Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Torres de Fundición (Foundry Towers)

It's fall again and the end of rainy season here in San Miguel, and it's still raining!  Usually by this time our rains have tapered off.  We’ll see how long it goes on.  The rains are a  good omen for many people including those who work the campo bringing in the crops,  and for people like me that keep a few bees.
I love to see the country side filling up with those fall wild flowers, and it's starting to happen again.  I am hoping for a good honey crop this year but you never know.
Foto by David Tarrant
One of the riches for those of us that are makers is sometimes giving hand made gifts to those people in our lives that make a difference.  Juan Lopez is a friend of mine that lives in the rural village of Mineral de Pozos here in my state of Guanajuato.  He is a humble farmer and wonderful mason that supports his family through the work he does.  Juan is the first one that introduced me to the details of apiculture by taking me with him to harvest honey from a wild bee hive.  The hive was located in one of the many open mines found in Pozos and the whole undertaking was quite a process.
In return for what Juan shared with me I decided to make him a great belt buckle, and knowing who it was going to and why I was making it made the creative process even more fun and inspiring!
The buckle has a brass backing plate a little over 1mm thick.  It is embellished with a bezel set piece of turquoise from Arizona, hand cut by my friend Kim Savora.  A small decorative antique piece of metal that came from an old hacienda, a decorative scroll of brass made to match the design of the belt.  The scroll is black, it has a hard permanent patina because it came from a plaque on an antique piano, and last but not least is a saltwater etched drawing on copper.
The copper etch is of the 3 foundry towers in Pozos that Juan knows well, located just a couple hundred yards from the plot of land he works and sews.

This last process of salt-water etching was first taught to me by my friend Kalaya Steede, it's great fun.  I am excited about having the opportunity to share this fascinating technique 
with my friends and students here in Mexico over the coming months by teaching 2 different workshops.  The first will be at Taller Tierra y Plata located in Mexico City, October 22 to 24, and the second at Mares 
Taller in Merida, Yucatan, November, 14 to 16.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 Buckle Workshop in Mexico

Now that all the holidays have passed it is time to plan that next vacation and get 
in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Buckle Workshop
August 23-25, 2013

by Jesse Bert

Discover the difference of being in an artists personal studio.  Where a small class size will assure one on one interaction with the instructor.

Start the day with a walk on old cobblestone streets, where you will experience being in another world that has changed very little over 400 years, to Jesse's studio which is located in the heart of San Miguel.

Here your adventure in the studio will begin.  You will learn to make appropriate finding of your desired size and soldering them to the backplate.  You will also learn how to texture, rivet, torch fire enamel, and give your piece depth by using a hydraulic press.  At the end of three days you will leave with one breathtaking buckle of your own creation!
The buckle pictured below is an example of all the techniques you will use in this class.  
by Jesse Bert
Hydraulic press
That is me with Jesse below making MY buckle last year in San Miguel.  It is kind of hard sawing while being watched.  Hahaha.  Go here to read about some of my great adventures south of the border last August.
Me and Jesse in his studio.
Wow!  Three days to create a buckle of your own design!
Sign up soon because class size is limited.

3 day workshop $375 (does not include lodging or airfare)
50% deposit of the total due is required at time of registration.  Full payment is due by July 26, 2013.  Please pay by check or I can arrange for payment using PayPal.  Just email me!

Kalaya Steede
New Orleans, LA 70115

Airfare and lodging is not included.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have.  Really...ANY concerns.