by Erin Thursby
There’s something Zen about pounding a piece of metal with a hammer. It eases the sting of the world’s frustration. And by the time you’re done you might even have something useful.
In the back of Bead Here Now (1051 Park St, 475-0004), a bead shop in 5 Points, you’ll find the hidden Itty Bitty Smitty, where Robert Noelke pounds out copper bowls and works with metal. He has had experience in a large metal works company, but these days his work is more sculptural. The concept for his and artist Jay Shoots’ metalwork sculpture has been chosen to possibly go in the Town Center at Atlantic and Neptune Beach at the end of Atlantic Boulevard.
In his class I learn to anneal copper, to pound it into useful shapes, make it iridescent and, best of all, I get to use a blow torch. The other two classmates make a jewelry tray and a large copper bowl. I make an entirely decorative and non-functional piece that nevertheless looks pretty cool and eventually goes in my garden in front of a potted marigold.
Shannon Reeves holds classes in the front for the more intricate jewelry-making classes. Guests come in to teach other classes such as glass bead making, chain mail techniques (that’s right, you can make your very own chain mail purse after the class) and more. Class sizes are limited (sometimes only two people in a class) so you’ll get the attention you need. Check out their class schedule this month:
Sunday June 7 at 12:30 pm- 2:30 pm Copper Bowl with Robert Learn to anneal, texture, shape and patina. Investment: $50 includes material
Thursday June 11 at 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm Basic Wire with Shannon Learn to make wire links to create a bracelet. Investment: $20 + material
Thursday June 11 Bang Your Own Bangle with Robert Learn the basics of coppersmithing with techniques such as annealing, texturing, shaping and patina. Investment: $30 includes material
Sunday June 14 at 12:30 pm- 2:30 pm Beginning Soft Glass Bead Making with B Ashley of Riverside Art Glass. Investment: $50 includes material
Thursday June 18 at 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm Hammered Copper Earrings with Shannon Create a funky pair of hammered copper earrings. Learn to anneal, texture, shape and patina. Investment: $45 includes material
Sunday June 21 Comprehensive Copper with Robert In this class you will learn with copper sheet to create a masterpiece of your choice. We will learn the basics such as texturing, annealing, forging, shaping and patina. Ideas include masks, bowls or jewelry. Investment: $100 includes material
Thursday June 25 from 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm Basic Beading with Shannon Learn the basics to create a personalized necklace that reflects your true self. Investment: $15 + material
Thursday June 25 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm Silverware Bangle with Robert Choose from Robert’s selection or bring your own silverware to create a fun bangle. Investment: $30 includes material
Sunday June 28 at 12:30 pm-4 pm Copper Mask with Robert In this class you will create a unique copper mask. Bring some ideas and Robert will help you create. Investment: $75
Pound Out Your Troubles
by Erin Thursby