Helen Driggs is formally educated as an illustrator, but she commenced metalsmithing as a way of discovering 3-dimensional construction. Helen has also realized how to do lapidary get the job done for most of the stones she employs in her metalwork. Her popular column “Cool Instruments & Hip Tips” and movie library—Metalsmith Essentials: Primary Fabrication, Rivets & Chilly Connections, Equipment Finishing Jewellery, Textures & Patinas, and Just one Hour Rings—make her a well-liked and sought-right after teacher. She will provide numerous lessons at Bead Fest, PA 2022.
1. What is your favored strategy? What do you adore about it?
My beloved family of metalwork approaches are complex chilly connections – Rivets, Tabs, Slots and Folds, Components, and so on. I really like the mental obstacle of figuring out how to link many delicate or flammable mixed-content areas with no the use of a torch. I do adore to solder, though, and like all metalsmiths, I am an complete pyromaniac on a mission.
2. Convey to us about your favored sort of substance, ie. stone, bead, metal, or other.
My present-day passion is the considerate use of recycled and repurposed objects in jewelry. I like using or acquiring previous or discarded things and giving them a new life as the key people in wearable jewelry artwork. I have a extensive accumulation of previous things that I merge in new functions. I am not a resources snob, so to me, a attractive old plastic button can be just as visually proper as a faceted gemstone when positioned in the “right” spot in my operate.
3. What is your very best information for newcomers?
Never ever, ever give up. You will make function you are not happy with – most people does. But you should not enable that derail you. The only way to match what you envision in your mind with what you produce with your palms is to make a great deal of work. Consider to produce a single detail per week and complete it even if you detest it, since that will educate you determination and get your fingers, heart, and head to learn to operate in unison.
4. What’s your go-to supply of inspiration?
I have an immense library. I enjoy my backyard garden, the seashore and thrift outlets. The strangest issues will inspire me, so I test to maintain an open thoughts and just quietly notice the planet – due to the fact I never ever know when an concept will strike. But, quite usually the act of building operate presents me a lot more strategies, so I check out to do a thing every single working day at my bench to enable for that to come about.
5. Who are your jewelry earning or beading heroes?
Ramon Puig Cuyas, Michael Boyd, John Paul Miller. Mary Lee Hu. I adore the up to date jewelry currently being made in Europe appropriate now, especially the work from Barcelona and in Germany.
6. Do you have a jewelry earning or creative imagination motto?
LOL. My favourite factor to say in my fabrication classes is, “Let the saw do the function.” And in my wire classes, it’s “The 90-diploma bend is your close friend.”
7. What are you performing on now?
My bench is a very hot mess ideal now. I am lesson scheduling for Bead Fest, and also for a 4-Day Chilly-Connection Workshop I am teaching at Snow Farm in Oct. I’m getting ready to instruct Silversmithing at summer months camp for tweens and teenagers, and I also weblog and generate social media about jewelry equipment and materials for the Gesswein Device Business, jewelry and gem trade clearly show push releases for the JOGSShow, and a standard how-to column for the MJSA Journal. In my copious “free time,” I am also a accredited K-12 Substitute Instructor for my local school district.
Observe Helen Driggs on Twitter @fabricationista and Instagram @hdriggs_fabricationista. You can also read her weblog: materialsmithing.wordpress.com.
Projects from Helen