Jewelry casting actually runs in my family, though I was the very last to try it. Both my mother and my older sister studied art and worked silver. Since I started out as a Musician, I didn't try my hand at making silver jewelry until I was in my thirties.
After trying a class in Jewelry Fabrication in Michigan at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association, a number of years later I happened upon classes in Silver Casting while on a trip to the Toledo Art Museum in Ohio. There I was fortunate enough to learn casting from Hans Ruebel, who is an excellent teacher. His calm demeanor, great patience and dry humor are a perfect mix for learning the potentially dangerous techniques of lost wax casting. He encourages his students a great deal and tailors classes to fit the needs of individuals. He is also open to new techniques and is enthusiastic about trying them. I can't thank him enough for his time and patience. I took the Jewelry Casting class four times, and learned new things in each session. I highly recommend any classes he teaches. Such positive learning environments are rare.
Since learning casting, I have set up a studio in the same stone cottage where I do my glass bead making. While I have recently had some difficulties with my equipment, (My Vulcanizer has a bad heating element and my Vacuum Table decided to take in some hot bronze in addition to its normal diet of air) things should be up and running soon.
(Cast from real broccoli)
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