Cape Gazette

Beach Beat

Heidi Lowe jewelry classes are a unique experience

By Billie Criswell | Aug 08, 2013
Photo by: Billie Criswell In the end everyone in the class went home with cute rings we'd made ourselves, each as unique as the individual who crafted them.

When I found out about the jewelry classes at Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, I was on board to give it a try. The class I attended focused on teaching the art of ring making.

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At first, I was a little bit intimidated. If you've seen the Heidi Lowe Gallery, then you know that she’s a pro. She makes beautiful, eye-catching works of art.

When I arrived at the studio and saw the tools I started to wonder if a person like me, who admittedly has trouble drawing a straight line, would be able to keep up with the pack. The class included four students with Lowe at the helm. As the class started and we measured our silver pieces to fit our fingers, Lowe showed us how to cut silver.

After cutting our pieces, she showed us how to carefully make the ends even by using a file. I was surprised at how quickly I picked it up. Once the filing was over it was time for the design portion. For me this was one of the highlights as well as the most creative part of the class. Because I was so concerned with making a cool ring, this was also one of the hardest aspects of the experience. There were so many great designs from which to choose.

The designs - including lettering - are imprinted onto the silver pieces (which will be made into rings) by lining them up and hitting them with a hammer. I engraved the inside of the ring and imprinted a heart design throughout...with that completed, it was time to shape it, fire it, cool it, reshape it and then polish it.

The variety of tools, including the torch, were thrilling to use. Everyone in the class, myself included, was able to use them with ease. Any time I had a question, Lowe was  there to help me and other students. She also has an assistant on hand to help.

In the end everyone in the class went home with cute rings we'd made ourselves, each as unique as the individual who crafted them. Not only was the class a ton of fun, but it was also a learning experience that unleashed a creative, design-oriented side.

The Heidi Lowe Gallery offers jewelry classes twice every Wednesday, one from noon to 3 p.m. and the other from 5 to 8 p.m. Some classes focus on ring design, like mine, others offer to teach how to make earrings, set a piece of beach glass in a pendant, or set a stone. Classes are $100 and are all inclusive.

If you're looking for something truly fun and inspiring to do on your vacation, or as a local, stop into Heidi Lowe Gallery and sign up for one of her classes. For more information visit the gallery at 328 Rehoboth Ave, or call 227-9203.

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