Mr. Lewton Brain is in the Hood

Charles Lewton Brain teaching Fold Forming at Danaca Design

It’s hard not to get excited when Charles Lewton-Brain comes to visit!

A master goldsmith who has crafted and taught around the world for over four decades, Charles Lewton-Brain is also the primary inventor and constant innovator of folded forms in jewelry and metalsmithing. He literally wrote the book on it: Foldforming. In a remarkable one-day workshop Saturday, July 21, the true master of this form will take us through the steps to make a wide variety of three-dimensional objects. Forms made with this method resemble chased, constructed and soldered forms and can be made with most metals, including steel. Through annealing, forging, manipulation with pliers and the student’s own hands, practitioners will become acquainted with the properties of different metals. Charles explores how different metals behave as they are folded, forged, and formed using his techniques, and how to use this knowledge to create beautiful and distinctive objects for jewelry and other assorted metalsmithing projects.

Fold Forming samples from class

In a brief statement Charles brings some insight into his process:

I began my interest in jewellery at age 17, visiting a Native American named Sonny Spruce in Taos, New Mexico, then went to Art College in Nova Scotia and went on from there.

I work in all metals, and other materials. Process and the nature of the material inspires me. I also give myself parameters for a piece, structures to work against as I plan a work.

My work is about drawing, about mark making with material and about the tension between nature and structure. In my cage work I utilize the grid and a tension, a ‘frisson’ between nature and structure. The grid represents humans, culture, rules we choose and construct. I believe in Beauty, and that ‘beauty’ is related to nature (form, surface texture, colour. Allowing the materials to do the work, letting nature show in the work lends it a ‘beauty’ that I cannot easily reach by forcing form onto the material. The marks of process are compositional elements. This is seen in foldforming work. I have used most types of foldforming in my work, with scoring and bending being primary for a number of years.


Aside from teaching two workshops (at Danaca and The Barn) Charles is also giving a free lecture on Friday evening, July 20 at BIMA! A great opportunity especially if you were not able to attend one of the workshops. Details below.

Date: Friday, July 20
Time: Doors 6:00 p.m. / Lecture 6:30 p.m.
Location: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
550 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Cost: FREE! Donations welcome.

This lecture is made possible through the joint efforts of SMG and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, who are co-sponsoring the event at the museum. Many thanks to the cooperative efforts of the BARN on Bainbridge Island and Danaca Design who are jointly bringing Charles to Seattle to offer a workshop series. Please see more information on the workshops and more information about Charles in the newsletter below.

Doors at the BIMA open at 6:00 p.m. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. The BIMA bar will be open for purchase of drinks and light snacks.
BIMA is walking distance from the ferry dock. Parking is available at the museum.


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