Torch in hand, metal pieces were soldered together by students at the Arts Council in Rockingham on Wednesday.
This is one of many metal-smithing classes taught by Deb Guess, an artist resident who has modified books displayed at Arts Richmond on East Washington Street in downtown Rockingham. Her class lasted for many hours, with a break for lunch.
According to Guess, some of her students had taken intro classes before, some took them years ago and some were very experienced.
“They will leave with two to three jewelry pieces today,” said Guess on Wednesday, while students filed, bent and blasted metal pieces with a torch. “It’s about the process, not the product.”
Guess said her last class dealt with connecting metal pieces together while they were cold. This time the pieces are hot, and the process is elaborate.
Cutting, bending and heating metal pieces in a variety of ways, the students watched the metal transform from the torch to the cooling bucket. Guess helped her students with patience, and held metal in place under the flame while telling them what to look for.
Susan Perkins took the class. She is an art teacher at Richmond Senior High School, but said this class is for her personal enjoyment.
“This is a nice break for me,” said Perkins. “I will share some of this with my upper level students in my advanced classes.”
On Wednesday, Perkins got to be the student. She had some experience working with metal already. She has taken Guess’ classes at the Arts Council before, as well as at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
“I’ve been an art teacher for 30 years,” said Perkins. “I’ve been doing art all my life.”
Perkins enjoys various aspects of the project.
“I like making the links and pieces. It’s going to be for a necklace. I like putting the units together, and I like the textures and shapes. I like how one idea leads to another,” said Perkins. “It’s fun to be with other people and throw ideas at each other. And Deb is a very good instructor.”
The Arts Council will have more classes coming up. For more information, call 910-997-6008 or check out our Community Calendar for upcoming classes.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.