Founded in 1542 in an area rich in silver and gems, the town of San Miguel de Allende (originally named Izcuinapan by the indigenous peoples) is filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, which have earned it UNESCO's recognition as a World Heritage Site. A favorite with history buffs due to its importance in the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel's surroundings have also attracted artists from around the world.
This course celebrates San Miguel's natural resources, cultural riches, and historic significance. We'll begin the week with a trunk show of stunning regional gemstones, from which students will select and purchase their favorite(s) to serve as the basis for their class project. In-studio instruction will focus on creative stonesetting and complementary techniques for adding texture and detail. We will further develop our jewelry designs outside of the studio through guided observation exercises and cultural tours.
Our instructor Jesse Bert earned an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University, and regularly exhibits his work in Mexico, the United States, and across Europe. He has made Mexico his home since 2006. A cactus collector and hiker, Jesse is energized by his surroundings:
"My work is informed and inspired by the land in which I live, history and architecture...Nature is another essential element in my life. The pattern, repetition, and consistency show through in the items that leave my bench, carrying with them great detail and an acute intricacy like so many of the wonderful plants found on my daily walks."
Our hotel for the week is a centrally-located former monastery with a pool and gardens. From there, we'll make the short walk to Jesse Bert's studio each morning for class from 9am to 1pm. After breaking for lunch, the group will spend most afternoons and some evenings exploring San Miguel and the surrounding area. We will see museum collections, shop for supplies and souvenirs, and visit both traditional and cutting-edge craftspeople.
Head home with new jewelry skills, a ring or pendant featuring your chosen stone, and designs inspired by San Miguel's history, culture, and environment!
Prerequisite: Students should have taken Beginning Jewelry/Metals or have an equivalent level of experience. Contact Julia Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
CLASS FEE: $1750
7 nights hotel in a private room
20 hours of instruction and limited workshop materials*
2 field trips
2 group dinners
*Base metals, practice stones, and other standard consumables included. Due to the unique character of these projects, students should plan to bring their own silver (suggestions to be provided) and purchase their own stones.
$875 deposit due upon registration
$875 final payment due by November 10
CANCELLATION REFUND POLICY
25% non-refundable for withdrawal until January 2
50% non-refundable for withdrawal after January 2
Pratt recommends purchasing trip insurance.