Break it down! Cut (almost) anything using hammer & hardie with Anabella Wewer

Learn to cut with confidence at any level

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Hammer & hardie has gotten a bad reputation. It is thought of as advanced technique, or just hard on your wrists because it is a heavy hammer, after all! And that impossibly thin hardie edge to aim for? It seems daunting. In this online course, Anabella Wewer will show you that it is not at all difficult, and all it takes is understanding a few basic principles and practice. She demonstrates that this can be a beginner’s tool, one to be understood and embraced from the start — or whenever you are ready to take the leap!

In this course you will learn:

• How to select the best stump
• How to drill the hole and set the hardie
• Good posture and the importance of breathing
• The mechanics of cutting
• How to cut a variety of materials, including smalti, crockery, ceramic tiles, glass, stone, and more
• How to reduce material in size without waste
• Cutting and shaping tessera
• Keystoning (yes, it is doable!)
• Faceting

Anabella demonstrates cutting smalti and marble, of course, but you will see her cut porcelain tile, Litovi, hard and soft materials from the hardware store, foraged rocks, and even crockery, in up close detail, all with her favorite 950 grams hammer.

“I have never met anyone who only uses a hammer to develop wrist pain,” Anabella likes to say, and she’s learned from masters who’ve been at it for over 40 years. She uses hammer and hardie exclusively in her studio, and only picks up nippers as a last resort (and to cut slate, or very precious materials).

You will learn to hold the hammer in the best position for balance, and to let gravity do most of the work for you. Anabella will show you that with proper technique, even a light hammer can cut the hardest of materials (within the scope of materials that can be cut without a saw), and you will see her switch hammers to a bricklayer’s hammer when in doubt (still cutting very successfully).

You will watch Anabella work in real time cutting trapezoids (keystones), triangles, sticks, and more. She shows you how to cut material with the least amount of waste (because who wants to waste any precious smalti?!) by calling attention to the geometry of material, in a very simple way.

This course shows you a clear path to confidently approach any material and cut it down to size (and shape!) to free you to focus on the design aspects of your work without the limitations of what nippers can cut (pain free!). The only thing we can’t do is watch you practice, but practicing is the only way to get rid of that feeling that says you will hurt yourself with the hammer — you won’t. Trust us. Just take a deep breath, reset, and be present. You can always come back and watch Anabella cutting different materials and pick up new details before you go back to your stump to practice some more. You’ll be cutting everything with confidence in no time!

Your Instructor

Anabella Wewer
Anabella Wewer

A graphic designer by profession, and a native of Caracas, Venezuela, Anabella is an internationally exhibited mosaic artist and passionate metalsmith. She is co-founder, and has been Creative Director of Black Box, a studio specializing in Web-based applications, since 1994. After discovering mosaics as fine art during a trip to the Vatican in 2004, she started taking mosaic classes in the United States, but quickly made the decision to train mostly in Italy. Her work is rooted in a sense of place and time, with a distinctive graphic feel that often incorporates type and her love of maps and fossils. Her passion for materials and history inform her work and push her to explore new territory grounded in time-proven rules and principles. Her background as a typographer guides her work, exploring the language of materials and technique to tell stories. "When I put hand to metal or stone, I aim to bring the viewer into a narrative, to provide questions to consider. I am intrigued by frozen moments in time; I like to imagine what came before and what follows. Place and time, their changing and their passing, and trying to capture their impermanence is my main artistic directive,” says Anabella of both her jewelry and mosaic work.

Anabella has studied Ravenna mosaic technique with Luciana Notturni, in Ravenna, Italy; stone micro-mosaic and opus vermiculatum with Arianna Gallo and Luca Barberini of Koko Mosaico in Ravenna; filati micro-mosaics with Maestro Carlo Meloni (Rome); abstract and modern mosaics with Verdiano Marzi (Ravenna/Paris), Dugald MacInnes (Scotland), Matteo Randi (Ravenna) and Dino Maccini (Piacenza) as well as with Valeria Manzo, Dagmar Friedrich and Laura Carraro at the Scuola Mosaicisti dei Friuli, Spillimbergo; and honed her skills using native materials with Rachel Sager; color in mosaics with Carol Shelkin, and got her beginnings under the guidance of Gina Hubler (Pennsylvania). Her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese, and she also speaks English and Italian. She lives in Macungie, Pennsylvania.

Course Curriculum

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.

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