Series of jewelry making classes planned at sculpture park

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Series of jewelry making classes planned at sculpture park

Craft-focused classes will be held at the Cloudstone Sculpture Park studio.

For those who have always wanted to create their own jewelry, an upcoming opportunity is to work with stone used by a deceased master carver.

Craft-focused classes will be held at the Cloudstone Sculpture Park studio, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 9, August 13, and September 10.

Cloudstone Sculpture Park is a 20-acre abstract art experience with more than 400 sculptures sculpted by founder Hank Nelson, who died earlier this year.

In 2021, the nonprofit Cloudstone Foundation opened a classroom for property courses. Classes so far have focused on sculpture, but some new workshops will give participants the opportunity to work on a much smaller scale with jewelry.

Cindy Van Gerpen-Henn, self-taught jeweler and passionate rock collector, will lead the classes.

She knocked shards off Nelson’s carvings so people could recreate jewelry from the stones he hand-picked. They will also be able to choose rocks from their own collection.

“Hank was also a rock collector, and since his passing I’ve found a lot of rocks that he just had in paper bags around the house,” Van Gerpen-Henn said. “Not only will these be Cloudstones, they will also be stones that Hank has collected on the West Coast, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.”

Lapis, prehnite and marble are the choices available.

The first class a participant attends is $75, which includes special pliers, wire, and a guided tour of the sculpture park and gallery. The following courses are priced at $50 per session. For an additional $10, attendees can choose the stones and jewelry hardware – whether it’s a ring, chain or earrings – they want.

You can find more information about the courses at cloudstonefoundation.org.

When Van Gerpen-Henn first wore a lapis necklace and pair of earrings to a Cloudstone Foundation board meeting three years ago, Nelson told her that she should share his skills.

“This class is kind of three years of prep,” she said.

Burt Beusch, who is also a board member of the nonprofit foundation, said more classes will be offered at the sculpture park studio. Eventually, a full range will be available.

The variety of workshops, he added, is something Nelson envisioned for the future of Cloudstone Sculpture Park.

“We miss Hank terribly, but we’re so excited to continue sharing his message and his love of 3D sculpting,” Beusch said.

Wire wrapped finished jewelry made by Cindy Van Gerpen-Henn. (Photo by Don Wodjenski)

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