Summer is just about here (Well with the sunny weather last couple days it seems to be here!) and so are our new classes. The new summer schedule is up on the Danaca Design website but here is a first look at the classes exclusive to summer.
We have a new class, new guest artist, some classes that only come around once a year, and a returning instructor that we haven’t had in a while. If you would like to sign up for a class either come to our location at 5619 University Way NE or call us at (206)524-0916. We are open from 11-6pm Mon-Fri and 10-6pm on Sat.
New Class! – Stacking Rings with Gemstones
Instructor: Dana Cassara
August 16, Sunday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $165, basic materials included
Stacking rings are all the rage. They are fun to mix and match and super easy to make! This class will focus on creating your own delicate stacking rings with sparkling gemstones. Students will learn to size and solder the bands, create and add a simple but very functional tube setting for a round faceted stone, and set the stones! Everyone will make several rings gaining them the opportunity to practice the process and leave with a finger full of beautiful rings made from brass, sterling silver and gold fill. Very basic metal working skills required.
Returning Class – Etching Metal
Instructor: Jessie Wylie is teaching the Etching Metal class this summer and we are glad to have her back!
August 8, Saturday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
Class Fee: $125, Materials Included
See an image or pattern come to life in brass and copper through the acid etching process! This technique is excellent for creating exclusive textures on copper and brass sheet which can be cut and incorporated into jewelry, enameled or used as rolling mill templates to emboss precious metals and even paper. Patterns can be hand drawn directly on the sheet metal or photo transferred. Physical properties of different acids and metals, resist techniques and studio safety will be explored. The end result will yield several etched plates for use in future jewelry/design projects! Follow up this workshop with Enameling Basics II, our beginning transparent enamels class. This workshop is appropriate for beginners, however experienced jewelry artists may find it very exciting as well.
Guest Artist – Casey Sheppard
Instructor: Casey Sheppard
July 25 & 26, Saturday – Sunday, 10:30am – 5:00pm
Class Fee: $265, Materials Included
Cold connection is a fun way to play with metal and design jewelry. At first glance it may seem limiting however restricting your process can cause you to think about your design in a functional way generating unlimited outcomes. In this cold connection class students learn how to create a hinged bracelet with a clasp out of sheet metal, all without picking up a torch. You’ll learn the basics of sawing, piercing, drilling, forming metal and how to layer, add detail and a unique design to your creation. Other techniques learned will include tube rivets, metal/wire forming and finishing details with oxidization. With a unique approach to jewelry design, Casey will offer beginners to advanced level students something useful and insightful to walk away with. No jewelry experience is necessary but can be useful. Please Casey after the class for a personal tour of her traveling metalsmithing studio.
Don’t Miss! These classes only happen in the summer
Low Tech Gravity Casting
Instructor: Juan Reyes
July 11 and 12, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $285 Basic materials included
Learn the fundamentals of casting by exploring the exciting and ancient technique of pouring molten metal directly into molds made from organic materials, sand and soft stone. This process does not require a centrifugal setup or any major equipment so it is easily reproduced in a home studio or in your back yard! This workshop will cover carving a mold and casting into tufa (light-weight sandstone), creating a quick mold in cuttlefish bone, a material easily found at any pet store producing a lovely texture, and sandcasting, an ancient way to reproduce an object. Students will also explore casting into other organic materials for surprising effects! Rudimentary alloying, pouring an ingot, finishing techniques and safety will all be discussed. Bring your clean silver scraps if you have some. No experience necessary.
Total Immersion Beginning Jewelry Making
Instructor: Dana Cassara
July 13-17, 5 weekdays, Monday – Friday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $595, Basic materials included
What could be more fun than spending a week totally immersed in learning to make jewelry? Absolutely nothing! Spend an exciting five straight days doing just that. Together we will tackle the fundamentals of learning to work with precious metal: sawing, disc cutting and dapping, hammer texturing, roll printing, basic forming and finishing, as well as bezel setting stones. In this beginning silversmithing class, using copper, brass and sterling silver, students will make individualized jewelry pieces including a pin, pendent, ring and a simple linked project. Each night you’ll go home dreaming of what to create the next day, designing in your sleep. This class is an ideal opportunity to explore a range of techniques, in a condensed time, while creating several projects. No experience necessary.
Jewelry Summer Camp Ages 8-12
Instructor: Tegan Wallace
July 20 – 24, 5 weekdays, Monday – Friday, 9:30 – 2:00
Class Fee: $285 Materials included
Looking for a great activity for your 3rd – 6th grader this summer? Check out the Danaca Design jewelry camp! This week-long camp teaches cool jewelry-making techniques such as bead making and stringing, wire working, texturing, stamping, and riveting metal! In addition, we will explore the fundamentals of composition and color theory while learning to use a variety of basic hand tools. Using polymer clay, Shrinky Dinks, seed beads, and copper and brass wire and sheet metal, we will create a variety of jewelry pieces students can wear proudly. After all, nothing is quite as fun as saying, “I made this!” Rings and bracelets and brooches, oh my! Come have fun with us for a week in July! No experience necessary.
Anticlastic Forming in Metal
Instructor: Bill Dawson
July 31 – August 2, Friday – Sunday, Three days, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee: $350, Basic Materials Included
Tool kits available to purchase In this three-day workshop you will learn the basics of anticlastic raising, a process which lends itself to creating exceptionally strong, flexible, lightweight, and organic-looking forms. A new focus on this ancient technique has yielded some of the most interesting forms in contemporary metalwork. In anticlastic forming a flat sheet of metal is shaped by compressing its edges and stretching the center so that the surface develops two curves at right angles to each other, like a horse saddle. We will focus on “open” or “mono-shell” forms made from a single piece of thin sheet metal, working to create striking dimensional shapes. Decking these forms will be shown in class to demonstrate how doing so can expand the range of forms available expanding your design options. Though open anticlastic forms date to the Early Iron Age, it is only recently that they have been explored in detail. You do not need a great deal of metalworking experience to take this class, but some facility with the hammer is helpful.
Spring is finally here and so are the newest classes at Danaca Design.
We have some new classes, a guest artist, and some that only come around once a year. If you would like to sign up for a class either come to our location at 5619 University Way NE or call us at (206)524-0916. We are open from 11-6pm Tues-Fri and 10-6pm on Sat.
New Class – Mechanisms: Hinges and Clasps
Instructor: Peggy Foy
June 3 – 24, Four Weeks
Wednesday nights, 6:30 – 9:30*
Class fee: $265, basic materials included
Learn to add movement and complexity to your work while increasing your skills as a jeweler. This class will present a variety of ways to make hinges and clasps, including traditional hinges with knuckles, locket latches, and closures for necklaces and bracelets. Beginning Series or equivalent required. *Students enrolled in multiple week classes are eligible and encouraged to work outside of class on class projects during Practice Hours.
Guest Artist – High Relief Eastern Repoussé
Instructor: Victoria Lansford
June 19-21, Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class fee: $585, basic materials included
Learn the secrets used by the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Scythian metalsmiths to texturally sculpt metal into any shape or design to achieve exquisite detail, unsurpassed depth, and multiple levels of relief exclusive to this type of repousse. You will gain a working knowledge of the process which can be used on any scale whether wearable, functional, or sculptural. Participants will also be introduced to the possibilities of working with alternative materials, such as mokume gane and bi-metal. Victoria Landsford has generated an exciting revival of nearly lost, old world metalsmithing techniques including high relief Eastern repoussé and Russian filigree. She will be vising us all the way from Atlanta, GA! All levels.
Don’t Miss! – Hot and Cold Forging for Jewelry
Instructor: David Tuthill
May 30th and 31st
Sat and Sun, 10:30-5:00
Class fee: $265, basic materials included
Explore the hot and cold manipulation of non-ferrous and ferrous metals for jewelry and other small objects. Using brass, copper and steel, students will employ a variety of hammers and other tools unveiling the mysteries of the blacksmith. This class is only offered once a year so don’t miss out! Moderate comfort with a jeweler’s torch and hammer is helpful.
Hollowware Fundamentals Series: Introduction
Instructor: Bill Dawson
April 18th and 19th
Sat and Sun 10:30-5:00
Class fee: $265, basic materials included
The Hollowware Fundamentals Series covers the diverse techniques and traditions used to create practical and artful hollow objects like cups, bowls, and other vessels. This Introduction workshop kicks off the series and will cover the basic techniques common to all hollowware; after completing the Introduction, students may take any of the workshops in the series offered throughout the year. No experience necessary.
We have many more classes this spring including our Beginning Jewelry Series, Cloisonné Enameling, and Faceted Stone Setting. Don’t forget to check out the full spring class schedule at our main website www.danacadesign.com
Bill Dawson is one of our talented instructors here at Danaca Design. He teaches a variety of classes covering hollowware, forming, forging, metal inlay, engraving, fabrication, and tool making. We also sell a variety of his chasing and forming tools here in the shop. Bill got his start in metals with blacksmithing at the University of Oregon, and has been a working metalsmith and teacher ever since. Recently Sophie asked him a few questions. I loved reading through his responses, especially his take on functional art and artless objects- it definitely made me want to take a class with him!
Okay, here you go!
What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else?
I never really imagined doing anything much beyond art, because I never imagined being able to hold down a job. My childhood hero was Georgia O’Keeffe, and I wanted to grow up to be more or less just like her. I started out as an oil painter, at around four years old. Though I no longer have it the first painting I can remember making was of a grey dog on a green background. I do however have the first metal sculpture I created, an iron pony I made when I was eleven.
You work in all kinds of mediums and styles, what are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
I divide creative work into four broad categories: Additive, assembly, fabrication, etc; subtractive, carving, stock removal, etc; transformational, casting, and shaping; and ephemeral, performance and time based art. I’m going to give you a favorite for each. Painting is the medium with which I have worked the longest, and is my favorite additive art, though textiles come a close second. Each new painting is a unique challenge, and they never become routine. I like to carve all sorts of material: bone, amber, jet, antler, stone and so forth, but if I had to pick just one to work from now on it would be cedar, and specifically Port Orford Cedar. It is a variety of yellow cedar that grows in Western Oregon, and has a texture similar to redwood. I love its smooth strength, carveability, and smell. .999 silver would have to be my favorite transformational material, though there are many metals that I love working, including copper, bog iron, and high karat gold. The thing about pure silver is that it is just about the ideal material for so many techniques: forging, inlay, casting, etc. It is both beautiful and profoundly workable. I don’t do much ephemeral art, but I do enjoy playing music. My voice is not much to talk about, but I like playing woodwinds, especially playing early music.
Everything from tools to jewelry to sculpture to wood, you do it all. As a bit of a Renaissance man; what aspects of your artistry do you enjoy the most?
I most enjoy seeking the balance between the functional and the artistic. I find that mass produced functional but thoughtless items have no life to them, and art without function is a bit like hothouse flowers that are inedible. Making a beautiful tool is what I consider the highest form of creativity. I don’t think of myself as a Renaissance man, but more an Arts and Crafts man. I take far more inspiration from Hubbard and Morris, than from Brunelleschi and DaVinci. I love to do a good job of creating, but I want others to be able to do that good work as well. I think that the most exciting times are when I am working to rediscover some lost technique that I can revive and pass along to other artists.
What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?
The main themes in my work are place and history. I very much believe in the importance of context, and creative honesty. Much of my work is either rooted in the Pacific Northwest, or steeped in history, or both.
Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?
I could go on about this at length, but I will try to keep it to something reasonable here. The first thing that any creative person needs is the courage to start a project. Modern society tells us to fear making mistakes, which are part of learning anything, but too often that fear kills the creativity in us, before we can even get going. The next thing that we all need is the humility to pay attention to our materials and change plans as they dictate. You can’t force your work to be something that it is not, and if you listen the nature of your materials will come through in your work, just as your creativity will be expressed through your materials. The final thing I want students to develop is the grit to see a project through, not to rush it, but to stay with it until it comes to a natural conclusion.
In what kind of environment do you work best?
I do most of my best work alone, even when working on a collaborative project. It is not that I don’t want people around at all, but I like to have a direct and intimate connection to my materials, and this is easiest in private. When I take breaks I like to get out of the studio and if possible outdoors or on the water. I find that a long walk, a ride on the motorbike, or a paddle on the canoe helps clear my mind so that I can come back to my work ready to give my best.
Bill is currently revamping his website, but you can still visit and check things out while it’s under construction: http://billdawsonmetalsmith.com
We’ve also started a new class series with Bill, Hollowware Fundamentals Beginning Series. Look for our Spring quarter schedule to see what’s next in the lineup! Join our mailing list for early access to each quarterly schedule: http://www.danacadesign.com
This January we are introducing a new hollowware series at Danaca Design with artist and instructor Bill Dawson, The Hollowware Fundamental Series. Kicking off the series is Hollowware Fundamentals: An Introduction.
The series will include classes on a wide range of hollowware processes including angle raising, crimp raising, hollow fabrication, and mixed media with hollowware. After taking the introduction workshop (or another equivalent class) students may take the remaining Hollowware Fundamentals Series classes in any order. I’m really looking forward to seeing what our students make in the fabrication and mixed media classes!
Hollowware Fundamentals: Introduction
Instructor: Bill Dawson
January 24 and 25, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $245|$25 Materials Fee Payable to Instructor
The Hollowware Fundamentals Series covers the diverse techniques and traditions used to create practical and artful hollow objects like cups, bowls, and other vessels. After completing the Introduction students may take any of the workshops in the series offered throughout the year, including Crimp Raising, Angle Raising and Fabrication. Students who complete the series will have the breadth of skill to choose the techniques best suited for any project and execute them with skill and flair. Kicking off the series is the Hollowware Fundaments Introduction. This workshop will cover the basic techniques common to all hollowware including layout, proper annealing, boughing, plannishing, and simple finish work. We will not cover patinas, or edge finishing techniques in depth. Forming techniques in this workshop will include sinking and hammer stretching, allowing students the opportunity to complete at least one simple copper vessel. No experience necessary.
Look for these other Hollowware Fundamentals Series classes later in the year:
Hollowware Fundamentals: Angle Raising
Hollowware Fundamentals: Crimp Raising
Hollowware Fundamentals: Fabrication
Hollowware Fundamentals: Mixed Media
Find the complete class details on our website: http://www.danacadesign.com/
To register give us a call at 206-524-0916. We’re here Tues-Fri 11-6, and Sat 10-6
Bill Dawson came to art metals by way of blacksmithing at the University of Oregon. Since then he has been making a living with metalsmithing, both teaching and creating custom pieces for all manner of patrons. A close examination of metalwork of ancient cultures of Ireland has given Bill a deeper understanding of the character of the metal itself, as well as the aesthetics of the past. You can see Bill’s work at www.billdawsonmetalsmith.com.
I just love the hammer sound in this video on angle raising. It’s kind of musical.
The video runs through raising a basic copper vessel, it’s about 7 minutes long.
Fold Forming is a relatively new technique, developed by Charles Lewton-Brain. In his book Foldforming he writes about the educational environment in West Germany in the 1950’s – 1970’s that led to experimentation becoming a valuable part of the learning process for young and relatively inexperienced students trying to work in metal. He goes on to write about his graduate school experience in the 1980’s where the fold forming technique we see today really came together. Interesting stuff! His book goes over many different folds and tools, and has a bunch of great photos. If you’re interested, you can pick up a copy of this book in our Mercantile Shop.
In this this upcoming (really soon!) class you can learn about Fold Forming from a great local instructor.
Fantastic Fold Forming!
Instructor: Bill Dawson
April 6, Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $95 | Basic materials included
Fold forming is an exciting technique wherein sheet metal is manipulated and hammered to create fabulously textured, 3-dimensional, organic forms. This is a relatively quick process, so students will have the opportunity to create a variety of basic forms as well as explore interrupted folds, texturing fold forms, and fold forming 3-D forms. Students will cut, file, and practice annealing metal as well as develop a fundamental understanding of how to use a jeweler’s hammer. This workshop is appropriate for beginners, however experienced jewelry artists will find it very exciting as well. Materials included. Copper for a variety of samples will be provided. If students wish to work in silver, 24g sheet is ideal.
Later this quarter, in June, Bill will also be teaching Anticlastic Forming. If you’re interested in developing your skills further, these classes go very well together!
Please see the schedule for dates and hours. The class description can be found here.
To register for either or both of these classes, please call the shop at 206-524-0916. We’re here 11-6 Tuesday-Friday and 10-6 Saturday.