Little: Poetics of the Found-Object
a workshop of exploration and construction
The materials we use for creative expression can be found literally
at our feet.
Join noted American art jeweler Keith Lo Bue on an energetic exploration
of unusual and unexpected materials in jewelry making. Through hands-on
projects and thought-provoking instruction, students will learn the
varied methods of selection and assembly this limitless palette demands.
No previous jewelry experience is required; all that’s needed
is enthusiasm and the desire to
work with your hands. Whatever your present focus or skill level,
you will come away with new insights
into the possibilities of your surroundings.
The list below contains things you will be certainly using
in the workshop, and to avoid having to wait for a communal tool to
become available, you should plan on getting them for the class. Where possible, I have provided links to the items as available from Amazon, so you can purchase more supplies at once.
• a small power drill <here> If you already own a power drill, corded or cordless, bring that so you don't buy another (as long as it has an adjustable chuck on the end, rather than the hexagonal 'quick-change' tip). But in the last few years battery technology has allowed this new generation of compact drills to emerge. The one I've linked to is very inexpensive and it will be a wonderful tool for working with - well worth the expense! If you simply can't afford it, in a pinch you can even use a hand-crank manual drill, such as the Fiskars model, seen here.
a small hammer <here>
a pair of lineman's pliers (a new, cheap and SUPERB pair can be found <here>
a round-nose (an appropriate one for the class can be found <here>), and a flat-nose <here>. I sell a large round-nose plier in my workshops, so that's an option.
•Hard-wire shear cutter <here>
a small jewelry plier with a serrated edge on the inside (gripping
standard steel drill bit set <here>
extra 1/16" drill bit <here>
'Re-bar tie wire' <here> (also found in most hardware stores
in the construction materials section, near the cinder block and chain-link
fencing. IMPORTANT: make sure it is steel or iron wire, NOT galvanized!...it
should be dark grey-black). If you are travelling light, snip off about
1/2 of the roll which should be plenty. No need to bring the whole
• roll of 19 guage 'dark annealed' steel wire: <here>
spring-loaded, or 'automatic' center punch. Perfect one <here> or I'll have them to sell in class.
fine (0000) steel wool (find it in a paint-supply section of a hardware
store), or better yet, this brilliant new synthetic steel wool pad by 3M <here>
2 bar clamps - a mini <here> and a micro <here>.
• Lightweight water-based Polyurethane VARNISHES:
Here are nice small bottles of a brand I have used and works perfectly for our purposes: Glossy - <here>; and Matte - <here>.
Delta Ceramcoat is also available at many craft-supply stores like Michael's, etc.
brand KWIK-SEAL Kitchen & Bath caulk- CLEAR:
<here>. This is crucial for the class!
FOR PRECIOUS LITTLE WORKSHOPS THAT ARE THREE DAYS LONG OR MORE:
saw (get a 'deep' one, ideally with 5" to 6" 'throat' <here>
Jeweler's saw blades (an inexpensive assortment like <this> is perfect for the class)
bench pin <here>
small table bench vise <here> DON'T bring the kind that swivel on a ball-joint (hobby/light-use), or a hollow construction vice - the one you'll need has to be similar in design to the one pictured.
Flush-cutting pliers. An
absolutely BRILLIANT pair of flush-cutters can be found <here>. They cost around $29. If
you cut wire with any frequency, these are more than worth the money.
I covet my pair, which I paid way too much for ($70!), but even so,
I wouldn't give them up for anything. However, if you want a cheaper
alternative ($17), these will do - <here>
The tools below are not required for the class;
they're helpful, so don't run out and buy them all. They would
facilitate you to go in many directions with your work. Bring what you
have, and call the workshop venue to check and see if they have
some of these things on hand. Some studios are very well equipped, and
some rely on students bringing what they need.
wire (not galvanized)
tin-snips or metal shears
jeweller's saw (a nice thing to have if you don't yet...preferably
a deep 'throated' one)
circle / geometric templates
masking / scotch tape
And any tools particular to a media you are conversant
in...if you're a book artist, bring materials for binding, etc., painters
bring your paints and sketchbooks...and those who've never ventured
out into creative waters bring some junk and an open mind!
IDEAS FOR RAW MATERIAL TO BRING:
sheet metal stock
electronics / machine parts
broken cameras or appliances
small scraps of wood or small readymade found boxes
books to use for collaging (bring a few really old ones: pre-1910 -
if you've got them, as I'll demonstrate some great things to do with
personal effects or memorabilia
eyeglasses or magnifying glasses
interesting old pencils or pens
artifacts: religious or secular
Get the picture?
The list could go on forever, because nothing you bring CAN'T be used!
It's really a list to perhaps spark some inspiration on
your end for what to pack. Any small objects that you find interesting
for any ole reason should be brought.
RESOURCES FOR OBJECTS:
junk / antique shops
scrap metal yards
antique / ephemera fairs
art / craft supply stores
FREESOURCES FOR OBJECTS:
woods (bush to the Commonwealthers!)
dumpsters (only for the strong-stomached)
look forward to a wild ride of exchange and creation with you all.
A note to students in a Precious Little workshop that is over 3 days long: As
we share these days together, I invite you to bring slides and/or
actual examples of your own work to share with each other, if you have
them...this exchange heightens the creative energy and will enable you
and I to personalize your own approach to the found material arena.
Please email me with
any questions you might have that this page didn't address.
See you there! Keith