Metalsmith Chronicles: Part One

I truly can’t believe how fast time goes by! I have been screaming busy since my last blog. Sorry guys/gals! To make up for the fact that I appear to have abandoned you, I think I will blog today and tomorrow — to catch up and get into your good graces again! I will start with the teacher/workshop/classes front and then switch over to what’s been cooking on the day job front. BeadFest Spring was totally great, and thanks to all my students (and my sister) for coming, learning, helping and having fun. Some of you have even stayed in touch, sending me pictures of what you’ve been up to.

Check this out, an email from a great student who signed up for my class Rotary Tools: Advanced Techniques  at Bead Fest Spring, in April.


Nancy Oliver’s “De and Rekonstructd” Pendant


Hi Helen!  Thanks for a great
 Shaft class. I call this
Helen’s pendant De
 and Re-konsructd.
Ha ha.

– Nancy Oliver

I love it when students follow-up and send me photos of where they are headed after spending time with me. That’s the best part of teaching, and I always smile when it happens.
Teaching in a hotel or convention center is never easy, and I always suffer lots of anxiety hoping I remembered to bring all the tools and materials everybody needs to have a good time, learn what I hope they learn, and best of all have fun doing it. This year (so far) has been just a dream on the teaching front. It’s been so much fun there is probably a law against it somewhere! I am looking forward to BeadFest in August, and because I had such a grand time this Spring I went ahead and proposed 6 new classes for 2015, including a Two-Day Metals Intensive. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on those, so keep an eye on my “Teaching Dates” link (above) for updates…

The "Helen Driggs Portable Workbench" aka hunk of lumber and a C-Clamp...

The “Helen Driggs Portable Workbench” aka hunk of lumber and a C-Clamp…

Todays tip: Recently, I have developed a great workaround for anyone who intends to take classes in a convention center. Typically, those tables are not the easiest to work on because they are either too thick, have too thick a ledge, or are downright wobbly as a work surface.
All you need to combat this is a hunk of  4″ wide x 3/4″ pine board and a 6″ or 8″ C-Clamp. First, securely clamp the pine board to the table, so it extends like a diving board. Then, clamp your bench pin and flex shaft to the pine board, instead of the table. Works every time.
Here is a photo shot by Kitty (my most-excellent  Sister/Teacher’s Assistant) of me using this method of working in class. Not a bad solution for about 8 bucks!

So, that’s a quick one for the teaching updates, I promise I post a bit on other super-fun travel news shortly. Sorry for abandoning you all…







About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Teaching Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

One response to “Metalsmith Chronicles: Part One

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