Friday, July 1, 2011

Peters Valley with Harold O'Connor

What to say about Peters Valley? well, let me start by saying that the experience was overall wonderful! Here's what I've encountered.

The campus in itself was a bit of a shock. I booked a room through the school months before the actual workshop. I arrived a few hours before the workshop. I was told to head on to the house down the hill and it will be open. I did as I was told, to my surprise the house is directly in front of a cemetery and he rooms do not have a lock. I am not the type to complain as I am used in tight spaces having grown in a third world country, the Philippines. My superstitious self however prevailed and I decided to find a hotel close by. The nearest decent hotel I could find was about half an hour away. 

Finding the workshop studio was not very easy either as it is located further in where one will have to pass a long one way dirt road to get to the studio. Bears and deers were not at all strangers to this place and proper caution must be taken.

The workshop 5 day intensive class with Harold O'Connor was such a pleasure! I was told that he has a reputation of being grumpy but he was so nice to me and the small group we had. This master goldsmith is a knowledge full in arts and jewelry! The class was innovative stone setting, we were taught how to make antlers and cables, he also showed us the lost wax casting process and reticulation. Mr. O'Connor even made me a tool for stone setting cabs! I treasure the tool dearly in a safe place in my studio. Another great thing about this class is that the techniques are taught but you get to create your own designs using the techniques demonstrated. In this class I met another artist who is extremely talented and down to earth, his name is Bifei Cao. You can check his work at

In conclusion, If I were to go back in time, I will sign up for this class all over again without changing anything at all! I always believe in taking the good with the bad.

Here is Harolds' website as well:

Below are some photos from the class.

This is the ring I've made in class. Thank you Harold O'Connor for the many shared knowledge!