Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Wonderful Virginia Weekend with Barbara Becker Simon

Jeannette and Margaret decided at the last minute (seriously, two days before the class started!) to fly to Springfield, Virginia to take a class with Barbara Becker Simon in Ann Davis's beautiful new classroom space. It is hard to believe but Jeannette and Margaret have been working together for two years and this is the first time they have met face to face!

Margaret (left) Jeannette (right)

Barbara was teaching her box ring techniques. She kindly modeled the rings for me. I am sure you have all seen these gorgeous rings in books but...wow, the scale blew us all away. I had no idea they are so big!

Seriously, if you want a conversation piece for a cocktail party, this is the ring for you!

Ann's new classroom is in her gorgeous sunroom, below. We converted this lovely space:

Into this great classroom:

From left to right, Heidi Smith, Roxan Waluk, Karen King, Margaret, Jeannette

Barbara spent most of the first morning discussing all of the possibilities we had to choose from - as well as several ways we could take the rings in a different direction. She did many demonstrations of a variety of techniques and then set us free to work on our own projects for the rest of the day.

We are laughing in the picture below - Barbara is a very fun lady and she had us in stitches the entire weekend.

From Barbara's right, Deborah Gibson, Sherry Chaples, Ann Davis, Susan Silvy, Heidi Smith, Roxan Waluk, Margaret, Karen King, Cindy Miller

Sue is showing me she is funny too...her two rings as earrings perhaps?

Romeo, one of Ann's dogs (and perhaps studio mascot?) is checking out what we are doing, below.

The other great part of this weekend was having the opportunity to spend time with such a terrific group of women. It is rare to be in a class where everyone just gels so well - it was such a treat.

Above, Cindy Miller is demonstrating how her locket clicks shut and explaining a little trick she developed for this. From left to right, Christine Norton, Sherry Chaples, Cindy and Susan Silvey

I asked students to send me pictures of their rings in various stages of being finished. I have received the following so far and will post more as I get them. Before I move onto the eye candy, however, I just wanted to mention that Ann Davis will be hosting a class with Lorrene Davis on Sunday, February 27th. Lorrene will be teaching us her new Legend ring which is where we will be learning about channel setting stones. There are still a few openings in class - if you are interested in more details, please contact Ann directly at ann [at] anndavisstudio [dot] com.

Now....eye candy!

Deborah Gibson's beautiful pinky ring.

Susan Silvy's two sparkly cocktail rings.

Margaret's ring is still in process but you can get a good idea of how stunning it will be when completed. I love that icy blue stone!

Another shot of Margaret's ring - this is great so you can see the scale of these rings! Margaret, I think you will blind someone with that rock!

So, how about you? Have you signed up for any classes this year? What are you looking forward to learning about?


  1. Christine, thanks for this terrific recap of our AWESOME weekend at Ann's fabulous new studio!!! Barbara was my fantasy of the ideal teacher - generous, supportive, inspiring, funny, incredibly knowledgeable, seeing every problem as an opportunity and helping us to see things that way, too. And Ann was like a swan, serene and calm on the surface and making it all seem effortless while she (and a few friends, including you) worked your tails off behind the scenes to make this such a fantastic and easy experience for the rest of us lucky students.

    Your post really captured the amazing energy, talent, creativity...and, of course, the non-stop laughter!! We really did have a blast, didn't we???

    Thanks for bringing it all back, and for sharing it with the rest of our readers. If anyone ever has a chance to take a class at Ann's new studio or to study with Barbara, jump at the chance!!!

    ~ Margaret

  2. a fine time was had by all! What a great group, what great hosts, wanna do it again!!!

  3. ohhhhh !!!
    I wish I was there !!!!!
    The rings are amazing !
    Barbara is a great teacher and artist.
    You all are very talented !!! If I only knew!!! ;D
    Maybe next time !

  4. Oh yes, next time! We tried to rope Barbara into coming back to Ann's studio---even if it is in Spain!

  5. That looked like a bunch of fun! I love all the photos! Thanks!

  6. What a great class -- gorgeous rings, fun people, fabulous teacher. Only one problem: I missed out.

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