 26, 2015

Marja Huhta:

It is definitely a great place to start, Lindsay! In addition to what I mentioned here, Julia demonstrated a myriad of other techniques. You will learn so much!

January 26, 2015

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

Glass Elements News

Let me be your Secret Santa 2016!

I have five (5) Glass Elements gifts to give away this year! Each is winter holiday related - either ornaments or snowflake pendants - and all a surprise, as I...

Celebrate Small Business Saturday and Save!

This Saturday, Nov 26, we want to celebrate Small Business Saturday with you! It's a special holiday created so communities can show love for small businesses like ours. And it...

Help My Mom Walk Again

 You may have noticed that there hasn't been as much activity here at Glass Elements in the past few months as you've come to expect. I was keeping the...

We promise to only send you good things.