Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Class That’s Cheaper Than Therapy

Saturday, May 1, 2010
I missed my jewelry class the other night. Aside from the fact that I didn’t get to finish any of the bracelets or chains I’d been working on, not being there was really a drag. That’s because the class is not only fun and interesting – it’s therapeutic. We have a great eclectic group of students, and we kind of feed off each other, talking and laughing all evening.

The instructor is a brilliant jeweler whose stunning pieces are truly works of art and whose patience has nurtured hundreds of students. The few guys in attendance are a lot of fun. There’s the retired insurance exec who makes flawless rings, bracelets and pendants that could pass for David Yurman pieces – they’re that gorgeous. (And this guy never forgets a joke!) Another talented artist makes his living as a mortician, and his beautiful jewelry sells like crazy on the internet. Then there’s the attorney who makes fantastic pieces and whose specialty seems to be adorable sterling baby spoons. And we have a very talented autoworker who makes impressive gifts and commissioned pieces.

But the women students far outnumber the men. We represent a hodgepodge of backgrounds – teachers, nurses, a doctor, automotive, saleswomen, stay-at-home moms and a number of other lifestyles. Almost all of them have one thing in common – they’re artists who create amazing objects of beauty. And probably the most skilled is Mary, to whom I felt an instant connection.

Mary knows so much about metalsmithing that she teaches it at art centers, schools and other establishments. She sells her creations at several area art fairs and a few galleries and has even sold a few of my pieces. Because she’s so knowledgeable, she ends up spending a good portion of her class time teaching the rest of us how to do stuff. Just being around her as she works makes me want to produce more!

But perhaps the best thing about the group is the wicked sense of humor that seems to permeate the room. The bantering goes on all evening, and sometimes we laugh ‘til our guts ache. Because of the camaraderie, we help each other with projects and personal issues alike. We care about each other. And the energy in the studio is amazing! That’s why I can arrive feeling frazzled and worn out and leave renewed, like I could take on the world.

Yes, when I miss my jewelry class, I get really bummed out. It’s way cheaper than therapy, and those people fuel my soul!


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