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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Geting to Know ... Iris Rogers Melamed

Iris at home in her studio
If you've taken a soldering class at BeadFX, then you already know Iris Rogers Melamed. If you want to learn how to solder and really get into metalwork, you want to know Iris!

Like most of our instructors, Iris began with beading and branched out from there. "My sister Fay has been beading since the 1980s, and she introduced bead stringing to me about 15 years ago. From there I moved on to chainmaille, wire work, metal clay and ultimately metal work, " says Iris. "Since I was a young child I have always been “making something” -  loved to draw and paint, and learnt to sew by the time I was eight. I studied pottery at the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal, photography at Humber College and most recently, furniture refinishing using chalk paint," she explains.
Iris is constantly looking for new opportunities to learn more about working with metal to share with her students. "I have been very fortunate to study with wonderful teachers – over the past seven years I have studied with Michael David Sturlin and he has given me a great foundation in technique and design.  A three day class with Tim McCreight enhanced those skills and most recently I spent five days studying marriage of metals and surface textures with Pauline Warg at Metalwerx. Books and on-line videos have been a constant source of information." Iris continues, "when I am designing a course project I start with the skill I wish to teach and then construct a project that will teach that skill and also create a great piece of jewellery." 

Inspired by nature, colours of stones and metals, her granddaughters and spirituality, Iris actively records ideas. "Anything that catches my eye is stored away for future use. I used to cut pictures out of magazines but I have moved into the 21st century so now I use my iPhone and Pinterest."

Iris' professional life is far from her studio work and classroom instruction. "I have a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and spent 25 years in medical research, designing and managing clinical drug trials in North America," says Iris. When she's not teaching, you'll find Iris with her five granddaughters, the most recent born in September 2013. "I am always reorganizing my studio, fitting in new pieces of equipment – most recent purchases include a Durston rolling mill and a bench guillotine. Of course I spend as much time as possible in my studio, creating jewellery and new classes."

Iris' advice to others? "I have two favourite saying that continue to inspire me: 'Success is the  ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm' (Winston Churchill), and 'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.' (Maya Angelou)."

Upcoming classed by Iris Rogers Melamed:

Hot Connections Bezel Set Pendant
Saturday, November 2
10:00am - 5:00pm

Hot Connections 1 - Introduction to Soldering
Saturday, November 30
10:00am - 2:30pm

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