Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club is up and running. Many new members are taking a variety of classes, including fused glass taught by Jan Meyers at the Cottonwood facility on Wednesday mornings. Open shop also is offered on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 a.m.-noon. Glass used is a special type that must have specific melting point and is carefully fired in ovens at the facilities. Designs are left up to the imagination and skill of the artists. Beautiful plates, mirrors, jewelry, lampshades and anything that can use a glass adornment are results.
I hope to do a more in-depth articles on this class in the future.
Next stop was the Oakwood facility checking the work of Mike Stegina and his collection of fetish bears. He has gone beyond the traditional shapes, adding details not often seen in other artists’ work using jasper, granite and locally acquired stones with colors ranging from deep reds to golden brown. The classes are normally held on Wednesday mornings and are presently filled up to March. As one of the popular hobbies, the Oakwood facility can become extremely busy. The bears are very popular as gifts. I have seen at least 10 disappear from my shelves at home, with my permission of course. It gives me great satisfaction to see my work on someone’s shelves. Fetish Bear is one of the most natural progressions from basic cabuchon class, along with handles fitted to magnifying glasses, letter openers and a variety of knife blades. Vic Herman teaches handle making skills at the Phase 1 facility on Monday mornings. His work has been on display in the cabinets at the Cottonwood dining hall several times.
The pictures of the wax figures on the wall at the Oakwood facility show just some of the many items that can be cast in the lost wax process. Other crafts include silver, lost wax, precious metal clay and wire wrapping, a skill that lends. itself to taking stones and glass to another level.
Field trips are taken to various locations to gather material from the desert for cutting and finishing. The possibilities are endless, and the plethora of rock and gem shows in the area from Quartzite to Mesa to Tucson offer the artists a selection of stones from around the globe.
Actual times and classes can be scheduled at the regular meeting at 10:00 a.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Phase 1 Navajo Room. Come and enjoy the display of the artists and sign up for classes. Cookies and refreshments are served. See you there!