Featured Class


Low Tech Gravity Casting

Melting silver scrap for gravity casting

Melting silver scrap for gravity casting

Come play with fire this summer! Spend three Wed evenings, July 12,19, & 26, 6:30-9:30 learning everything you need to start doing this fun and fast form of casting.This class is only offered once a year and features, among other things, sand casting, cuttlebone, and tufa stone casting. Gravity Casting is a great way to learn metal casting with out a huge set up like lost wax casting and is a great class to use up any scrap silver you might have laying around.

Gravity Cast 4

Keeping the metal hot right before pouring into the mold.

Gravity Casting

Gravity Casting is a permanent casting method where metal is heated until it is molten and then poured into a mold. The molds can be made of many materials such as metal, sand, tufa stone, and cuttle bone. In jewelry making the most frequent mold materials are sand casting, tufa stone, and cuttle bone.

 

Learning to cast isn’t just about making jewelry components. By knowing how to cast you can alloy your own metals; for instance creating sterling silver out of fine silver casting grains or pouring ingots. An ingot is a block of metal typically oblong in shape. Ingots can be rolled out in a rolling mill (creating sheet or wire) or can be forged. Pouring ingots is a great way to use up small bits of metal scrap and shavings getting the most out of your precious metals.

 

Cuttlebone cast earrings by Jennifer Stenhouse

Cuttlebone Casting

This metal casting technique takes advantage of the properties of a finely porous bone-like internal organ that is shared by all members of the cuttlefish family. Using cuttlefish bone to carve out molds in order to cast is one of the oldest casting methods on record. It creates a very distinct texture that is unique to carving the cuttlefish bone. Cuttlefish bone will wash up on beaches from naturally-deceased animals all over the world. It’s ease in carving and accessibility is probably what led to it being used as a mold material since ancient times.

 

Pouring into a tufa stone mold

Pouring into a tufa stone mold

Tufa Stone Casting

The Spanish coming to New Mexico and Arizona is what brought the tradition of silversmithing to the American South West. They taught the Navajo and Pueblo people how to cast molten silver to create jewelry and other items. The mold material that they used was tufa stone. Tufa stone is a soft and porous volcanic stone that can be found in many parts of the world including the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Tufa stone can be easily carved and withstand high heat making it an excellent mold making material.

Melting the metal to pour into a sand casting mold.

Melting the metal to pour into a sand casting mold.

Sand Casting

Sand casting is a metal casting process where sand is used as the mold material. Jewelers and industry uses the sand casting process and it is the most commonly used method in industrial casting. The basic process is that a pattern is made in the sand and then molten metal is pored into this recess. Once cooled the casting resembles the pattern made in the sand.

 

 

Have we got you interested in gravity casting yet? Come check out this class and all classes on the summer schedule at Danaca Design by clicking right HERE!

Beginning Jewelry Series: Rings

Beginning Jewelry Series: Rings

Look at what our students made!

Instructor: Dana Cassara

November 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $285 | Basic materials included

This Beginning Series Workshop focuses on the basic construction of fabricated rings, with and without stones. Each student will make a simple, textured band ring as well as a ring with a bezel-set stone. Basic materials are included. See our website for more information: www.danacadesign.com No experience necessary.

To register: Call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by the studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Danaca Design’s Metal Crafting Center is a jewelry and small-scale metal working studio located in the University District of Seattle. We offer classes for individuals seeking to gain skills in the art of decorative metal working and jewelry design. Our studio is a comfortable, well lit, and cheerful work space fully equipped for small-scale fabrication, including hollow forming and soldering, as well as enameling, precious metal clay and stone setting. We house a small store-front gallery featuring local artists, both professional and amateur, as well as a limited selection of tools. Several times per year we host open-house events with a particular focus on new exhibits and or exhibitors. All students of the Metal Crafting Center are encouraged to exhibit their successes in the gallery, as space is always reserved for them!

 

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces with Keith Lewis

November 11 – 13, Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $480 | Some materials included

Numerous beautiful and complex mixed-metal patterns and compositions can be created both by soldering and by exploiting the different melting points of common jewelry metals. In this workshop we will explore various ways of combining metals to create rich effects through experimentation with soldering, fusion and inlay, further enhanced by rolling and roll-printing and the application of a series of simple patinas that enhance the contrast between metals. Beginning Series or equivalent required. More details at www.danacadesign.com

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

This weekend Keith Lewis is back at Danaca Design to teach us all about creating mixed metal patterns and compositions. You know all those scraps of different metals you have laying around? Or would you like to start adding some gold to your work but you can only afford a tiny, tiny bit? This class is about how to use those small bits of metals to create new “yardage” of mixed metals that you can use in your jewelry work.

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Want to know more? Well we asked Keith Lewis himself to tell us a bit more about what to expect this weekend and here is what he has to say:

How do you use mixed metal surfaces in your work or how might I?

In the past I have used these techniques to make more production-oriented work, as they generate lively, visually arresting patterns at relatively low expense. For instance, with these techniques you can get a lot of bang from a very small amount of gold.

That said, the resultant patterned sheet is often a bit difficult to solder, so one of the exciting challenges is to devise ways to incorporate it into work using cold connections. I’m hoping on Sunday, after folks have generated some “yardage” we will be able to brainstorm about some ways to do so, particularly in the form of simple, elegant pendants and earrings

What is most exciting about the process you will teach this coming weekend?

For me there are two things. First; these are techniques that grow from and help elucidate some of the intrinsic qualities of metal- particularly different melting characteristics and malleabilities. I find that I understand metal better from having experimented with these techniques.

Secondly, these techniques permit the kind of playfulness and spontaneity that is hard to come by in metalsmithing. There are a lot of pleasant surprises and intriguing puzzles that arise from this approach.

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Is there a history of mixed metal surfaces in metalworking? Can you tell me a little about it?

Yes, there certainly is. The mot obvious reference point is Japanese mokume-gane and some of what I’m covering might be called “faux-mokume”. There is also the long history of marriage-of-metal within Western and Asian metals traditions and periodic uses of cold-inlay techniques in everything from Japanese metalwork to Indian Mughal work (as well as Western armor-work.) Another reference- of course- is the diffusion bonding of materials in damascening, Sheffield plate, “gold-filled” jewelry and bimetal such as those made by Phil Baldwin.

 

Thanks Keith for answering our questions. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this weekend!

If you would like to register for this or any other of our classes you can either call us to register by phone: 206-

or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Kids Jewelry Summer Camp

Jewelry Summer Camp for Kids 8-12

July 18 – 22, Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 2:00pm

Class Fee: $300 | Materials included

School is just getting out but are you still looking for things for the kids to do this summer vacation? Sign them up for our Kids Jewelry Summer Camp!

Created for kids 8-12 this week long camp teaches a variety of jewelry making techniques such as wire working, texturing, stamping, bead making, and riveting metal.

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Hydraulic press die in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Last year it was really fun to watch the kids explore a variety of jewelry techniques. They were so proud to make there own jewelry to take home each day. One of the favorite activities what learning how to use the hydraulic press to “puff” metal into a variety of shapes.

Student work, broken heart sculpture

Student work, broken heart sculpture

The class is taught by local jewelry artist Tegan Wallace. Tegan has been teaching jewelry making at the elementary and middle school level for several years. Not only are the kiddos going to be learning a variety of jewelry skills but Tegan will also explore the fundamentals of composition and color theory. A variety of materials will be used from Shrinky Dinks, polymer clay, and seed beads to  brass & copper wire and sheet metal. Simple hand tools will be explored such as hammers, texture stamps, pliers, and more.

Kids wirework and beads

Kids wirework and beads

All supplies and materials are included in this camp and each day the kids will create a variety of jewelry that they can wear proudly or give as gifts to family and friends. Jewelry making is also a great way for the younger kids to build hand-eye coordination and dexterity that doesn’t involve a video game.

Want to register? Give us a call at 206-524-0916 to register by phone or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way Ne, Seattle, WA We are open Monday – Friday: 11-6 and Saturday: 10-6

Want to learn more about our studio? Check out our website www.danacadesign.com

Decorative Metal Inlay: What is it?

Introduction to Decorative Metal Inlay

June 17-19, Friday – Sunday, 10:30 am-5:00 pm

Class Fee: $350 | Materials Fee: $10 payable to instructor, specialized tools available for purchase

This axe head has an elaborate example of metal inlay to create the design

This axe head has an elaborate example of metal inlay used to create the design

June 17 – 19, Friday – Sunday Bill Dawson will be teaching Introduction to Metal Inlay at Danaca Design. But what is metal inlay? I asked Bill to give us a brief history of the technique and he was very generous with his information. Here is what Bill had to say:

3600 year old metal inlay disc

“Precious metal inlay techniques are quite ancient, with early examples dating from the Bronze Age, and becoming rather popular with the introduction of iron working and gold refining around 2600-2500 ybp.  A beautiful early example is the 3600 year old bronze disc shown here.  The sun, moon, important stars, and the sunrise and set horizons are all marked in gold inlay.  Many experts believe it to have been an instrument for making corrections to the calendar from astronomical observations, but others think it may have been used for far more complex calculations.  
kashima

Vase by Kazuo Kashima

 
Basically, inlay work involves mechanically attaching a soft metal like gold or silver to a harder and contrasting metal like bronze or iron.  Typically this is done in one of two basic ways:  For field or line inlay, some of the base metal is cut away to make room for the inlay, and the edges of the hollow or channel is undercut so that when the inlay is driven in it forms a dovetail.  That is the channel is wider at the bottom, and the soft metal fills the space and can’t come out.  Alternately a file tooth pattern can be cut on the base metal, and when the softer inlay metal is driven down the teeth grip like Velcro  This has the advantage of allowing for the inlay of very thin foil.  Base metals are usually chosen to either contrast with the color of the inlay,or to take a differential patina.  Artists in Japan use this to great effect, as with the vase pictured here by Kazuo Kashima.  
drbrooch

Example of foil inlay by Bill Dawson

 
In the workshop at Danaca we will consider and compare Eastern and Western approaches to these techniques, and make many practice samples.  These will include dot inlay, line inlay, and inlayed foils.  One of the great advantages to foil inlay, called “Damisquino de Oro” in Spain, and “Nunome Zogan”,in Japan, is that you can cut the tooth in patterns that show through the foil, and add to the design.  In fact Nunome Zogan means cloth textured inlay.  I have used this visible texture in the leaves in the disc brooch here.”

 

Thanks Bill! We appreciate the information and look forward to your workshop.
If you would like to find out more information about the Intro to Metal Inlay class click here or to register call us at 206-524-0916

Danica Design is a jewelry and small-scale metal working facility located in the University District of Seattle. Learn more about us and view our full schedule at www.danacadesign.com 

Chasing and Repoussé

Amy Hamblin Milagro

Repoussé – /rəˌpo͞oˈsā/: A metalworking technique where metal is shaped or ornamented by hammering onto the reverse side creating a low relief.

Chasing – /CHās,ing/: Opposite to repoussé, chasing hammers on the front of the pieced and is used in conjunction to create a finished piece.

Metalsmiths have been using chasing and repoussé to adorn metal since antiquity. The Greeks in 3rd century BC used it to create elaborate scenes on armor and shields and 2nd century Hellenic earrings.

The technique is still widely used today both on functional items such as water vessels in India, sculpture, and jewelry worldwide.

Class Photos November 13 – 15, Friday-Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00 the very talented Megan Corwin will be teaching Chasing and Repoussé – A Modern Approach with a Traditional Base. This is a process oriented beginning class in which students will not only learn to use the tools for chasing and repoussé but will experiment with the extraordinary effects of these tools on sheet copper.
 
In this three day workshop day one will focus on experimenting with the chasing tools on copper. On day two the traditional approach to lining the front and punching the back of a design will be covered. Day three the students will learn texturing and refining techniques.
 
This beginning class is process oriented resulting in an informative group of samples from which to build. Megan brings lots of her own samples, finished pieces, and a selection of tools for students to use during class.
 

Interested in registering? Call to register by phone: 206-524-0916 or stop by our location to register in person: 5619 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

For more information on this and all of our classes go to www.danacadesign.com

Pointed Stone Setting

Lots of pointed stones by Kirk Lang

Lots of pointed stones by Kirk Lang

Have you been setting lots of round stones and want to try something different in your designs? Found the perfect pear shaped stone but to nervous to try setting it yet? Shed your apprehension and learn to set challenging shaped stones in this comprehensive, hands-on weekend with master stone-setter Kirk Lang. Saturday and Sunday, November 7th and 8th is our Pointed Stone Setting: Theory and Applications Part II class. A follow up to our Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Part I in this intermediate class you will learn to confidently set faceted stones with pointed corners. 

bracelet_image_2

Bracelet by Kirk Lang in progress

Three types of settings will be covered including prong, flush, and bezel. Three stone cuts will be presented: pear, triangle, and princess cut. 

Students will learn the theory behind stone setting, gemstone characteristics, and how to make tools for stone setting. 

The class is made up of both demonstrations by Kirk Lang and time to practice setting stones in class. 

If you have been wanting to advance your stone setting skills this is the class to take!

 

Interested in registering? Call to register by phone: 206-524-0916 or stop by our location to register in person: 5619 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

For more information on this and all of our classes go to www.danacadesign.com

Wax Working for Jewelers

Carved wax and wax carving tools

Carved wax and wax carving tools

Lost wax casting is widely used today for mass producing jewelry and jewelry components but is also used to create unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces as well. Wednesday nights, Oct 14 – Nov 18, 6:30pm-9:30pm our Wax Working for Jewelers will get you started creating your own waxes in no time.Whether you are a new or returning student you will learn the fundamentals and some good tricks for designing and creating wax models for casting in this six week workshop. This is a reoccurring class so if you missed it this time check back for future classes!

Carved wax jewelry sprued to one "tree" ready for casting

Carved wax jewelry sprued to one “tree” ready for casting

One of the most important parts of casting is starting will a well designed and carved wax model. Without proper planning the metal may not be able to flow correctly during the casting process resulting in a partial casting. And knowing how to design a wax with an eye toward the finished design not only helps with the look of the piece but can save you a lot of time in clean up after the casting is done!

Jewelry right after casting

Jewelry right after casting

The final waxes will be sent out to a professional casting house and returned the final week for finishing. This is a multiple week class and so students are able and encouraged to come into the studio during Practice Hours to work on class projects.

To find out more about this and all of our current classes please go to www.danacadesign.com 

Danaca Design is open Mon-Fri 11am-6pm and Sat 10am-6pm. If you are in the Seattle area stop by to see our jewelry gallery and mercantile at:

5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA 

Extraordinary Effects with Polymer Striped Canes

Poly stripe bracelet by Cynthia Toops

Poly stripe bracelet by Cynthia Toops

 

What do you think of when you hear polymer clay? Well if you are Cynthia Toops you think it is a wonderful material with unlimited potential in jewelry making. September 26 & 27 Cynthia will be teaching Extraordinary Effects with Polymer Striped Canes at Danaca Design. Cynthia’s own work takes polymer clay to the next level making the mundane magical. 

 

Pendant made using polymer clay canes by Georgia P Designs (https://georgiapdesigns.wordpress.com)

Pendant made using polymer clay canes by Georgia P Designs (https://georgiapdesigns.wordpress.com)

Glass millefiori pendant

Glass millefiori pendant

But what are polymer striped canes?

Polymer canes are when long strips of polymer clay are layered, usually to create a design, and then cut apart. They are based off of the millefiori glasswork technique that is used to apply decoration to glass objects. Canes patterns can very simple to very complex and how the canes are laid out together adds to the beauty and complexity.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These canes can then be used to cover beads and cabochons to create unique decorative elements for your jewelry. Techniques like combing, carving and mokume gane will be covered expanding and enlivening your repertoire.

Finally students will explore “thin sheet work” to make simple pins, bracelets and other alternative polymer clay forms.

This class is open to all levels, from the beginner curious about the many possibilities of polymer clay to the advanced student interested in focusing on a particular aspect of the medium. 

To register for class call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by Mon-Fri 11am-6pm or Sat 10am-6pm at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA, 98105

Don’t forget to check out our complete fall schedule at www.danacadesign.com

Featured Class: Filigree and Granulation

Examples of modern filigree

Examples of modern filigree

 

Starting September 16th local jewelry artist Jennifer Stenhouse will be teaching the Filigree and Granulation class. This class is an introduction to the techniques used to produce open and closed back filigree with granulation.The class meets Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-9:30pm for four weeks. Plus you can come in during our practice hours between classes to practice what you are learning and have extra time with your projects.

Cuttack Tarkasi filigree pendant and earrings

Cuttack Tarkasi filigree pendant and earrings

Filigree is ancient ornamental metalworking technique dating back to 2500 B.C. that employs a frame filled with fine threads of twisted and curled wire, small grains or balls of metal that attach at points, creating a delicate open wire work structure that can be formed and shaped for jewelry and decorative accessories.

Etruscan ear stud

Etruscan ear stud

Granulation is also an ancient technique where the surface of a piece of jewelry is decorated of small spheres of precious metal or granules. The ancient Etruscans perfected the technique and are considered unrivaled masters to this day.

Filigree - 1

contemporary filigree necklace

 

Today filigree and granulation are still widely used jewelry making techniques and can range in styles from classic, to romantic, to modern. A truly flexible technique that is good for any jeweler to know.

Participants in this class will learn how to create patterns for a frame and fill the frames using various techniques from around the world. Demonstrations will include creating the frame, fill, and granulation; fusing and soldering for different styles; forming open wire work and closed back fret work with filigree on formed surfaces; and flash plating to hide solder seams.

 

Want to register for this class? call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

For more information about all of our classes at Danaca Design check out our website www.danacadesign.com

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