PENDLETON — Diane Cravens of Pendleton said she’s made some simple jewelry for herself at home before, but the generous aunt said she took it to a new level on Sunday at Gallery 119.
“I had my niece with me. It was a birthday present for my niece,” she said, explaining how she and Cheyenne Beechboard, an eighth-grader, came to be in a four-hour Pendleton Artists Society jewelry class. “She makes bracelets and stuff, and we’d never done anything like that, so we just decided to try it.”
In the end, “I thought it turned out really nice,” Cravens said. “That was a neat, fun class.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery
Cravens was one of six people in the class, during which instructor Tracy Davidson taught participants how to make a gemstone ring. The class, which normally serves nine, was at capacity because of room size and social distancing requirements.
The class began by figuring each participant’s ring size, picking a gemstone to be set into the ring, and moving on to making the components of the ring — such as the band and bezel.
Davidson teaches several techniques, including forming, using 16-gauge sterling wire, and torch soldering, using jewelry solder wire.
The techniques can be challenging, Davidson said, explaining that precision is required for some of the processes to work.
“It takes quite a while to make sure those long stretches of (parallel wire that form most of the band are) perfectly straight and touching each other, for the solder to flow down between them and weld them,” she said.
Participants also make a bezel cup, which holds the stone, to precisely fit the stone they selected.
All the pieces are soldered together, a burnisher is used to harden the bezel around the stone, and the ring is placed into a mild acid solution called pickle to clean it.
“You end up with a one-of-a-kind” piece, she said.
Cravens, who chose a blue goldstone for her ring, said she was “very happy” with the class and the final product.
“It’s my first time making that type of jewelry,” she said. “I’ve never made a ring before.
“I’ve made just easy things, nothing hard, like this was hard,” she said. “You’d have to have all the equipment to make it with, so it wasn’t something easy to do.”
Carolyn Landmann of Anderson said Sunday was the first time she’s taken a class at Gallery 119; she said she was impressed by the instructor and pleased with the soldering experience.
“We soldered four or five different areas on the ring — you just really got a feel for it,” Landmann said.
She said she’s made jewelry before using various materials, including beading and metal, and wanted to try soldering before buying a setup for home use. The class convinced her to make that investment, she said.
Davidson is scheduled to teach a similar jewelry class at the gallery from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.
Landmann said she has already signed up for it.
Other upcoming classes at Gallery 119 include:
Oil Painting With Katy — 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a lunch break) Wednesday, Aug. 5. Instructor Katy Burke will instruct the class on painting “The Beach.” Class fee is $55, which includes all supplies. People using their own paints and brushes pay $45. A 20×16-inch canvas is provided.
Ceramic Pottery with Janae — 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27; or 10 a.m. to noon Fridays, Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28. A fifth date for each session is to be determined for glazing. Instructor Janae Ledbetter will teach participants how to create a ceramic lantern using various methods of pottery building. Cost is $80 for all sessions, supplies and two firings.
Watercolor With Judy — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a lunch break) on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Instructor Judy Crist will teach participants to paint an image of an old truck in the woods. Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and drink. Class fee is $50. Supply list can be found at PASgallery119.org/events.
Registration can be done at the gallery or by phone at 765-778-0986 during regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, or online at PASgallery119.org.