I really love how metal (silver, copper, etc) enhances fused glass. So you guessed it, I did a web search for metalsmithing instructors in Colorado. Guess who I found? The highly published and world-renowned Lexi Erickson. I do not just pick the first artist I find on the web I read their blogs and look at their work, which is what I did with Lexi.
As always I digress, so I found Lexi Erickson and learned she instructs right here in Colorado (Denver). She was also an archeologist! Lexi is a published artist, (Lapidary Journal) just like my other instructors (Tanya, David and Anne). I start reading Lexi’s blogs (all of them) and her articles with Jewelry Making Daily (all of them). BTW, if you have never read one of Lexi’s articles or blogs you should – they are so light and funny while at the same time being educational!
Anyway, after I read Lexi’s blogs and articles I was hooked! I emailed her, explaining I am a fused glass artist
and asked about taking a metalsmithing class. You would think a highly published, extremely gifted artist like Lexi would not want anything to do with little old me. NOT the case, Lexi is so outgoing and funny (reminds me of Tanya) and quickly agreed to give me a metalsmithing class. Again, I explain that I want to incorporate metalsmithing into my fused glass art; she assured me that it is not a problem. Lexi designs her silver around beautiful stones like jasper and explained metalsmithing works well with fused glass.
Because of our schedules, it took a few months to schedule the metalsmithing class with Lexi, but boy-howdy it was worth it.
Before we discuss the metalsmithing class, I have a couple of short stories. Lexi and I are corresponding through email to schedule the classes and I tell her I like this blog and that article. She asked me if I read the article on wubbers, I assured her I did, and that it was good and I loved the article about the making of her DVD – very funny.
After several articles, I realize I sound like a stocker and assure her I am just passionate about my fused glass and
not a stocker. I am not sure if she was scared or not, albeit we had the class so I guess she believed me. I also wrote a blog not too long ago about seeing the world through an artist’s eyes after reading one of her articles. During our metalsmithing class, I told her about the blog and she seemed happy that I enjoyed her articles and blogs so much.
Anyway, back on topic, when I showed up for metalsmithing class, at her Denver home studio, it was like we were old friends. Lexi is not only an awe-inspiring artist she is a superb person. She introduced me to another glass artist (Kat) and we just had a wonderful time. She taught me not only metal techniques including cutting, filing, shaping,
etc., silver and copper, designs, inspirations, marketing, pricing, and so many other areas of interest to an artist that I’m still processing all the information.
Moreover, I was able to see and touch some of her metal artwork along with some of the other pieces she has from other great artists that she has worked with and knows. I also was able to hold the vessels she got from David Haung – Stunning! Sorry it is difficult to stay on topic with talking about Lexi (similar to how I am with Tanya).
Here are some of my metalsmithing pieces, I am sure you are thinking the copper earrings look very simple but not really. I cut the circle (I’m using the term loosely here) by hand with a jeweler’s saw, then I hand filed, shaped, textured, dapped, buffed and stamped it. You would be shocked at how much work went into the copper earrings. My daughter loves hers and wears them all the time.
My next piece was my necklace. Lexi had asked me to bring in some of my fused glass pieces. I brought in my sun (reminds me of Madi). I really love my sun – the glass is an advanced fused glass pot melt process, which makes the glass look like a stone (which I have always loved). Lexi quickly informed me that was not a first piece for a metalsmithing artist, but thought I could handle the process. We designed the setting together; luckily for me it was abstract and was not suppose to be symmetric. I like the prongs even though they are not easy to get right. Again, I hand cut the shape of the base plate (only broke 1 saw blade – remember 2 fingers), hand filed and shaped it and
then textured it. I must tell you using a torch scares the $%^& out of me. Lexi figured that out pretty quickly and worked with me to reduce my fears, but it will take me a while to get use to fire so close to me!
I quickly scheduled my next metalsmithing class with Lexi. We created two different types of bezels for fused glass pendants. I think they are beautiful. One is patinaed with liver of sulfur and the other is textured and shiny. I like both looks. Let me know what you think.
Sadly, the only combined fused glass and silver pendant for sale is the textured sterling silver, which will be on my on my Elegant Fused Glass by Karen site by the end of the week.
My sincere appreciation to Lexi for spending her valuable time and sharing her metalsmithing knowledge with me.
Don’t forget to check out all my sites, Fused Glass by Karen, My Etsy store, my Art fire Store, my Pinterest, and my YouTube Channel.
If you have any questions please email me.