Finally, FINALLY i was able to get my ass to Spruce Pine North Carolina, home of the revered Penland School of Craft. If you're not familiar with this institution, definitely pay their website a visit.
The school has been around for nearly a hundred years, and it serves as a place for artists to come and learn new techniques and study with established artists from a variety of different mediums. Of course, for me it was ALL about learning new jewelry techniques, but other class offerings included glass blowing, woodworking, ceramics, textiles, and printing. The school is INTENSE. We began every morning at 9am and even though classes technically ended at 5pm, the entire class stayed in the studio late into the night working on their personal projects.
The class I took focused on a process I've always been fascinated with -- bi-metal etching. This is a process of fusing two metals together, then chemically etching away one of the metals. The result is a two-tone mixed metal design that really has endless creative possibilities.