Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ask Auntie EM - Where do EtsyMetal members teach?

Hae you heard about the new weekly blog post called "Ask Auntie EM"? Ann Hartley of Hartleystudio and, Sue Szabo of lsueszabo , will be answering YOUR questions in a weekly post we are calling "Ask Auntie EM". EtsyMetal has over 100 members with vast amounts of knowledge and far reaching interests and capabilities. We figured if we couldn't answer your questions...someone on the team could! "What can we ask?" Great question! Ask anything! Metalsmithing, enameling, raising, stone setting, cooking, childcare, travel...you got a question, we probably have an answer! Email your questions to askauntie@etsymetal.com and YOUR question might get answered next week!

This week's question comes from an Anonymous reader:

I was wondering if any Etsy Metal artists ever take on apprentices? I think it would be cool/interesting if a part of the website or blog was dedicated to people in Etsy Metal who wouldn't mind taking on an apprentice (paid/unpaid whichever). Or if any of them teach classes, I would be interested in that as well.
Well, anonymous, ask and you shall receive! It turns out that SEVERAL of our members teach classes around the country and some are seeking apprentices.

Michele Grady has been teaching silver smithing classes and wire working workshops at Creative Genius Art Gallery & Studio in Medford, NJ for the past 7 years. In Feb 2012 she will be teaching a new workshop along with gallery owner Julie Basello-Holt called "Fine Crafts 101". This is both the artist and gallery owner perspective on how to get started selling your work.

To see what classes/workshops are curently being offered: www.MicheleGrady.com

Michele would love to take on a part time apprentice to help her with the classes/workshops, shows and some of my every day studio work/business. If interested and qualified, you can contact Michele at

Rachael Sudlow teaches weekly classes at the Lawrence Arts Center here in Lawrence, KS. Rachael has one studio assistant who usually helps out, and often mentors the more advanced students one on one in class.

In the Chicago area? Alisa Miller teaches at Lill Street Art Center in Chicago. For the interim winter quarter, she is teaching a beginning class about making pendants. Starting in January, she will be teaching Beginning metalsmithing, a found object jewelry class, and a class about decorative rivets.

Mark Kaplan lives in Providence, RI and recently taught at class at The East Providence Public Library, Riverside Branch on "Selling your Artwork on Etsy". This class was open to anyone wishing to open and run a shop on Etsy. Mark is now mentoring several of his students on the in's and out's of selling on Etsy. If you're in the Providence area and would like to attend one of Mark's lectures, please contact Mark through his Etsy shop.

Caitlyn Davey is located in upstate NY (Delaware County, town of Hamden).
She is currently accepting students for one on one metalsmithing classes in her studio. (soldering, piercing, other hand tools) and will be offering casting lessons or a class next spring. Please contact Caitlyn through her Etsy shop.

Lastly, one of our members, Kerin Rose, pointed us in the direction of this wonderful website:


that hooks up potential apprentices with a mentor in their area. It's an excellent resource for those who aren't fortunate enough to live in the same city as an EtsyMetal member who teaches!

So, there you have it! I will continue to update this post with more information as it becomes available.

No EtsyMetal member in your area? Never fear, there are lots of local fine jewelry stores that will take on apprentices. Look for jewelry stores who do all their repair on site and don't expect to start out at the bench right away. In most cases, you will start at the bottom of the ladder, probably as a polisher. Your pay will be terrible and the work isn't much better. Never fear, however, because you will learn so much and, soon, you will be at the bench learning all kinds of new stuff! And, you'll be a crack polisher!

No jewelry stores hiring in your area? Try local art centers and community colleges. Many still teach metalsmithing courses. None of them either? You can always turn to YouTube, which is an excellent resource for metalworking videos. Our own blog has a section for tutorials that can be very helpful as well. If worse comes to worse, you can always travel to attend classes at Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont or any of a number of schools that teach Fine Craft. Metalsmith magazine is a good resource for finding a school like this in your area.

Thanks for asking, Anonymous!! Do YOU have a question? Please email your question to askauntie@etsymetal.com Too shy to ask in comments? We understand...you can also contact Auntie EM through Sue Szabo's Etsy shop or Ann Hartley's Etsy shop!

Thanks for checking in this week! We'll see you back here next Tuesday. Maybe we will answer your question next week!!


Anonymous said...

I have a question on getting a nice polish on sterling. I mostly patina the metal but every now and then I want to have a high polish - particularly on a large flat piece. Here's what I do. I sand the metal at 90 degress from 320 to 600, sometimes 1500. I wash the metal. After that, I use a felt buff (I think it's a medium) on my flex shaft with tripoli. I then wash the metal with a soft brush and dawn. Then I use Graystar, again with a felt (medium) buff. I clean the metal. Then I use rouge with a muslin buff. Clean. The problem is that as soon as I use the tripoli, I see "tracks" on the metal where the buff was. I try using the buff in one direction with the Tripoli and at a 90 degree direction with the Graystar, but when I rouge, again, I see these tracks. It causes the metal to look "foggy" in those areas. What am I doing wrong? Is it my buffs that's causing this?

Ann Hartley said...

That's a great question! I will get to that very soon!

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