Bead Fest Instructor Helen Driggs: Playing with Fire | Jewelry

Wilton Vinck

Helen Driggs is formally educated as an illustrator, but she started metalsmithing as a way of discovering a few-dimensional development. Helen has also discovered how to do lapidary do the job for most of the stones she makes use of in her metalwork. Her well-known column “Cool Instruments & Hip Tips” and online video library—Metalsmith Necessities: Fundamental Fabrication, Rivets & Chilly Connections, Equipment Finishing Jewelry, Textures & Patinas, and One particular Hour Rings—make her a common and sought-immediately after instructor. She will provide several lessons at Bead Fest, PA 2022. 

Helen Drigs ringmaking
Helen admits to staying an “absolute pyromaniac on a mission” and enjoys training “An Introduction to Soldering.”

1. What is your preferred procedure? What do you adore about it?  

My favored family members of metalwork tactics are elaborate cold connections – Rivets, Tabs, Slots and Folds, Components, and so on.  I enjoy the mental problem of figuring out how to hook up a variety of fragile or flammable blended-content sections with out the use of a torch. I do love to solder, nevertheless, and like all metalsmiths, I am an absolute pyromaniac on a mission. 

 2. Inform us about your favourite variety of material, ie. stone, bead, metallic, or other.  

My present-day enthusiasm is the considerate use of recycled and repurposed objects in jewelry. I like taking or acquiring aged or discarded items and supplying them a new existence as the most important figures in wearable jewelry art. I have a huge accumulation of previous things that I merge in new is effective. I am not a components snob, so to me, a gorgeous previous plastic button can be just as visually appropriate as a faceted gemstone when positioned in the “right” area in my operate.

 3. What is your ideal information for newbies?  

In no way at any time, ever give up. You will make function you are not satisfied with – everyone does. But you will have to not let that derail you. The only way to match what you envision in your intellect with what you generate with your arms is to make a whole lot of work. Test to generate a person factor for each 7 days and end it even if you loathe it, due to the fact that will instruct you determination and get your arms, coronary heart, and brain to understand to operate in unison.

Wire Jewelry by Helen Driggs
Helen’s class, Revolutionary Chains, One-way links, and Captures is an all-day supporter-favorite workshop.

4. What is your go-to supply of inspiration?  

I have an immense library. I adore my backyard, the beach front and thrift stores. The strangest matters will inspire me, so I check out to continue to keep an open up brain and just quietly observe the globe – mainly because I in no way know when an thought will hit. But, very normally the act of making work gives me extra suggestions, so I check out to do anything just about every day at my bench to make it possible for for that to transpire.  

5. Who are your jewellery generating or beading heroes?  

Ramon Puig Cuyas, Michael Boyd, John Paul Miller. Mary Lee Hu. I adore the modern jewelry remaining produced in Europe suitable now, specially the do the job from Barcelona and in Germany.  

6. Do you have a jewellery creating or creativity motto? 

LOL. My preferred point to say in my fabrication lessons is, “Let the observed do the work.” And in my wire courses, it’s “The 90-diploma bend is your friend.” 

Helen shares her appreciate for repurposing and cold connections in her Spoons and Shards workshop.

7. What are you performing on now?  

My bench is a incredibly hot mess proper now. I am lesson arranging for Bead Fest, and also for a 4-Day Chilly-Relationship Workshop I am training at Snow Farm in Oct. I’m preparing to instruct Silversmithing at summertime camp for tweens and teenagers, and I also web site and produce social media about jewelry resources and materials for the Gesswein Tool Enterprise, jewelry and gem trade show push releases for the JOGSShow, and a typical how-to column for the MJSA Journal. In my copious “free time,” I am also a licensed K-12 Substitute Teacher for my area faculty district.


Stick to Helen Driggs on Twitter @fabricationista and Instagram @hdriggs_fabricationista. You can also read her web site: materialsmithing.wordpress.com. 


Projects from Helen

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