Workshop Report: "Jewelry Narratives: Collecting to Casting" at Penland with Mary Hallam Pearse (June 10-22, 2018)

Workshop Report: "Jewelry Narratives: Collecting to Casting" at Penland with Mary Hallam Pearse (June 10-22, 2018)

Mary Hallam Pearse's class, Jewelry Narratives: Collecting to Casting at the Penland School of Crafts, just wrapped up its first of two weeks. Mary was kind enough to send us some photos of what's been happening in her class in between casting 4 days in a row every morning for 3-4 hours and then doing demos each afternoon. 

Class description:

Together we’ll tackle the conventions of jewelry while engaging with metal casting. Bring a small box of artifacts and ephemera—from found objects to photographs, clippings to stories. We’ll use these collections to generate ideas, forms, and meaning. We’ll cover centrifugal casting, wax working, hollow-form casting, plaster mold-making, and casting stones in place, plus all the basics from sawing to soldering. Although there will be finished pieces, the workshop will focus on developing narratives, exploring the meaning of jewelry and its relationship to the body, and the possibilities of casting metal. All skill levels. 
— Mary Hallam Pearse
 This is what the center work table often looks like at a casting workshop - covered in molds, samples, cast objects, wax, and books. (Awwww... it's CAST... thanks, Mary!) Photos below will zoom in on parts of this table.  Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

This is what the center work table often looks like at a casting workshop - covered in molds, samples, cast objects, wax, and books. (Awwww... it's CAST... thanks, Mary!) Photos below will zoom in on parts of this table.  Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

So far, the class has done plaster moldmaking, centrifugal casting, and induction vacuum casting. They've worked with carving wax, investment core casting to create hollow forms, patty cake silicone molds and water soluble wax for investment cores.

 Rolling out brown wax for a ring on a granite plate.  Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Rolling out brown wax for a ring on a granite plate.  Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 A variety of waxes. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

A variety of waxes. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Carving tools, repair/build-up wax, and Perfect Purple wax by Kerr.

Carving tools, repair/build-up wax, and Perfect Purple wax by Kerr.

 Molds. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Molds. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Molds and samples. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Molds and samples. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Wax samples. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Wax samples. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Mixing investment (high temperature plaster used for lost wax casting.) Investment molds go into a kiln, the wax is burned out leaving a cavity in the shape of the wax model, then molten metal is injected into the cavity using a centrifuge or vacuum casting machine. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Mixing investment (high temperature plaster used for lost wax casting.) Investment molds go into a kiln, the wax is burned out leaving a cavity in the shape of the wax model, then molten metal is injected into the cavity using a centrifuge or vacuum casting machine. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Kiln plan with weighed out metal for casting so that the right weight of raw metal is paired with the proper cylinder. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Kiln plan with weighed out metal for casting so that the right weight of raw metal is paired with the proper cylinder. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Centrifugal casting. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

Centrifugal casting. Photo courtesy of Mary Hallam Pearse.

 Vacuum casting machine (alternative to centrifugal casting)

Vacuum casting machine (alternative to centrifugal casting)

It looks like the class has covered a lot of ground in the first week. Big thanks to Mary for taking the time to document and send us these process photos - we can't wait to see more pics next week!

 Mary Hallam Pearse, "Chromeo," silver, aluminum, 23/4 x 21/4 x 1 inches.   Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mary Hallam Pearse, "Chromeo," silver, aluminum, 23/4 x 21/4 x 1 inches.   Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mary Hallam Pearse is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia; other teaching: University of Georgia Cortona Program (Italy), University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Anderson Ranch (CO), 92nd Street Y (NYC), Kent State University (OH); publications: Metalsmith, Ornament, 500 Rings and 500 Gemstone Jewels (both Lark Books).

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