La Ruche Davis

About La Ruche Davis Teaching Studio

La Ruche Davis is an extension of Ann Davis Studio located on the outskirts of Washington DC in Northern Virginia, 15 minutes from Washington Reagan National Airport, only two minutes from elegant, inexpensive hotels and conveniently near many restaurants. Our spacious sunlit classroom is devoted to providing a nurturing setting for artistic growth and exchange of techniques and ideas.

The original La Ruche ("The Beehive") was located on the outskirts of Paris, where it became a bustling nexus for many of the early 20th century's leading artists, including Chagall, Leger, Modigliani, and Apollinaire.

La Ruche Davis offers a variety of contemporary art jewelry classes from beginners' workshops to a Visiting Artist Masters Program that brings in some of the most accomplished artists in their field.

Note: To ensure the highest quality learning experience, class sizes are kept small - typically ten students or less.

Workshop Policies

Class Registration
Full payment is required to secure placement in any class. Class registration is taken on a first-come basis. Workshops registration fees are non-refundable. Credit towards another future class will be given if student cancellation is made 60 days in advance of workshop date. If you cannot make the workshop you may instead send a qualified substitute who agrees to accept our liability waiver in writing, after notifying the Studio. If minimum enrollment is not met, or if the instructor is unable to teach the class, the class will be canceled. Students will be notified in advance, by email, and a full refund will will be issued.

Waivers and Safety
All students must be at least 18 years old. In registering for a class, you agree to exercise responsible caution near and around kilns and other jewelry making equipment, and you waive any liability to the Studio for any injury you may cause yourself while on the premises.

To Book
Contact Ann for inquiries on upcoming classes, or visit our store to purchase and secure your spot.


 

PAST CLASSES

Joy Funnell | May 16-17, 2015

CHAIN SAMPLER WORKSHOP

Chain making is fun, but does require a bit of patience! in this one day workshop we will explore a variety of techniques for making chain links using silver wire, silver clay, and a combination of the two. You will make a selection of different links so you go away armed with the techniques to create your very own unique chains. From creating in metal clay and soldering wire, to bashing things with a hammer, this will be a fun and varied day. And if you don't like working with tiny elements just bring more materials with you and make larger links!

Joy is also a Senior Editor with Metal Clay Artist Magazine, and has been a committed participant in various annual challenges. This year she is taking part in the Weekly Critter Challenge. Joy has taught at metal clay and enameling conferences around the world. Her award-winning work has been featured in many magazines and publications. She sells her work both online and at fairs. You can learn more about Joy and her exciting work at http://www.joyfunnell.co.uk/

Joy Funnell | May 16-17, 2015

JOYFUL MOONFLASK WORKSHOP

In this exciting two-day workshop, you will create your very own precious little Silver Flask Pendant with a Decorative Panel on each side. The panels will be enameled to make them look like porcelain. The little  bottle can hold liquid so you'll also make a stopper and a little stand for it to sit on when not being worn. If you want to use it as a perfume flask, we will also have a little added extra surprise for you. Learn how to create a small bottle with inset panels, make a stopper and a stand, how to create a small bottle with inset panels, make a stopper and a stand, how to create a porcelain effect using enamel and add wire as an edge to the panels using Joy's unique Enamelled Accents technique.

Joy lives and works in Hastings, East Sussex, UK, and is known for her colorful enamel and silver work.  She was making jewelry for many years as a hobby before she encountered silver clay in 2005 and was hooked. Within a year she trained up to Senior Art Clay Instructor, gave up the day job and leapt into a full time career as a jewelry artisan. In 2009 she was awarded Craftsman status with the Guild of Enamelers.

I love colours and I love textures! These two things inspire most of my work. Having started out with traditional jewelry techniques and materials my first encounter with silver clay changed my life. I am passionate about using it and combining it with enamel. I hope I can share the magic with you.

Joy is also a Senior Editor with Metal Clay Artist Magazine, and has been a committed participant in various annual challenges. This year she is taking part in the Weekly Critter Challenge. Joy has taught at metal clay and enameling conferences around the world. Her award-winning work has been featured in many magazines and publications. She sells her work both online and at fairs. You can learn more about Joy and her exciting work at http://www.joyfunnell.co.uk/.

Barbara Becker Simon | April 11-12, 2015

MINI MALTESE CROSS PENDANT

SKILL LEVEL:  ADVANCED
In this two day workshop we will create a small pendant in the shape of a Maltese Cross:  A complex construction consisting of a central element, four long arms and four short arms. It can be made using silver clay only or it can be embellished with beads or pearls.  The surface can be carved or textured with applique or syringe. Students are encouraged to experiment with some designing before coming to class.  After firing the cross and any end caps, the beads/pearls will be attached using inner wires and epoxy. 

Barbara has been a jeweler for over thirty-five years and a lampwork/bead artist since 1996. Recently she has traveled the country as a Senior Instructor for the Rio Rewards Precious Metal Clay Certification Classes and is a perennial favorite with students at La Ruche Davis. For more information on Barbara's work, check out her website at www.BBSimon.com.

Barbara Becker Simon | Oct 26-27, 2013

PMC STERLING MASK RINGS

SKILL LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE
This exciting two-day workshop begins by sculpting a small, jewelry-scale mask/face in polymer clay, using a simple, step by step procedure.  The results are amazing and anybody can do it!  This polymer clay original is then molded so that metal clay duplicates can be made and individually altered, if desired.  This workshop will focus on two styles of PMC Sterling rings, but other variations and forms of jewelry will be discussed as well.

Oh My Gosh!!! You are not going to believe these faces!!!!! - anonymous

And yes!! she has worked it out so everyone can do it!!! A true Genius!!! - anonymous

I saw these last year up close and personal...I'm still drooling AND Barbara has put together a PMC Sterling Face Ring class just for us!!!  I love, love, love the Sterling!!!  This is a class I will take, heck I've been begging for a year!!!  do you think I'm excited????) YES!!!!!! - anonymous

Happy, Happy Sintering!!! - Ann

Barbara will also cover ring sizing as it relates to the shrinkage rates of PMC Sterling and the firing requirements of this relatively new material. Barbara has been a jeweler for over thirty-five years and a lampwork/bead artist since 1996. Recently she has traveled the country as a Senior Instructor for the Rio Rewards Precious Metal Clay Certification Classes and is a perennial favorite with students at La Ruche Davis. Click HERE to see highlights of Barbara's class here last October. For more information on Barbara's work, check out her website at www.BBSimon.com.

Wanaree Tanner | March 5-6, 2013

WORKING WITH THE SILHOUETTE CAMEO®

SKILL LEVEL: BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE
In addition to learning how to build a metal clay setting, working with PMC Paper and PMC+, get started with the Silhouette Studio software, and use Scratch-Foam® and "Scrappliqué," students in this exciting two-day workshop will  learn all about:

  • how to set your stone and secure your gallery bezel wire
  • set up your Silhouette Cameo cutter, calibrating your machine to cut paper clay
  • roll out your own paper type clay with copper, bronze, and silver clays.
  • deal with distortion, how to correctly fire metal clay, especially bronze and copper clays
  • and manipulate your fired work and stone settings.

Wanaree Tanner | March 2-3, 2013

THREADED KEEPSAKE VESSEL

SKILL LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED
Wanaree Tanner, one of the rising superstars in the metal clay world, will teach students in this class how to make a wearable vessel large enough to store small items - and LOTS MORE:

  • Forming seamless theaded closures out of metal clay
  • Greenware construction with Art Clay Copper
  • How to move and manipulate your wet clay without disturbing your textures
  • Invisible seams and how to create continuous textures on the round
  • PLUS tips and tricks to simplify construction, sculpting wiith Art Clay Copper, texturing without ghosting, wet sanding vs dry sanding, carbon firing for Art Clay Copper, and post-firing finishing.

Wanaree Tanner is an award winning, primarily self-taught, full time artist, with a love for illustration and a fascination with world mythologies. She started working in metal clay in 2008 and quickly became obsessed with turning two dimensional drawings into three dimensional forms. When copper clay hit the open market, she bought her first pack and never looked back. After two years of experimenting and dreaming, she’s feels she’s finally able to bring the forms lurking in her mind into reality.

She travels to art shows around the country, has written articles for Art Jewelry, Metal Clay Today, Metal Clay Artist Magazine and is the video editor for MCAM’s Resource Library. For more information  please stop by her website: www.artwarebywanaree.com.

Michael Marx | Jan 19-20, 2013 

KINETIC SEA CREATURES WORKSHOP (WEARABLE SCULPTURE)

INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED
In this two-day workshop California-based Michael J. Marx, famous for his intricate and imaginative metal clay creations and wearable sculpture, taught students how to:

  • slab and coil - create curves to get flowing, organic forms
  • choose textures that convey movement
  • create pieces and parts
  • layer, relief, and detail surfaces
  • and make creations move  with life! 

Michael has worked in metal clay since 2000, with occasional forays into mixed-media and polymer clay. His work is currently being shown at multiple Northern California art galleries. He has been featured on the Metal Clay Guru website, and you can read more about him at http://www.metalclayguru.com/michael-marx/. Born in Massachusetts in 1969, he lived there for 18 years before becoming a born-again Californian in 1987.  He currently resides in Alameda.

Wanaree Tanner | Aug 4-5, 6-7, 2012

BEZEL SETTING UNFIREABLE STONES

Students in this double-header class learned to bezel set unfireable stones, learning a dazzling array of techniques, including firing, forming, and working in COPPRclay, compensating for shrinkage, finding the right firing schedule for individual kilns, making a place holder form, creating COPPRclay “paper” type, simple ways to start designing unique bezel wire, custom made texture plates and stencils using Scratch-Foam®, secrets of the “FLOATING” bezel setting!!, extruding individualized accents and components, setting stones without overstressing delicate bezel wires, granulation accents and making their own dry clay punches. They also learned how to set up their own Silhouette Cameo®, import designs & calibrate their machine.

Lorena Angulo | May 19-20, 2012

MILAGRO HEART OR BURN-OUT CORE PENDANT

In her first class on the East Coast, Lorena taught students how to create a burn-out core pendant by forming a shape on top of a burn-out core bead and adding their own personalized symbols. Students learned to carve and hand sculpt their pendants with PMC3 and fire it over a core bead to achieve a hollow, openwork form adding a wonderful dimension. She also taught students how to hand sculpt flowers and carve details in the pendant.

Lorena grew up in Mexico and the Mexican Folk Art tradition  shows in the amazing works she creates. Currently Lorena is a faculty staff member of the Southwest School of Art in the Metals department. Her work has been exhibited at a number of galleries, museums, art shows and local boutiques. Her PMC jewelry has been widely featured in publications including the 2008, 2009, and 2010 PMC Guild Annual books, "Exceptional Work in Precious Metal Clay," Metal Clay Artist Magazine, Metal Clay Today, FUSION, The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2010 and 2011 Calendars, Metal Clay Beads and The Art of Metal Clay (revised and expanded edition).  She is a certified Qualified Metal Clay Artisan and an active member of the PMC Guild, founding member of its Metal Clay Artists of San Antonio Chapter, and the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Barbara Becker Simon | Oct 13-14, 2012

BANGLE BRACELETS AND INSTANT EARRINGS

On Day One, workshop students constructed a carved bangle bracelet in one of the exciting new line of metal clays, FASTFIRE BRONZclay, PMC Pro or PMC Sterling. The technique of carving was explored as surface decoration, and  students learned to create custom firing containers for their bangles.

On Day Two, students learned to use PMC paper and 20 gauge, round fine silver wire to quickly construct beautiful, lightweight earrings in a very short time. The earrings were set with half-drilled gem balls or pearls or fully drilled pearls or beads. 

Barbara, who's returning to La Ruche Davis in October, has been a jeweler for over thirty-five years and a lampwork/bead artist since 1996. Recently she has traveled the country as a Senior Instructor for the Rio Rewards Precious Metal Clay Certification Classes. For more information on Barbara's work, check out her website at www.BBSimon.com.

Terry Kovalcik | Feb 25-26, 2012

HINGED BOX PENDANT WORKSHOP

Terry taught our students how to make a hinged box or pendant of their own design using silver PMC. For example, a small decorative box that sits on a table or slips into a pocket; or a pendant that holds something that’s close to one's heart. Techniques included pattern making, dry construction, rolling textures, assemblage, hinges, wire bending, riveting, finishing, patinas, and closures.

Terry has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and received a PMC Guild Certification in 2000 to teach others about the art of metal clay. In 2005, Terry was invited to join the Senior Instructor Certification Program for the Rio Rewards. His work has appeared in numerous juried art shows.   His work has also been featured in many books and publications, including PMC Guild Annual #5, The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar 2012 by Holly Gage; Lark Studio Series: Earrings, Metal Clay Today Magazine (Featured Artist); Bronze Metal Clay: Explore a New Material with 35 Projects by Yvonne M. Padilla; Pure Silver Metal Clay Beads by Linda Kaye-Moses (featured on the cover); Setting Stones In Metal Clay by Jeanette Landenwitch and Metal Clay Beads by Barbara Becker Simon.

Barbara Becker Simon | Jan 14-15, 2012

PEARL PORCUPINE BEAD

We started 2012 off with the incomparable Barbara Becker Simon, who flew up from sunny Florida to teach a two-day weekend workshop on her amazing Pearl Porcupine bead. It was an encore tour de force for Barbara - she came to La Ruche Davis in 2011 to teach us all how to make Metal Clay Boxed Rings, including how to address hollow forms, attaching the wire and setting the pearls.

Barbara has been a jeweler for over thirty-five years and a lampwork/bead artist since 1996. Recently she has traveled the country as a Senior Instructor for the Rio Rewards Precious Metal Clay Certification Classes. Click HERE to see the highlights from Barbara's 2011 class on Big Bling Rings, as blogged on the Metal Clay Artist Magazine blogsite.

Cindy Miller | Nov 19, 2011

COMPLEX METAL CATCHES

Cindy taught students how to use basic metal clay construction techniques to modify a tube into a key and lock clasp, excellent for use in designs where the clasp needs to blend into a necklace or bracelet looking more like beads than a clasp. Instruction covered techniques such as drape forming, applying a texture, attaching pieces with slip, and how to carve into the tube so the channel accepts the “key” closure.

Cindy has been working with metal clay since 2005. She received her certification under Tim McCreight and has taken classes with internationally renowned artists Celie Fago and Barbo Gendell. She has been published in Art Jewelry magazine, BeadStyle magazine, PMC Guild AnnualFusion magazine, Metal Clay Artist Calendar, and has been featured in galleries and art shows across the country. She is a member of  the American Institute of Graphic Artists, PMC Guild, and the Mid-Atlantic Glass Bead Society. Cindy has been a certified PMC artisan since 2008 and has received Masters Level I in the PMC Masters Registry program.

Catherine Davies Paetz | Oct 15-16, 2011

WATER ETCHED AND ENAMELED METAL CLAY FIBULA

Students learned water etching from the gal that wrote the book!! They were taught how to make a decorative form, enamel on it, and finish by creating a hand-made sterling silver fibula pen stem.

Catherine has been creating jewelry for more than 30 years and has a BFA in Metals from Miami University. Cathy regularly teaches classes and workshops in jewelry making. She is the author of Metal Clay Artist Magazine articles: Studio Tricks: Showing up and Playing (Vol. 1, Issue 2); Color on Copper Clay: Achieving Enamel Transparency (Vol. 1, Issue 4); Art Jewelry Magazine articles: Five Ways to Inlay Bronze and Copper Clays (Nov. 2009); Water Works-water etching (September 2006); Studio PMC articles: Mold Magic (Fall 2003); The Art of Teaching (Spring 2007). 

Lorrene Baum Davis | Feb 26, 2011

CHANNEL SETTING

Classically trained as a goldsmith at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, award winning artist, Lorrene J. Baum-Davis has been creating one-of-a-kind art jewelry since 1985. She owned New Beginnings Gallery of Jewelry and Fine Art with her husband, Philip, in El Dorado Hills, California, for eleven years. In 2000, they retired and closed the gallery. She then became a full time jewelry designer, teacher and graphic artist.

In the 1990's, Baum-Davis fell in love with the polymers and metal clays and immersed herself in these mediums and eventually began teaching metal clay and polymer clay artistic skills. She teaches monthly workshops in the Sierra Foothills Studio in Placerville, California. She travels to teach both the metal clay and polymer clay two day workshops, and we just managed to snag her during a whirlwind trip to the East Coast to give students a day-long sneak peak at her brand-new channel setting technique!She is one of nine Master Instructors in Art Clay Silver (USA), and teaches Certification workshops to future Level I and Senior Instructors. Her art and techniques have been featured in newspapers and magazines. For more about Lorrene and her work, go to her website, http://www.lorrenedavisdesigns.com.