After deciding that silversmithing was something I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, I wanted to find the best teachers to learn from. Since I work a 9-5 job and not being able to afford to quit to attend school, I decided to take a month off and take an educational holiday. While looking on the internet I stumbled across Billy King and Sterling Quest School in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Little did I know at the time that Billy is quietly well known around the world. What I did know from reading reviews or articles about him and the school was that he was a fellow Canadian and a colourful character. That he can be tough but he knows of what he teaches. So, at the beginning of March this year I packed up my husband and headed to San Miguel de Allende for the whole month.
I fell in love with the city of San Miguel and the people that live there. San Miguel de Allende is pretty much in the centre of Mexico with an elevation of 6600 feet above sea level. It took the lungs a little to get used to the thinner air and all the hills but it is dry and sunny most of the time. There is so much to do and see, we spent almost every evening after school just roaming the streets. Just about every night there is something going on in the town’s Jardine and there is always music playing.
Learning with Billy King was an experience I will never forget. Billy is a great teacher if you can handle his gruff demeanour and tough love teaching style. His studio is not for the mild and meek so be prepared for swearing, loud voices and an afternoon beer. He is originally a Canadian, so how could I not feel at home in his class. He tells colourful stories in between teaching you metalsmithing techniques. It is a laid back class and there are no structured classes so you learn at your own pace. The time spent in his studio let me meet new friends and fellow artists as well as helped me to improve my skills enough that I am comfortable in sharing my creations with you all. I certainly will return to San Miguel de Allende to complete my certificate with Billy but what a great start!