Studio Time With Deb – Summer 2012

I am always in a quandary when I try to set a teaching schedule. On one hand, I LOVE to teach – on the other, I LOVE my alone time in my studio.

So in looking at the summer schedule, I have tried to reach a balance. Not teaching as much as I do during the school year, but still offering plenty of classes. I hope you find something that will fit into your schedule.

Note that I did open up a few additional classes in June – so they are coming up FAST!

    Friday, June 8
    Thursday, June 14
    Monday (two session class), June 11 & 18

Call me (760-744-8099) or email me to sign up for any of the classes!

What is Studio Time with Deb?

It is a time for four to six students to work in my studio space on whatever they want to work on. I will provide major tools (you should bring your hand tools) and my expertise to help you solve problems with pieces you are working on, answer questions you have about techniques you are puzzled about and to work with you on ideas you would like to explore. The format is casual. It helps me if you let me know ahead of time what you will be working on, I understand if you don’t make up your mind until the last minute!

I will take up to six students for each class, so the class size is very limited and instruction can be very personal.

When is Studio Time with Deb?

This is an expanded Summer Session since I am not teaching at West City Center. There are all day classes on Saturdays and Thursdays and evening classes on Mondays. There is also one class on Friday!

Saturday Studio Classes
All Saturday Studio Classes are from 9am to 4pm. The cost is $100 per day. Salad Bar Lunch is included.

Dates for Saturday Classes:

    July 7
    July 28
    August 4
    August 11
    August 18
    August 25

Monday Evening Classes
These are two-evening sessions. All evening classes are from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The cost is $85 per two evening session. No food is included with this class.

Dates for Monday Evening Classes:

    Session I: June 11 & June 18

    Session II: July 2 & July 9

    Session III: July 30 & August 6

    Session IV: August 20 & August 27

Thursday Studio Classes
All Thursday Studio Classes are from 10am to 5pm. The cost is $100 per day. Salad Bar Lunch is included.

Dates for Thursday Classes:

    June 14
    August 2
    August 9
    August 16
    August 23
    August 30

Friday Studio Class
Friday Studio Classes are from 10am to 5pm. The cost is $100 per day. Salad Bar Lunch is included.

Dates for Friday Classes:
June 8

Where is Studio Time with Deb?

At Deb’s Teaching Studio a bit north of Escondido.

Do I need to Bring Lunch?

NO! (for the all day classes). Lunch is included in the price of the class. A small salad bar will be served – so you can build your own salad plate as you wish and we will eat on the deck (weather permitting). If you prefer something other than salad, you DO need to bring a lunch!

No food is included for the Monday evening classes.

How Do I Sign Up?

Email me at: or call me at 760-744-8099.

I will take a maximum of six students per class!

Once you are contacted that you are one of the six in the class, payment is required in advance. I will send you a link to pay by credit card (through PayPal) or you can send a check to me to confirm your attendance. I will maintain a waiting list for the classes.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your participation in a class, you will be given credit to attend a future class provided you cancel at least 2 weeks prior to your scheduled class. Cancellation fee is $10.00. Your fee will be returned in full if Deb cancels the class.

Testing, Testing, Testing…..

The other day I was lecturing in class and I said something that was just plain wrong. And several students justifiably called me on it.

What I said was that if you make a round ring that fits your finger, you can make it any other shape and it will still fit. In hindsight, that was a really stupid statement! I mean, I know that if I take a ring that fits my finger and bend it into a star shape, it will not fit anymore – and obviously if I take that same ring and hammer it flat, it won’t fit, either.

So that got me to thinking. How far can I push the shape before it does make a difference in the shape?

I know from experience that if I am using the square ring mandrel or the trapezoid ring mandrel, I can make the ring to fit as if it would be round, shape it on any of those three shaped mandrels and it will fit the same. But what about flattening the top of the ring? How far can I push that before it no longer fits well or feels different than the round one?

What I decided to do is to test. Now I often tell students that they need to test things out before doing what ever it is on a final piece. And I often do just that – even though it’s hard to take the time to work on something that isn’t a “real” piece.

This is the documentation of that test:

1. I made seven blanks out of yellow brass – all the same size, same shape, and same length. I chose yellow brass because it wasn’t as likely to stretch as I was working it.

2. I soldered all the blanks into rings and shaped them all round. About the time I was shaping the sixth one, I thought it might have been a good idea to use a pipe and cut off sections….. oh, well….

3. I checked the size again once they were round to make sure they were the same size.

4. I left one round, made one square and one trapezoid on the mandrels I have. The question became how to accurately flatten different portions of the various other rings.


5. I used the circle divider sheets I have to mark the remaining rings at the following sections:

      • 1/8th of a circle (45°)


      • 1/6th of a circle (60°)


         • 1/4th of a circle (90°)

And left the last one as a spare (in case I messed something up or needed to do more testing).

6. Now the testing:

      • The 1/8th flat felt the same as the round


      • The 1/6th flat felt the same as the round


         • The 1/4 flat was difficult to get on, and felt very tight when it was on

7. So I decided that I needed to test between the 1/6th and the ¼ and chose to make the last blank a 1/5th flat (72°). It was noticeably snugger than the round, but not uncomfortable to wear.

What did I learn?

First, that I should think a bit more before I talk!

Secondly, that you really can move a ring quite a bit before it alters the way it fits a finger.

I do believe that while this experiment worked well for me on my fingers, it could have a very different result for other people’s fingers or even for different width bands on my fingers. I would guess (notice the equivocation) that a wider band is less forgiving than a narrow band… but that’s another test!



So I have finally decided that I need to take advantage of my technological world and start writing things down occasionally to share with my friends and family. This blog will be primarily about metalwork — but also about how my work affects my life. I will from time to time, talk about techniques, about projects I am working on and about frustrations I am having with them!

The name of this blog is “Catena d’Oro”. Literally meaning chain of gold. But also:

ca·te·na noun \kə-ˈtē-nə\
plural ca·te·nae or ca·te·nas

Definition of CATENA
: a connected series of related things

How can it get much better than that? This blog will be the vehicle to connect a series of related things, ie: things I want to write about.

I wanted to name another series of articles I did “Catena” but my editor at the time said it wasn’t a good idea to give something a name that you had to explain. But now I don’t have an editor – and I still like the name. So this is the first link in my chain of gold.

I am planning on writing occasionally, periodically, not infrequently. Which all means I don’t really have a schedule. I hope you enjoy following along.