The Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Silver Club meeting notice

A candid photograph of Dick Thiel making a mold for a class.

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Dick Thiel, currently our Lost Wax Chair, has been chair of Lost Wax off and on for the more than 20 years that he has been a club member. Dick and Larry Portschi teach and/or monitor Lost Wax every Tuesday morning at our Oakwood shop. Dick was well prepared for this hobby when he and his wife retired to Sun Lakes, having worked most of his career as a design engineer in a foundry in Buffalo, NY.

Here’s something about us: Our club is one of the oldest and friendliest clubs in Sun Lakes. We welcome new members that are complete novices to experienced artists. Our club member-volunteers teach people who have never been handy how to make jewelry and art objects they are proud to wear and show. Qualified members can use all of our workshops that are located in each of the three phases. Our club provides novice through expert craft classes. In addition, for those with basic experience to senior crafts-persons, we offer year-round, open shop hours to pursue personal projects in a safe, friendly environment. Our open shop monitors are available to answer questions and instruct proper use of shop equipment. You will find our shops as well or better equipped than any in the area; all are air-conditioned in summer. All of the crafts that we offer are listed on our website at We also provide informative pamphlets in each of our shops that are free to interested people. These pamphlets list the crafts that we offer and additional information about our club. Some of the more popular crafts we offer are lapidary; silversmithing; Lost Wax; wire wrapping; beading; faceting; as well as Precious Metal Clay (PMC) where clay-like materials are formed, kiln-fired and become metal art or jewelry. PMC work is done in silver and base metals such as copper and bronze.

For socials, our club has an annual appreciation luncheon for our volunteers; we will have our Christmas/Chanukkah party in December; and we have an annual club picnic each spring. Our members and guests always have good times at these events; over 80 members and guests attended our Christmas/Chanukkah party last December.

To learn more about our club please come to our meetings. Our club is open to all Sun Lakes residents. We welcome and encourage guests at our meetings. We meet at 10:30 a.m. for our general meetings on the third Monday of every month (October through April). We gather before each meeting at 10:00 a.m. for coffee, cookies and socializing. We have sign-up sheets and examples of what will be made for up-coming classes. We also have a silent auction with good deals on donated supplies and equipment.

Our next meeting will be Monday, December 15 at the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room. We hope to see you there.