That’s the first question you’ll want to think about when you join the Sun Lakes Rock, Gem & Silver Club. Will it be a ring? A bracelet? A necklace? A pendant? A belt buckle? A fetish bear? A stained glass? Earrings? Gourds? Precious metal clay? Maybe some stringing of beads or wire wrap jewelry?
After you determine what you want to make, you’ll need to decide which of our 27 classes to take so as to learn the processes involved.
Lapidary: Many of our newcomers like the class Lapidary 1 where you’ll learn to cut “rough” into slabs and then into cabochons from which to feature in your own jewelry creations. Or, Lapidary 2 to learn how to form the Native American design of fetish bears. Another lapidary class is Stone Handles where you’ll cut and polish your selected stone for a letter opener handle. Other classes under the Lapidary banner are Minerals & Mineral I.D and Rocks & Rock I.D., and after you’ve learned all about minerals and rocks, you’ll want to go out on a field trip to gather your own collection. Opals and Faceting round out the eight different classes available within the Lapidary category.
Silver: Also in demand are the Silver 1 and 2 classes where you will learn how to solder sterling silver in the making of “bezels” on “plate silver” to form rings, bracelets and pendants. Or maybe you’ll want to try Lost Wax 1 and 2 which show you how to create your design from a wax model into a mold and finally into a “casting” from the molten metal. Another very popular class is Silver Wire where you’ll be taught how to “weave” strands of wire into your very own bracelet. Also offered is an Inlay class where you’ll cut and polish semi-precious stones to fit into specific openings in a sterling silver ring or bracelet. Copper is also offered as a crafting class. Precious Metal Clay, i.e., PMC 1 and PMC 2, offers the easiest method of forming sterling silver jewelry. PMC is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silver, gold, bronze or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelry. It can be shaped just like any soft clay. After drying, the clay is “fired” in a kiln where the binder burns away, leaving the pure metal.
Glass: Here the club offers three separate classes: Stained Glass, Dichroic Glass and Fused Glass, all of which are entertaining methods to create wonderful glass projects.
Creative Crafts: In this category, the club also offers three fun classes: Gourds, Beading and Wire Wrap Jewelry.
Overall, the club teaches beginners, intermediates and advanced students via an enjoyable experience in the creative processes described above. See it all by coming to our first 2019 meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 21, in the Navajo Room of the Sun Lakes Country Club.