It has been a long cold winter here in Montana and though I do love the season, I found myself in need of a quick escape this year. I decided New Mexico would be a great place to warm up, drink amazing beer, and gain some new skills and inspiration to bring back to Hattie Rex.
Albuquerque is a strange land full of breweries, pun-based hair salons (Hair Root, Head Case, Shear Madness, Eclipz Hair, just to name a few), and most importantly to me, artists. Lots of artists. Albuquerque and Santa Fe are full to the brim with artistic talent. The area is so rich in culture that this is not a surprise, but there is a lot more than just southwestern style art happening down there right now. If you are ever in Santa Fe be sure to checkout Meow Wolf, trust me. Needless to say, I left ABQ feeling very inspired but I was also able to build upon my own skill set while down there.
I started with a two day metal forming workshop at Rio Grande Jewelry Supply - Bangles and Baubles with Bill Fretz. Who better to learn the art of metal forming from than the guy who literally wrote the book on it, and designed all the tools too. During my two days there, I learned how to transform sheet metal using just a few very basic tools.
I was also able to take an Introduction to Lapidary course at Meltdown Studio in Albuquerque. Lapidary is the art of stone cutting and I got to learn this from a man who has been perfecting his craft for over 65 years - Jim Hill. In this course, I took rough cut stone slaps and transformed them to beautifully shaped and polished cabochons.
I left New Mexico with a wealth of new knowledge and a ton of inspiration. I can't wait to put these skills to use!