Tag Archives: Danaca Design


Jan Smith enamel+metal

Traces 1 by Jan Smith

This month we are pleased to have enamel artist Jan Smith coming down from Canada to join us for a weekend in our studio!

Jan started her art career as a print maker, and you can see those influences of in her jewelry and mark making. Since the mid 1980’s Jan has worked in the field of art jewelry. Her pieces combine vitreous enamels, alternative materials, and precious metal to create dream like surfaces. 

Red by Jan Smith

Focusing on the surface she uses color, texture and mark making to create unique non-traditional surfaces. Her pieces are meant to explore memory, how it changes and the impressions memories leave behind. 

Stem Slice by Jan Smith

August 18-20, Jan will be with us sharing how to create exciting surfaces through the exploration of nontraditional enameling processes. Line is an important element of design and will be explored through a variety of enamel techniques that allow you to achieve line and images.

Image and Mark Making in Enamel

Aug 18-19, Friday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $435 | Some Materials Included

To register call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle

Cuttlebone Casting – Texture from the Sea

Pretty Pink Princess Party Birthday Cake Ring by Jennifer Stenhouse

Cuttlebone casting is one of the oldest jewelry casting methods. It is quick and fairly accurate, its main limitations being the size of the item to be cast. However it is perfect for casting at a jewelry scale and produces a wonderful unique texture that is a favorite among jewelers and jewelry lovers alike. 

Look at this adorable cuttlefish. Such a cutie.

Cuttlebone comes from a squid-like mollusk known as a cuttlefish. The cuttlefish has a chalky internal shell with a hard, thin crust surrounding a soft internal shell.Because the cuttlebone’s soft interior can be easily carved and withstand high temperatures make it perfect as a mold making material. These days cuttlebone can commonly be found in pet stores for parakeets and parrots as a bill sharpener. 

Cuttlebone washed up on the beach

The cuttlebone can be found on beaches after sea storms and the technique has been used in Mediterranean  countries for centuries and was using in mass produced jewelry up until the 1950’s. These days the majority of cast jewelry is done by centrifugal casting which is faster and cheaper than cuttlebone for mass production. However it is still a favorite method among artists because of the unique texture that the cuttlebone produces on the metal and the spontaneity of the technique.

Halo Rings with cuttlebone texture by Jennifer Stenhouse

This texture is created naturally by the cuttlebone. It is reminiscent of ocean waves, shifting sands, and topographical maps. It can be uses as a small design element or the focal point of the piece. Learning to cast cuttlebone isn’t too hard and if you wanted to do it in your own studio the casting set up is much cheaper and easier than with lost wax casting. Jennifer Stenhouse will be teaching Cuttlefish Bone Casting: Beyond Texture with us Sunday, August 13th where she will give some tricks and tips that can extend the versatility of your cuttlebone designs. Come play with us and learn all about this wonderful technique:

 

Class Details: Cuttlefish Bone Casting:Beyond Texture

August 13, Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $145| Basic materials included

To register give us a call at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5919 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

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!

July Classes

Summer is here and before you get too busy making vacation plans don’t forget to schedule some summer classes too. Play for a day in a one day “quickie” or spend a whole week in an immersion class. We also have kid jewelry camps too! Here is what is coming up in July but check out our full schedule online here 

Featured Classes in July:

 

Kids wirework and beads

Jewelry Summer Camp for Kids 8-12
July 17-21, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-2:00pm,

Class Fee: $300

Looking for a fun and artistic activity for your 3rd-6th grader this summer? Have them come spend a week making jewelry with us. These week long camps teach cool jewelry making techniques such as bead making, creative wire-working, metal texturing, stamping, and basic riveting! No experience necessary and return students welcome.

Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making
July 24-28, Monday-Friday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $595|Basic materials included

Come spend a week taking a jewelry vacation! This class is all three of our beginning series workshops rolled into one. Each day you’ll go home dreaming about what to create the next day. Absolutely no experience needed.

One Day “Quickie” Classes:

Enamel earrings by Linnie Kendrick

                                                                                      

Kiln Fire Enameling Basics I
July 8, Saturday, 10:30-5:00pm
Class Fee: $145|Basic materials included

Get a taste for the timeless beauty of colored glass on metal. Students will learn how to properly apply richly colored opaque enamels onto flat and domed sheet metal by both sifting and wet-laying. No experience necessary.

Soldering Essentials
July 9, Sunday 10:00-4:00pm
Class Fee: $95|Basic materials included

Whether you’ve had a soldering class, attempted to learn from a book, or never even tried, if you are looking to learn how to silver-solder or just get better at it, this class is for you. Expect lots of hands-on time at the soldering table and practice with different torches. No experience necessary.

Summer Don’t Miss Classes:

Melting scrap metal in preparation for pouring into the mold.

Low Tech Gravity Casting
July 12, 19, 26, Wed Evening, 6:30-9:00pm
Class Fee:$295|Basic materials included

Learn the fundamentals of casting by exploring the ancient technique of pouring molten metal directly into molds carved or formed from sand, soft stone, and other surprising materials. This process does not require any major equipment so it is easily reproduced in a home studio or in your back yard! No experience necessary.

Beautiful shapes can be created with fold forming techniques

Fantastic Fold Forming!
July 22-23, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee:$265|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 quick porcess, so students will have the opportunity to create a variety of basic forms in this quick workshop. All levels.

PMC…create as you would with clay but once fired becomes all metal

Bronze Precious Metal Clay Basics
July 29-30, Saturday, 10:00-4:00pm
Class Fee: $95|Materials kit $30 payed to instructor

Striking jewelry can be made easily and inexpensively with Bronze Precious Metal Clay, bronze clay that when fired in a kiln results in pure metal! This workshop will focus on the basics of working with PMC Bronze however students might also explore components for earring and pendants. No experience necessary however intermediate level students encouraged.

House Rules! 2017

The House Rules! show 2017 – May 1-June30 

Opening Reception May 5, 5:30-9:30pm

5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Friday, May 5, is the reception for, The House Rules! our group art jewelry show, just in time for Mother’s Day.

 

Traditionally, this event has been a fundraiser for our scholarship however this year we’ve decided to raise funds for the American Civil Liberties Union. The theme for our special fundraising exhibition is, MAY DAY!

 

50-100% of sales from these special exhibition pieces will be donated to the ACLU. Friday night, May 5, a minimum of 25% of ALL SALES IN THE GALLERY will be donated to the ACLU. On Friday night we will also raffle a class of your choosing with 100% of raffle ticket sales going directly to the ACLU.

Raffle tickets are on sale now for $10 each or 3 for $25. These can be purchased in our studio. Cash or check only, please make checks out to ACLU.

Please join us to share in our warm-hearted community and raise funds to protect our hard earned American rights, no matter what your politics.

Refreshments served with meze provided by Cafe Paloma.

Raffle drawn 8:30 (although you do not have to be present to win!)

2017 Spring Schedule

Spring has sprung and it’s time to shake out the winter cobwebs and plant new seeds. How about planting some seeds of creativity while you are at it? This schedule has a few great opportunities for intermediate students as well as some really fun one day classes. What are you going to take this spring?

 

Guest Artist:

Necklace by Victoria Lansford

Russian Filigree with Victoria Lansford

June 23 – 25, 3 days, Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $675 | Basic materials included

We had so much fun when Victoria came to teach with us two years ago we just had to have her back. This time she’ll be teaching Russian Filigree. This style of filigree is tension fit and then soldered together. In this three day hands on class you will learn to make scalloped wire, a pendant, a ring, and begin a bead. This is a class you don’t want to miss!

Intermediate Classes:

Total Immersion: Intermediate Jewelry Making

Instructor: Dana Cassera
April 10 – 14, Monday – Friday, 5weekdays, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $595 | Basic materiala included

Have you already taken our Beginner Series and are looking for a new challenge? Come spend a week in our Total Immersion: Intermediate Jewelry Making workshop. In this five day workshop you will expand upon what you already know and focus on construction and soldering tricks as well as finishing techniques. You will also have the option to learn new stone settings including tube setting and prong setting. Learn about basic hydronic press forming, simple hinges, and creating your own clasp. This class will let you take your jewelry to the next level.

Necklace by Kirk Lang

Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Application: Fancy Stones

Instructor: Kirk Lang
May 6 and 7, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $265 | $95 Materials Fee Payable to Instructor

If you have taken our other Faceted Stone Setting workshop on setting round faceted stones (or have equivilent experience) then this is the next course. Kirk Lang will show you how to set a pear shaped, triangle, and princess cut stone. Prong, flush set, and thick bezel setting will all be covered. Finally learn how to set all those fancy stones you’ve been collecting but aren’t sure how to set.

One Day “Quikies”:

What would you commemorate with your spoon?

Let’s Make a Spoon!

Instructor: Bill Dawson
June 17, Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $145 | Basic materials included

Metalsmithing techniques aren’t just for making jewelry but has a long history in creating functional ware too. Take a day to make a baby, table, or commemorative spoon. A great introduction to silversmithing without having to take the time and expense of raising a large vessel. A great way to practice your forging skills too!

Andy Cooperman doing what he loves…talking about the flexshaft!

It Ain’t Just a Drill: Getting Most Out of Your Flexible Shaft

Instructor: Andy Cooperman
April 1, Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $135 | Tool kit available for purchase

Are you just using your flexshaft to drill, polish, and finish your pieces? Then you are missing out on all the other things this tool can do! Or if you haven’t bought your flex shaft yet but aren’t sure which brand to buy this class is also for you. Andy Cooperman will spend the day explaining how the flex shaft works and what to look for when buying one as well as some innovative tricks that you can try at home.

Brooch by Sarah Wilbanks

Image Transfer on Polymer Clay

Instructor: Sarah Wilbanks
April 29, Saturday, 10:30 – 3:30
Class Fee: $125 | Materials list
Class size limit: 8

If you are interested in incorporating photographs, texture or color into your work, image transfers on polymer clay is a fun and easy solution with infinite possibilities. Creating clear photographic transfers as well as altering the images to conjure unusual textures and rich color will be demonstrated.

 

That’s just a sample of what we have going on for the next three months. We have much more in going on too…go check out our website at www.danacadesign.com for our full schedule!

To register for classes call us at 206-524-0916
or
stop by our location at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Annual Swap Meet Coming Soon

Start clearing out those studio closets and get your spring cleaning going because the annual Jewelry Tools & Supply Swap Meet is coming soon!

We still have a few vendor spaces open if you’d like to unload all of those items that we all seem to collect in our studios but just aren’t using or don’t need. In the past people have swapped everything from stones and beads to enameling equipment so you never know what you’ll find.

Nothing you want to get rid or still building your studio? This is a great way to find tools for really low prices. Last year I picked up two hammers and a plier stand for $8…sweet deal. Plus we always have a Free table…I wonder what hidden treasures will be on it this year?

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Sunday, April 2 from 9am-12pm. If you’d like to reserve a vendor spot give us a call at 206-542-0916 or email us at dana@danacadesign.com

Danaca Design is located at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA. You can find plenty of free street parking on our block and the surrounding neighborhood. We hope to see you 🙂

Gem Show at Danaca Design

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Thursday, January 12, 5-8pm 

Greg Bracati of Custom Faceting will be at Danaca Design!

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Looking for some new sparkle to add to your jewelry? Greg brings a wide variety of top quality semiprecious and precious gemstones (faceted and not) for all your jeweler needs. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get some new stones for 2017! 

 

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New Year…New Classes!

Happy New Year!

As the new year unfolds we start looking ahead to see what we want to accomplish and what the year has to offer. Which is also an excellent time to see what new classes we have to offer at Danaca Design. Our winter schedule is out and we have a wide variety of classes this quarter from a week long intensive to one day “quickie” classes.

For you long range planners we also have two guest artists coming to teach in 2017 – Victoria Landsford and Deb Karash!

Here are some of the highlights but our whole schedule and more information can be found on our website www.danacadesign.com:

Student ring from this summer's Beginning Immersion class

Student ring from this summer’s Beginning Immersion class

Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making
January 16-20, Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm
Class Fee: $595|Basic Materials Included

Spend a week getting totally immersed in learning to make jewelry! This week long class is all three of our Beginners Jewelry Workshops rolled into one class. Each night you’ll go home dreaming of what you’ll create the next day, designing in your sleep! Absolutely no experience needed.

With cold connections you can add kinetic elements to your jewelry

With cold connections you can add kinetic elements to your jewelry

Cold Connections Beyond Rivets with Kirk Lang
January 28-29, Sat-Sun, 10:30am-5:00pm
Class Fee: $295|Basic Materials Included

Learn some new ways to join two pieces of metal together without soldering. This workshop will teach you how to create an exciting variety of rivets, use micro tap and dies to create custom nuts and bolts, and utilize small tabs to fold over and attach one piece of metal to another. Learn to marry form and function while designing a piece of jewelry or other articulated object with these techniques. Basic jewelry making skills helpful, soldering not necessary.

Micro mosaic by Cynthia Toops

Micro mosaic by Cynthia Toops

Polymer Micro Mosaics for Jewelry with Cynthia Toops
February 25-26, Sat-Sun, 10:00am-5:00pm
Class Fee: $285|Some materials included

Cynthia Toops is widely recognized for her remarkable artistry in polymer clay, most especially for her polymer clay mosaics. In this workshop students will learn her tricks and create incredible micro-mosaics of their own to use like gems in pendants, brooches, and/or rings. No previous polymer clay or metal working experiance is necessary for this exciting workshop.

Winter Class “Quickies”!

enamel bracelet

enamel bracelet

Low Tech Enameling with Allan Thorne
February 13, Monday, 6pm-9pm
Class Fee: $85|Basic Materials Included

Using a torch and a few simple tools, students will learn the basics of enameling in this exciting three-hour workshop. This is a great opportunity to learn how to add vibrant color to your copper and fine silver jewelry. Moderate comfort level with a jeweler’s torch is helpful.

This reticulated silver is ready to be made into jewelry!

This reticulated silver is ready to be made into jewelry!

Silver Reticulation with Juan Reyes
February 19, Sunday, 10:30 – 3:30
Class Fee: $95 | $25 Materials fee payable to instructor

First developed in Russia by Czarist jewelers such as Fabergé, reticulated silver will add exciting and unique 3-dimensional texture to your work. By carefully preparing the surface of the metal and heating with a focused yet delicate torch, this specialized technique reveals a mysterious lunar-like landscape within every piece of silver!

Keum-boo being added to the silver surface.

Keum-boo being added to the silver surface

Keum-Boo: Surface Treatment with Gold with Suz O’Dell
March 19, Sunday, 10:30 – 1:30
Class Fee: $75 | Materials Fee: $35 Payable to instructor, Materials list
In this workshop students will learn to add the luster of gold to their jewelry by applying 24K gold foil to fine silver. The result is dramatic, creating rich color and beautiful textural possibilities with minimal expense. All levels

But that’s just a sample of what we have going on for the next three months. Go check out our website at www.danacadesign.com for our full schedule!

To register for classes call us at 206-524-0916
or
stop by our location at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

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!

 
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