Bead Fest Instructor Helen Driggs: Playing with Fire | Jewelry


Helen Driggs is formally educated as an illustrator, but she started metalsmithing as a way of discovering three-dimensional building. Helen has also figured out how to do lapidary get the job done for most of the stones she takes advantage of in her metalwork. Her common column “Cool Resources & Hip Tips” and video library—Metalsmith Essentials: Fundamental Fabrication, Rivets & Cold Connections, Device Finishing Jewelry, Textures & Patinas, and Just one Hour Rings—make her a well-known and sought-just after instructor. She will give a number of lessons at Bead Fest, PA 2022. 

Helen Drigs ringmaking
Helen admits to currently being an “absolute pyromaniac on a mission” and enjoys teaching “An Introduction to Soldering.”

1. What’s your most loved method? What do you love about it?  

My preferred relatives of metalwork techniques are elaborate cold connections – Rivets, Tabs, Slots and Folds, Components, etcetera.  I really like the mental problem of figuring out how to join different sensitive or flammable combined-substance pieces with out the use of a torch. I do really like to solder, although, and like all metalsmiths, I am an complete pyromaniac on a mission. 

 2. Explain to us about your favourite type of content, ie. stone, bead, steel, or other.  

My current passion is the considerate use of recycled and repurposed objects in jewellery. I like taking or finding aged or discarded things and providing them a new existence as the primary figures in wearable jewellery artwork. I have a broad accumulation of aged stuff that I mix in new performs. I am not a components snob, so to me, a beautiful old plastic button can be just as visually proper as a faceted gemstone when positioned in the “right” location in my do the job.

 3. What is your very best tips for novices?  

Never at any time, ever give up. You will make perform you are not happy with – every person does. But you have to not allow that derail you. The only way to match what you visualize in your mind with what you make with your hands is to make a whole lot of do the job. Check out to make one particular thing per week and complete it even if you despise it, for the reason that that will teach you dedication and get your palms, coronary heart, and brain to understand to operate in unison.

Wire Jewelry by Helen Driggs
Helen’s class, Innovative Chains, Back links, and Captures is an all-working day supporter-beloved workshop.

4. What is your go-to supply of inspiration?  

I have an huge library. I enjoy my back garden, the beach and thrift retailers. The strangest factors will encourage me, so I consider to preserve an open head and just quietly notice the earth – simply because I in no way know when an thought will strike. But, incredibly generally the act of earning work gives me much more concepts, so I try out to do one thing each individual day at my bench to make it possible for for that to come about.  

5. Who are your jewellery making or beading heroes?  

Ramon Puig Cuyas, Michael Boyd, John Paul Miller. Mary Lee Hu. I adore the modern jewelry remaining built in Europe right now, especially the function from Barcelona and in Germany.  

6. Do you have a jewellery producing or creativity motto? 

LOL. My beloved thing to say in my fabrication classes is, “Let the observed do the perform.” And in my wire lessons, it is “The 90-degree bend is your mate.” 

Helen shares her really like for repurposing and chilly connections in her Spoons and Shards workshop.

7. What are you functioning on now?  

My bench is a incredibly hot mess correct now. I am lesson setting up for Bead Fest, and also for a 4-Day Cold-Relationship Workshop I am educating at Snow Farm in Oct. I’m preparing to teach Silversmithing at summertime camp for tweens and teenagers, and I also blog site and write social media about jewelry resources and materials for the Gesswein Resource Company, jewelry and gem trade clearly show push releases for the JOGSShow, and a standard how-to column for the MJSA Journal. In my copious “free time,” I am also a qualified K-12 Substitute Teacher for my local school district.


Comply with Helen Driggs on Twitter @fabricationista and Instagram @hdriggs_fabricationista. You can also browse her website: materialsmithing.wordpress.com


Projects from Helen



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