Tag Archives: copper

Summer Classes are Here!

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.

Here some of the highlights for spring but you can always see the entire class schedule and get full class descriptions on our website.

New Class! – Stacking Rings with Gemstones

Stacking rings

Stacking rings








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

Etched brass sheet

Etched brass sheet

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

Gun Street Girl cuff

Gun Street Girl cuff

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

Gravity Casting

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

Which came first?

Which came first?

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

Anticlastic Cuff Bracelet by Emily Hickman

Anticlastic Cuff Bracelet by Emily Hickman

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.

A Chat With Amanda Bristow

Amanda Bristow was born on the southern coast of Oregon and spent most of her childhood and early adult years in the Midwest. There, she cultivated an intense adoration of cheese and earned her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. After finishing school, Amanda was drawn back to the Pacific coast in pursuit of an art career. She currently resides in Seattle Washington… collecting moss and looking for whales. We have an abundance of Amanda’s work in the Danaca Design Gallery and asked her a few questions to get to know her and her work a little better…

whale necklace

How long have you been making Jewelry?

About 10 years, although I’ve been making some form of jewelry most of my life.  I come from an extremely creative family, so as a kid I was always making stuff from odds and ends around the house.  I had a lot of beads and craft supplies.  For a long time every Christmas or birthday someone was getting a beaded friendship bracelet or some other strange creation I had come up with. I didn’t stumble upon metalwork, however, until I was much older.  I was going through a really tough breakup, had to move back home, and needed something to distract me from my situation.  I signed up for a jewelry class at the local community college and fell in love.  A few classes in I realized that I wanted to be a jeweler, so I looked for an undergraduate program in jewelry and the rest just fell into place.

You have a constant theme of animals in the work of yours we have in the gallery, where does this come from?

I love animals and had a lot of special pets growing up, plus a good amount of animal dolls.  There was always a great appreciation for nature in my family and we spent a lot of time outside, so I think I just developed an affinity for animals of all kinds pretty early.  I’ve also have a great fondness for stories in which animals are featured prominently, whether it be beautifully illustrated children’s books or more “adult” novels like ‘Watership Down’.  When I was a little older I found that animals became a great vehicle for the nebulous emotions I wanted to communicate in the drawings I was making.  I think that over the years, animals just became so second nature in what I was making that it became impossible to extricate them from anything I am doing now.  But, I really have come to like that, as I don’t think I have exhausted the potential of animals as a metaphor yet.
fox ribbon broochowl ring

Is there anything in particular that you like about jewelry as a medium?

The size is perfect for me.  I love working really small scale.  I am a very detail oriented person and I like to get obsessive with tiny little areas.  Its so much easier for me to focus on craftsmanship when handling a smaller amount of space.  Whenever I have to make something large, it inevitably turns out very oddly proportioned with less refinement than I had hoped.  My brain just doesn’t think in the same way past a certain size.  I also find great pleasure in the strong emotional sentiment that jewelry carries.  I think its pretty wonderful that I could create something a person would be so attached to that they might wear every day or that is somehow associated with a really significant memory.

leaf sprout earring

​ Have you had any teachers who have shaped you as an artist?

I had a lot of great instructors at the Cleveland Institute of Art who taught me some amazing technical skills, as well as how to talk about what I was making.
When I moved to Seattle I was really fortunate to discover the wonderful network of jewelers here, especially Micki Lippe.  Being fresh out of school, I had no concept of what to do with a degree in jewelry or how to even set up a basic studio without all the expensive tools that I had at my disposal being in an academic setting.  After working for Micki and getting to know all the wonderful people in her studio, it gave me a much clearer idea of how to actually make a living doing what I love, especially in a creative sense.  When I was in college, there was so much emphasis to make jewelry that was highly conceptual and laden with cultural significance.  It was truly refreshing to finally meet people that just made the things that they were passionate about and wanted to wear.  In a more traditional academic sense though, English teachers have always had a big impact on me.  Since most of the work I do has an underlying narrative current to it, I’ve always been quite interested in storytelling, character studies, and why people create narratives in the first place.

I find that jewelers tend to have one part of the process they love best, for some it’s sawing, for others it’s soldering. Do you have a favorite part of the jewelry process?

Wax carving.  Once I discovered wax carving I was hooked.  I really enjoy the speed and ease of working in wax, the way you can work so smoothly, creating volume and undulations, things that would take forever using metal.  I also tend to be the type of person who needs a big eraser or has difficulty with the subtractive sculpting process.  With wax I don’t have to worry about altering something beyond repair.  If I carve something too deep I can always easily fill it back in again without much effort.
frog prince necklace
In what kind of environment do you work best?

Being a fairly quiet person, I work best in solitary environments.  I feel like so much of my inspiration for anything I am making comes mostly from my own internal landscape.  I daydream a lot, so I work best when I can just hermit myself up at home and get really lost in my own thoughts.  It helps too if I can get a little bit of time outside throughout the day or take advantage of a brief sunbreak.  When I am feeling particularly overworked or stressed, a little bit of time outside listening to the birds or the wind rustling through the trees always recharges me.  In fact, taking breaks has really become an essential part of my work day.  I used to be a person that could work on one thing all day, eating lunch at my bench, never for a second disengaged from what I was doing, but then I realized that I often get the same amount of work done in shorter spurts and still have time to do other things.

lost boot watercolor
Are there any other art forms close to your heart?

Illustration was always my first love.  I have been drawing as long as I can remember and my Mom is an illustrator, as well as an all around amazingly creative person, so it has invariably become something that is still a big part of my life.  I think what pulls me in most about illustration is the idea that I could express so many emotions that I was unable to verbalize just through imagery.  At different times in my life I have found that when I am feeling a little off balance or stuck in a rut I turn to watercolor.  There is something about being really focused on the tangible aspects of a small painting that allows all these other feelings to surface and resolve themselves in the most wonderful way.  I don’t think I will ever quite understand the magic that happens with that process.  When it comes to purely recreational artistic pursuits, I do love to sew.  It often seems so effortless compared to many of my other tedious interests and I find the softness of fabric to be a good contrast to working with metal all day.  Although honestly, I really just love making anything!

Fantastic Fold Forming!

Fold Form

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.

Fold Form copper round

Fold Form copper flower

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. 


Amy Hamblin: Milagro

One of our regular exhibitors, Amy Hamblin, has some new interesting work we wanted to share with you. She’s been making these lovely copper Milagros. I especially love her Milagro Wall!

milagro collage 3

Amy has written an artist statement and some information about milagros. I’ll let you read her words!

Artist Statement

For decades, my artwork has featured organic and scientific imagery that runs the gamut of realistic to abstracted and surrealistic. Since an anatomy class in Art College years ago, I saw lovely orbs and arcs and bulbous masses and spindly lengths and fascinating articulations, where others saw “Bone” and “Tissue” and “Organ”. My artworks revel in the beauty of nature, and try to encourage others to see the natural world around the, and within them, in a new and appreciative way.

For decades I have collected Milagros from around the world, although they are most often found in Latin countries. I have always loved the way Milagros are imbued with nearly magical significance to act as proxy for the fondest and most dire wishes we have for health, love, safety, cure and success.

Amy Hamblin Milagro

About Milagros

  • Milagros are traditional folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as votive offerings in many parts of the world. In Spanish, the word “milagro” literally means miracle or surprise.
  • Milagros traditionally have been worn or pinned to a wall, and are used to symbolize or refer to a particular need, or in gratitude for a request answered.
  • They are used to assist in focusing attention towards a specific ailment or need, based on the type of charm used. Milagro symbolism is not universal; rather individuals may attach their own meaning. For example, a leg milagro may pertain to leg health, travel, or athletic performance. Similarly, a heart may represent ideas as diverse as a heart condition, a romance or other relationships. Milagros are also carried for protection and good luck.

I make each piece by hand in my Seattle studio, using hammers, saws and files. I manipulate all my materials to their extremes, whether glass, wood, or metal, so the resulting artworks have the surprising organic plasticity of clay.

milagro 3

About the Artist

Amy Hamblin is a studio sculptor and jeweler who has shown nationally and in Japan. She works in a variety of materials including metal, glass, fiber, jewelry, and multi media. Her work is inspired by organic nature, anatomy and botany.

milagro wall 2

milagro wall 1

milagro collage 2

You can see some of Amy’s work here in the Danaca Design Gallery. And you can find much more on her website: http://amyhamblinart.com

Amy’s work will also be featured in a Studio Sale as part of Seattle Sampling, the weekend of Dec 6-8. www.SeattleSampling.com