Monday, November 8, 2010

CrafTECH celebrates the Graduation of the FOUNDATIONS Mega Class!

Saturday November 6, I believe we made online history with a 6-hour - totally interactive - totally live mega metal working workshop at CrafTECH University.  Not only was this a mega workshop - it was an international workshop as well with students representing Canada, Australia and the United States.

I wanted to keep this class small and personal, because the subject matter - metalworking - would be a little intense.  I had 5 very eager students....and one teacher (ME) who was praying that everything I had prepared dilligently for would go smoothly....and IT DID.  We had absolutely no streaming problems, no internet problems and just a TON OF FUN!!

Here's a write up from Robi, my Canadian student and what she thought of the class.  Robi is a watercolor and mixed media artist.  I'd invite you to visit her blog at   And a big thanks to Robi's husband for graciously letting her borrow his tools!!!!  Nothing like the feeling of some power tools in your hands - right ladies?

She writes:

I graduated!  On Saturday I participated in a 6 hour, online metal-working class at CrafTechU!  I had so much fun - more than I thought I would have.  I have never worked with metals before, or a wood block to hammer on, or stinky chemicals that would burn the hair off of a gorilla. (it wasn't really that bad).  Linda Peterson taught the class herself and she is an excellent online teacher.
I am sure that most of you don't really give it much thought, but teaching online is VERY different from teaching in person, and not everyone can do it successfully. I have been taking classes online for 3 years and Linda has been the best. The feed was clear and when extreme close-ups were necessary, Linda obliged and I could see the most minute detail.
Linda has obviously had much experience teaching and is a published author. Her artistic talents are vast and she clearly conveys all concepts. I was completely out of my element yet she made me feel confident, competent and excited about creating my own piece of jewellery.

I took several pictures of the experience because I wanted to share it with anyone curious or sceptical about the online learning process, and specifically with CrafTechU.

Laying out the items in the class kit (provided in the cost of the class) and getting ready
WARNING!!! Girl with hammer! Girl with hammer!

Giving my brass plate a bath in liver of sulphur -- YUMMMEEE. (not).  It wasn't stinky like the ammonia solution we also had to use.

Remember to wear your gloves!

The view from the seat at my worktable.  I had all my materials and hardware around me. The screen  has a whiteboard area where all pictures can be displayed, a chat box, a video screen, and also the capability to see everyone else who is on a web cam.

There is always the capability of going full-screen where the detail is excellent.

 One of the items provided in the class kit was a smaller piece of copper  (it's under and jutting out from the button and bead). Students who have a set of metal stamps, like alphabet stamps, were able to stamp a word into the metal.  Since I do not own metal stamps, I chose a few personal items to attach with copper wire.  I chose a vintage brass button and rose bead.  I threaded them and then wrapped them to the metal.

  Starting to assemble the necklace.

 One of my favourite pieces.  This is a broken drill bit (both pieces) wrapped in copper wire.  My darling husband was helping me drill and one piece of metal was thicker and won the battle with the drill bit.:(

    Right: my drill bits;Centre: a 'link of beads' that I chose to use as an attachment as opposed to a decorative link in the necklace chain; Left: button and bead charm. I used alcohol inks to enhance colours.

 This is the thick copper disk we couldn't make a hole in.  Our attempt left a divot on the lower left side so I glued a rose-coloured gem neatly inside. Without a hole to attach the wire I wrapped the wire around the top and through the hole -- still very pretty.  There was a pretty, straight copper bar that we didn't use in class so I chose to anneal, hammer, shape and wrap it.  

 Lots of wrapping.  I think I am now addicted to wrapping wire:) This is another situation where I had to adapt the necklace.  We ( and I say 'we' even though HE (my hubby) made one hole at the top of the plate (instead of at the bottom). I just had to wrap it a little differently. 

The 6 hours flew by. We had several breaks so the afternoon was most pleasurable.  I loved learning a new process and thank Linda Peterson very much for this wonderful opportunity. Thanks Linda!

Final tally:  
Times I had to alter the project:5
Times this posed a problem:0
Number of times I got my skin caught in the pliers: 4
Times I drew blood:1
Number of fingernails still black:2
Next class I'm taking at CrafTechU: 16 days:)

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