The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Rio’s Winter Workshop 2013: Here’s Your Inspiration!

Jan 30, 2013

We’re in the midst of Rio’s Winter Workshop 2013, and it is, simply put, a feast for jewelry makers. Even a cornucopia!

A cornucopia of learning and creativity! Participants relishing in
the venerable Tim Sheriff’s Jewelry Making with Swanstrom Pliers

Sometimes we creative types starve if we don’t get out and mingle with other makers, or see a new landscape, or learn a new jewelry-making technique. As an artist, I understand that sometimes a feast is exactly what I need to boost myself out of a rut.

Charles Lewton Brain, master of fold-forming, inspiring makers on Monday afternoon.

This past Sunday, Rio Grande kicked off its third annual feast—I mean, its third annual Rio Winter Workshop—with classes in wax carving with Kate Wolf; soldering with Mark Nelson; fold-forming with Charles Lewton Brain; hydraulic forming with Phil Poirier; cold connections with Tim McCreight; CAD with David Swallow; and Swantstrom pliers with Tim Sheriff—and that’s just Sunday!

This is an all-star cast. It’s hard to put together a better group of instructors.

The list gets longer as the week goes on. Surface texturing with Lauren Tobey; plating with Pamela Engel; stone setting with Phil Scott and Scott Patrick; basic casting with Phil Scott and Gregg Burgard; and—be still my heart—cloisonné with Ricky Frank!

As I wandered through the classrooms with my camera on Monday afternoon, I felt the participants emitting a blue-hot flame of energy (not unlike the torches in the packed demonstration area in the lobby).  I felt the intense and happy spirit of I’m-so-glad-I-flew-1000-miles-to-be-here­-to-learn-how-to-use-a-Bonny-Doon-press.  I took my photos from afar as to not interrupt the sacred process of new knowledge, turned inspiration, turned jewelry.


A workshop participant lost in the creative process
in Kate Wolf’s Wax Carving class

Think you might need a feast in 2014? Check out this year's details and then plan to join us next year for Winter Workshop 2014!

Amy Cliser

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Comments (2)
  1. This is a great place to showcase your work, learn new techniques, and to make friends. The enter workshop! Thank you for sharing.
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  2. Jessica, you’re right! It’s a great place to learn many different things, especially during this special week, but also all year round! Check out the continually updated class list on the ‘learn with Rio’ tab at the top of And don’t forget that we have lots of great videos for free online. Just search on, say, soldering, and look at the videos tab. It’s a lot of fun!

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