Chasing Down the Muse: Jewelry class is a life lesson for Marine wives

December 09, 2010|By Cherril Doty
  • Women work on jewelry in a Sawdust class.
Women work on jewelry in a Sawdust class. (Photo by Mary Hurlbut,…)

Whoo-Whoo… Whoo-Whoo….

Early Sunday morning, I wakened to this sound coming from the tall, dark trees in the canyon. Alert in an instant, I was also mesmerized by the sound. Like the similar tone of the mourning dove, the owl's call conjures repetitive, questioning voices. In the dawning of this morning, before light could even peek over the ridge, the question was clear: Who? Who? Who would they be?

On this December day, 10 spouses of deployed military from Camp Pendleton were to come to the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy. Jeweler and Board Member Marla Burns would be leading a teaching team of Sawdust jewelers. They were offering a class to teach the spouses some useful skills in jewelry making that could open new possibilities for the spouses. I found myself wondering just who would come on that cold wintry day to take this skill-building class. Who? Who? The sound echoed again through my mind.


Jeweler Georgette Cerutti and I watched and waited on the bridge to the entrance to the Sawdust Festival's new jewelry classroom. "Where were they?" was added to the resonating "who?"

Later, watching the joy on the face of Mary, who was the wife of a soon-to-return Navy man, the questions posed by the owl and I seemed moot. It certainly did not matter who or where or why, just that these women were getting this break from the usual. The gifting was well received and continued to grow and glow through the hours of the class, both on the faces of these women as they simply enjoyed learning and on the faces of those who stopped by to watch or interject helpful suggestions.

As Mary's sister Lupe pounded away on the copper pieces, I saw this experience as offering other emotional outlets as well as the opportunities to perhaps build a small business. Lupe's Marine husband is soon to deploy, and the stress cannot be inconsequential.

But there I go again, projecting possible scenarios on the occasion. What really mattered was what was happening right there in that room. There was camaraderie and an eager sort of joy as these women learned planishing, stamping, dapping, and other jewelry-making skills. They learned proper use of the tools at hand and were given the opportunity to use them in making pendants and earrings. Smiles were broad and the joy of learning was apparent.

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