Ornamentea Class Review: They let me play with FIRE

Ornamentea Class Review: They let me play with FIRE

I donated cash to the Red Cross relief effort in OK – you can help too!

Look what I did this weekend!

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 I took the Stackable Bands class at Ornamentea in Raleigh, NC.
First off, what a cute little shop! I don’t really do jewelry much (OK, hardly ever), but I love the findings, hardware, and funky beads. I can see a million uses for all of their tiny little things in sculptures, for fiber embellishments, or even jewelry (ha!). The shop has a great local feel to it, is comfortable, and the folks there are super friendly. They had a lot of cute little sample projects that I recognized from the website and blog. I highly recommend my local friends get over there and my not local friends check out their website where they sell all these little things too!
Here’s some candid photos of my favorite shop things –
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Big wall of beautiful beads!
I didn’t buy any – now I have a reason to go back!
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Love the details, like book pages in the
background and sewing pattern wallpaper.


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All these lovely tiny things!
There’s a miniature crown dying to come out of here!
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See those paper mache moose heads over the door?
Yeah, me too!
On to the class, Stackable Bands.
Would I recommend this class? YES
Would I recommend the instructor? YES
Would I return for another class? YES
Summary: Great for beginners. GO GO GO!

I might have wanted to cry a bit when walking into this set up. You see – I don’t do fire, or metal, or very small things. I think I may have been as beginner as beginner gets! This is the year of no fear though so I decided to suck it up and give it a whirl.

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The instructor, Sarah Tector, gave us tons of info on the metals as well as the tools we were using in that class and why they were the most appropriate tools for the job. She dropped an overwhelming amount of knowledge that I may have forgotten almost as soon as I jotted it down.  Despite the volume of words, I think there is a very high value in hearing the terms associated with the craft to help make it more accessible for beginners, even if it is a bit more than I can take in 45 minutes or so.  Sarah showed us math for sizing with and without hammering and we were off making our rings and setting up the connecting joints.
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Now for the FIRE! I just love this picture of Sarah demoing the torch. The expression on the other student’s face is pretty much exactly how I felt and I’m sure I had a mirrored face!

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Sarah did an awesome job making it less intimidating and even convinced me I wasn’t going to burn down the cute little shop. It wasn’t long and I was off to the task of soldering.  To my surprise, it wasn’t that difficult. I can see this being something that just takes time to really understand the nuisances and be excellent at it, but it is also pretty forgiving. My joints came together ok without a lot of mess or obvious “I can see that’s wrong from across the room” errors.

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After they were all soldered, we cleaned them up then shaped and hammered them to a finish. I’ve made sure to wear them for the last few days and show no mercy in their care and feeding. They’ve been washed, dropped, stepped on, and pinched and are holding up pretty well. The silver ones are by far my favorite. The copper was fun, but I can really see some the newbie errors on those. I’m not sure if it because the silver is more forgiving or the thicker gauge tolerates newb overheating better. Of course, there’s always the simple fact that I just prefer silver.True test of a class – will I do it on my own? All I can say for sure is not right now. I have a zillion projects and a zillion collections of supplies for said projects. It is just not a good time to pick up a new passion and all of the associated peripherals.  In the future – probably. I don’t know that I would make rings again, but I can certainly think of ways to use custom findings, buttons, decorations, or other little metal things on fiber or sculpting projects. I am very glad I went and was exposed to something new and managed to be a grown up and not leave with a armload of new toys!

Sarah Tector
While you checking things out, be sure to stop by the instructor’s metalsmith work at stectormetals.com. I absolutely LOVE the superhero gallery. It’s so modern, artistic, and just a little bit geeky. Brilliant Sarah! I hope to get by one of Raleigh shops that sells her work in the near future to see it live and in person. I suspect I will be wholly impressed.



  1. Lovely! Sounds like a fun class, but like you say I wouldn’t want to spread myself too thin – I’m already anxious that I won’t have enough hours in this lifetime to do all the quilting I want to do, haha!!! Wear your rings with pride 🙂

    • I hear you! I wish I could pick something and just do that thing – but it will never happen with me. I’m always trying new things and checking out what other people are up to in the world. I keep telling myself that one day – it will lead to the mother of all multimedia projects! 🙂

  2. Enjoyed reading this. I will just wait for you to make me something nice. I am positive I would burn the entire city block down to ashes. Hahaha

    • heh Jerry, You just might be dangerous enough to actually burn something! Thanks for being awesome!

  3. That’s super neat! I don’t think I would ever try it, I just don’t feel the need to… but maybe in the future. Raleigh is only a 10 hour drive from here! LOL.

    • haha! If you change your mind, we’ll find you a place to sleep here! 😀

  4. ooh! I like this idea for sure…never tried making any jewelry…but I do love my BLING!! lol

    • It’s always fun to try a new medium. Never know what techniques might cross over. If you can get a little bling out of it too – double win! 🙂


What say you?