I became interested in enameling in the aftermath of a metalsmithing class I took, and went on Amazon to search for books. There I found what has turned out to be a perfect guide—Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire by Barbara Lewis. I worked with that book for a while, and then decided to get the “real deal”—a class with Barbara herself! By then she had relocated to her present spot in St. Pete’s at her wonderful Painting With Fire Studio. I contacted Barbara and she was able work with my dates in scheduling one of her immersion weekend workshops. It was a wonderful weekend! Barbara helped us find a great place to stay near her studio and got us special rates there as her students. Then that first evening she and her family hosted a dinner party for us and included our spouses! They are delightful people, and as it turns out, great cooks!
Perhaps more to the point, Barbara is an excellent teacher! She has a background in this area, is a certified PMC teacher as well, and had previously been teaching in the Maryland area at a community college there. Her experience as a teacher was evident throughout our classes. On the first day we learned the basic torch-fired technique, and in the process, created a very fun necklace which we wore to dinner that night! Barbara is a patient and thorough teacher. She had all the supplies we needed, and even was thoughtful enough to provide lunch for us that first day! The second day was the “dessert”! We learned to work with decals, cat whiskers, stamping techniques, enamel paints and more. We explored tools as well and got to try several specialty tools, a real plus. All in all, it was a truly excellent workshop and, that rarity, a chance to spend two days with wonderful people! Hats off, Barbara Lewis! And btw—is there a student reunion in our future? Fingers crossed!!
Additional comment: if you are not ready to take a workshop, but want to buy some ready-made pieces for yourself, or to include in a project, or if you need enamels and other jewelry-making supplies, this shop is a great resource for your enameling and jewelry-making needs!
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