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The Silver Falls NWSSA symposium was a great experience again this year. Lisa Ponder’s classes on sandblasting added a new and interesting dimension.


The hallmark of good instruction is preparation, both in (a) experience, expertise, and enthusiasm, and (b) with specific materials for presentation. Lisa provided both in abundance. Her three-day series of classes started with an overview of materials, equipment and techniques. For those of us who had not done sandblasting before, she introduced the process in a way that invited and challenged each of us to choose a personal project through which we could learn by doing and come away with the reward for our efforts. Lisa demonstrated how to apply stencil material to both rough and smooth surfaces, then generously supplied us with stencil tools, and encouragement to create our own design.


The final day, with sand and blasting equipment ready, we donned protective gear and blasted our way to success. The value of immediate rewards in learning was evident as Lisa led each of us through the processes involved in completing our first specimens. Paul Buckner awed everyone with his Native American hand print designs on slate, giving us all aspirations of doing more creative projects.


Lisa’s guidance showed us the range of possibilities, warned of perils and pitfalls, but assured participants that sandblasting is something we can all do. We took home our projects to prove it. Thanks, Lisa, for a well done set of classes