I’m here today to talk to you about a very serious topic. Exactly how cool is it that you can heat & fold metal kind of like origami? And then wear your creations?
I won’t leave you in suspense: it’s very cool.
Last year I got to take Wendy’s Fold Forming class at the Guild. I have no jewelry background at all, and had never used a jewelry torch before. So I was a little nervous! Fire? Metal? Hammers? I don’t know if that’s my jam. I’m a knitter!
It was incredibly fun, though. I learned how to use a torch, I learned how to swing a hammer ergonomically well. I made a cool bracelet and lots of samples. I have a huge appreciation of the process after trying my hand, and I came away with something lovely to decorate my hand.
There’s something really valuable for my creative life in stepping away and trying something new – something wildly different, even. Especially when the process is something like Fold Forming – fun and accessible, taught by an instructor who meets you at your own level and builds from there. I can refresh and relax my creative muscles.
What do you want students to take away from your classes? It’s nice seeing the people learn to see things from a different way. With the fold forming class I really want people to relax and have fun. A lot of times metalsmithing is very precise and time consuming. You have to do it one specific way. The fold forming I really try to make light – I still teach them how to do it correctly, but let them know that it will not always come out looking one way. There’s not just one way to do it. It’s mostly samples that you make, and you can get crazy with the overlapping, not worrying about “can I sell this when I’m done.”
What do students need to know before taking Fold Forming? There’s a lot of people who take it who have no or very little experience. It helps if you know how to use a torch, but if you’re just not afraid of the torch you’ll be fine.