Dan and Allison kindly granted permission for me to post some pictures and the letter Dan wrote to me after they took back-to-back bracelet and ring workshops from me over the weekend. (March 5-6, 2005.) They flew into the area from out of state, specifically to take lessons from me, and we had a lot of fun. HERE is their website.
When describing my workshops, I've had to reassure people that they don't need a lot of sophisticated facilities, and this is a great example. Notice the tree, with some surgical clamps tied to it? That's all I need, to show someone how to create knotted jewelry: some place to tie up a clamp to hold the end of the wire.
This next picture shows one of them getting ready to poke some wire through a ring that is very close to being completed. You can see that the pathway has been opened with a small metal pin with a handle on it; she'll pull that out and put the wire through the opening it leaves.
Here are their hands, showing the bracelets they finished before, and one of the rings completed and being worn. Notice that the bracelets look different -- that is merely the result of stretching one of them out to be long and narrow, since both were made the same size originally.
This is the letter I received:
This past weekend was better than I could have possibly imagined. Your
instruction was fantastic, and I think your ability to craft precious metals
is rivalled only by your ability to impart those skills to others in a
enthusiastic and effective way. I know that I speak for Allison (who is
currently driving home at the moment) in saying that we had a wonderful
trip, visit with you, very productive class, and are even more excited about
working with precious metals than we already were - which is really saying
I also want you to know that you are one of the most talented craftsmen
I have met and it was very much our honor to spend time with you this
weekend. I feel somewhat selfish to have known that by rights you should
have been in the Tampa art festival this past weekend but I was glad that I
was able to have enjoyed so much of your time. I felt like much more than a
student around you; you made Aliison and I feel like welcome guests in your
home. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that, and for the intimate
tour of your passion for jewelry.
I hope to stay in touch with you and Allison and I will keep you posted
on how we progress over time. As for me, five years ago when I first started
learning how to make flutes I came to realize that it would be more than
just a hobby, and after this weekend I can tell that what you have taught me
this weekend has added a whole new tier of ability to other long-lasting
passions of mine and will be a great help to fulfill my ambitions. I enjoy
many things in life, but what you have taught me has enabled me to fuse
several interests of mine into a unique and enriching art form. As for
Allison, your enthusiasm for and comfort with working wires into works of
art has given her even more confidence in doing something she only ever
dreamed of doing until now. I'm not sure if I explained how she only started
making jewelry last month! I'm very proud of her and quite impressed with
how quickly she has advanced.
Not to be overly sappy, but once I read a quote "If I have seen farther
it is only because I have stood upon the shoulders of giants". And this
weekend, I have stood upon the shoulders of a true master. I knew the night
I first stumbled upon your website that you were gifted in making gorgeous
jewelry, and now I know that you are also a gifted teacher. Anyone that
posesses both traits is a true master in my book.