“Reuse, Recycle…Enamel!”

Scrap copper
Scrap copper









What to do with all your scrap copper?……… Make jewelry, and then enamel it!

Learn how to make beautiful jewelry out of scrap copper in Enameling Class “Reuse, Recycle…Enameling!” September 12-14, 2014.

From scrap to finished jewelry
From scrap to finished jewelry

We will cover where to find scrap, including roofing copper, old copper tubing and other types,  how to clean and cut it to make pendants, and then we will go through the process of enameling step-by-step! With the high price of copper, it just makes sense to use scrap!

All materials and tools will be provided, so all you have to do is sign up, show up, and plan to learn a lot and have tons of fun doing it!

For more information or to register, visit the Folk School website:  www.folkschool.org

Visit my blog:  www.caldwellforge.blogspot.com

The Craft of Recycling: Finding a New Purpose

"Tallgaters Eat Their Young" by Mr. Jeff Menzer, created in Kim Joris' "The Art of ReUse: Working with Found Objects" (Jan 26-Feb 1, 2014)
“Tallgaters Eat Their Young” by Mr. Jeff Menzer, created in Kim Joris’ “The Art of ReUse: Working with Found Objects” (Jan 26-Feb 1, 2014)

Folk Art embraces a strong tradition of using everyday, readily available materials to build aesthetically beautiful, yet functional art: textiles, tools, and craft pieces made from the things we have, can forage, or acquire. Up-cycling, reuse, and recycling have captured our local and national attention. Reduce your carbon footprint and make a treasure to cherish for years to come. The Folk School offers many classes that incorporate the spirit of recycling. So open that junk drawer, dust off those sentimental knick-knacks and keep reading.

A fibula made by Tom Patterson using recycled bronze, silver and copper.
A fibula made by Tom Patterson using recycled bronze, silver and copper.

Jewelry Rehab
Join instructors Tom and Kay Patterson during Earth Week (April 20-26) for Beginning Jewelry-Basic Refabrication with a strong emphasis on using recycled and re-purposed materials. Tom and Kay provide comprehensive instruction in using the basic tools of jewelry-making: fabrication, forging, hot and cold connections, bench-top refining of metals, and foraging for raw materials. While this class is designed for beginners, experienced jewelers may take inspiration from a renewed look at the craft and materials. Tom and Kay are teaching a Weekend version of this class Nov. 14-16.

And speaking of Nov 14-16…

A whimsical sculpture made from an assortment of recycled plastics by David Edgar
A whimsical sculpture made from an assortment of recycled plastics by David Edgar

  Continue reading The Craft of Recycling: Finding a New Purpose

All About the Light: Glass Magic with Karen Reed

Karen teaches “Classical Stained Glass Panels” in the Jewelry Studio at the Folk School.

CP: Why do you like glass?

KR: Glass is a magical, magical, magical medium. Never a liquid or a solid, glass is always in between those two states of matter. Through heat, you can control its characteristics. I believe that there are endless possibilities in glass as a creative medium. It is a wonderful combination of “science meets art.” The way you see glass is all about the light.

CP: What made made you want to be a glass artist?

Bargello-inspired piece
Bargello-inspired piece

KR: I was into many crafts and I especially loved quilting – piecing things together. For Valentine’s Day in 1981, my husband gave me a pair of grozing pliers and a glass cutter and encouraged me to try glass. Working with glass filled my soul, so I started my love affair with cold glass techniques (like stained glass) etched under 1000 degrees.

From there I wanted to try it all, so I learned warm glass techniques (like fusing, fritting, and ground glass) and plastic glass which is glass at a temperature above 1650 degrees (like beading). Now I have been working and teaching glass for over 30 years. My studio out of Huntsville, AL is Earthstar Glass.

CP: What inspires you?

An example of Powder Painting by Karen Reed.
An example of Powder Painting achieving a watercolor look by Karen Reed.

KR: Creative challenges. I take inspiration from other media, like oil painting, watercolor, pastels, quilting, and think: “I would like to figure that out in glass.”

I also take technique driven inspiration from different cultures around the world, I get lost in a subject. For example, I look at Balinese Folk Art and wonder “how can I make that in glass?”

CP: Functional or Decorative?

KR: It’s a balance. As an independent studio we need to do functional work and custom pieces to fund our other more conceptual and creative pieces. My creative work is what goes in the galleries, the functional and smaller-sized work pays the bills. Small will sell better, but I love doing the big pieces.

CP: Who is your favorite glass artist?

KR: Harry Clarke (1889 -1931) a master of stained glass from Ireland.

CP: What’s the most meaningful piece you’ve ever made?


KR: The 57 fused glass panels for the chapel in Madison, AL. In 2012, I was commissioned by three siblings to create an installation piece in a hospital chapel to commemorate their parents. Because of a lead ban, you cannot put lead in a hospital, so the siblings had a hard time finding an artist to hire. I have been fusing glass over 25 years and was honored and delighted to be able to work on such a commission. I loved every second of it! They wanted something soothing, non-denominational and artistic with nature as a theme – a place of retreat for everyone to enjoy.

Continue reading All About the Light: Glass Magic with Karen Reed