When I was in college, I always dreamed about adding a Jewelry Making class onto my schedule. Like learning how to use silver and whatever other tools they used. But, no time/money for frivolous activities were allowed back in those days. After I got married, I used to make beaded necklaces, bracelets, and earrings to sell at local stores. But these were beads from Michaels and a sweet crazy hippie bead shop in Cedar City. I used to do lots of crafting before kids and with baby number three coming in less than a month, I've been feeling the need to create something. So when Local Artisan Collective contacted us about featuring them on The Salt Project, I was allllll over the jewelry class! So Melinda and I scheduled our date.
The Local Artisan Collective showcases artisan and crafters' work that is handmade by people who live or work in Weber County. They also hosts events, classes and provide an opportunity for artists to join a like-minded affordable community. They have glass blowing, painting, pottery, bookbinding and children's art classes! Check out their calendar and other classes here.
Rene, the teacher, is a 16th generation silversmith. His ancestor actually came over on Columbus' fourth journey and minted the first coin! The coin has been passed down through all the generations.
Rene also teaches classes at Weber State. I'm extremely tempted...but after this baby is born.
This is my dream picture...all sorts of random knick-knacks to be turned into something beautiful. Can you see the cut/melted fork?
On to the class.
Everyone was given their own desk and tools to work with.
Rene cut everyone's bracelet to length and width.
The copper was actually pulled from some kind of junkyard that had all sorts of different designs cut into it.Rene thinks they may have been some kind of printer press.
See the random designs on each bracelet?
Our first step was the hammer the copper flat in all directions. Who doesn't love to hit something? I found it quite fun. It's been a while since a swung a hammer, even if it's a tiny one.
After straightening, we were given files to round off the edges of the bracelets and the sharp edges.
Seriously, I love making things with my hands, especially when it requires a little more ooomph.
It was dirty work, but totally worth it.
Mikaela (From Indie Ogden) and her daughter Hunter (I want to say she was 9ish) were at the class too.
After all our filing was checked off by Rene, we had to come up with an inscription we wanted to hammer into our bracelets. Talk about pressure! I should have read the details and prepared myself. Melinda and I sat for a good 15 minutes trying to figure out what to say. Melinda ended up putting her family motto on hers.
Trying to figure out a saying was the toughest part. I actually put the phrase "Earth Mother" on the inside, but because of the random designs placed there previously, it was kind of hard to read.
After our inscriptions were placed it was time to buff our bracelets. Rene taught everyone how to buff/shine/cool off the bracelet.
In my true Utah fashion, I put this phrase on the outside.
After everything was buffed and shined, Rene hammered the bracelets into shape for our arms.
I feel like this photo above is a 90s intro to a show or something that needs lots of neon lines! How else do we show off our work? All five of us made unique and pretty sweet bracelets. It's kind of fun to see others inspirational inscriptions and designs.
Seriously, I LOVE getting my hands dirty. Nothing is more satisfying.
After class was done, we wandered through the gift shop. One of my FAVORITE reasons to shop is for handmade jewelry. My wedding ring was lost many years ago while slip 'n' sliding (are you even surprised.) Luckily, my husband had it insured, but instead of buying another diamond ring, I bought a bunch of handmade stacking rings with different stones that could be interchanged for a fraction of the cost. I haven't lost a single ring since then. Plus they still make ME SO HAPPY. It's also fun to add to them and have a story for each ring.
Rene showed us all his jewelry and different projects he's made.
I tried on a few rings...or maybe most of them. One ended up fitting just right and so I had to buy it. Rene's prices were actually extremely reasonable for handmade jewelry.
The shop really is amazing. There are so many different kinds of handmade goods and I love that they are all local to Weber County.
After class and shopping, we ended up at a cupcake shop, hanging out and we even made some new friends! If you are looking for a new hobby, date night, or maybe a girl's night, check out the Local Artisan Collective in Ogden! Seriously, you won't regret it. I'm already planning on going again to make a ring and learn how to blow glass!
The address shows up weird on Google, so if you get lost, they are across the street from Subway in the newer section. The address now currently takes you too far south in an old building.
Class took about 1.5 hours.
Mikaela brought her 9 year old and she seemed to do just fine. The only part they didn't let her do was the buffing.