Rio Grande’s annual Winter Workshop starts this Sunday, and we are busy setting up benches, cameras for close-ups of instructors’ work, Foredom® flex shafts, anvils, 3DESIGN® software–you name it! Don’t get me wrong, we’re still answering the phones, taking orders, boxing them up, and getting them on the truck, but now we’re also getting ready for a week of learning! It’s a transformation that our students say yields magic, and we can’t help but love that.
We’re always excited to greet our attendees, and this year they’re from 38 states and 7 countries, joining us right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from as far away as Chile, Japan, and Australia. They’re taking classes ranging from cloisonné enameling with master enamelist Ricky Frank, to wax carving with THE Kate Wolf, to CAD with 3DESIGN, taught by David Swallow, to jewelry business know-how with Marlene Richey and friends. It’s a literal who’s who of instructors!
During their time at Winter Workshop, participants will get a special behind-the-scenes look at Rio’s facilities. They will mingle and crowd around workbenches in the demonstration area, which will feature tools and techniques from JoolTool, Durston, Swanstrom, MIDAS® E-Coating and much more. The students will bond with each other over wonderful meals and exchange jewelry experiences and tips. And finally, when they’re ready, they’ll place their orders in our Will Call area and pack them into that extra suitcase they brought for this express reason. Then, they’ll carry their exciting new tools and supplies, a world of new knowledge, and a sense of satisfaction and inspiration, back home to make more jewelry.
That’s the Winter Workshop experience. And now, let the learning, mingling, eye-opening, ah-ha-ing, goal-reaching, and jewelry making begin! Readers, be sure to stop by The Studio next week as I post more Winter Workshop excitement.