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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Jean Shaffer is a new artist in our gallery at Danaca Design and we are happy to have her work! She has some beautiful one of a kind enamel items in our gallery right now and recently I got to ask her about her work and herself as an artist.
How long have you been making jewelry and what got you started?
I started making beaded jewelry in the early 1990s, replicating the trade bead necklaces that my Chinook Indian ancestors wore. I was gifted with a trade bead necklace that had belonged to my cousin’s grandmother, the daughter of Chief Taholah, dating from the 1850s. Later I began rockhounding along Washington and Oregon beaches finding fabulous agates, petrified wood, jade, and more. I wanted to make these treasures into jewelry, so I signed up for a Continuing Education class at North Seattle College in 2002 to learn how to set stones. Dana Cassara was my first instructor. After one class I was hopelessly hooked. I kept taking night classes and workshops for years until I retired from my first career in 2011 and entered the credit program at North Seattle College. I earned my Certificate in Jewelry Design last December.
What is your background? Is it in art or something else?
As a youth I was drawn to art, especially painting. I used to paint the wild landscapes that I imagined when reading my favorite science fiction novels. But in high school and college I made (what I thought were) more pragmatic choices. I earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Geography from the University of Washington, and had a lengthy career with local governments as a planner, program evaluator, and program and project manager. I worked for the cities of Kirkland, Seattle, and Bellevue and Snohomish County.
Even though I enjoyed career success, I felt a growing urge to return to making art. That set me on the path I described above.
Is there anything in particular that you like about jewelry as a medium?
So many things to love about jewelry…. It is portable art that is in intimate contact with the owner. It gains added meaning from how it is acquire and from whom, where and when it is worn. It can become a part of family heritage passed down generations. And jewelry is communication from the maker and the wearer to the outside world wherever it is worn.
What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?
I usually seek highly abstract patterns to render in my jewelry. From the natural world it could be plants like cactus, pods, roots, sea creatures, sand dunes, desert playa, waveforms, glacial crevasses, constellations, novae or infinitely more. In the developed world it might be maps, cityscapes, street layouts, or window patterns. Sometimes it just starts with a geometric form that I become obsessed with for a while. My Chinook Indian heritage also influences some of my work such as My Spirit Box and Two Turtles Rattle that are currently on display at the Seattle Metals Guild’s Biennial Exhibition.
I have some favorite jewelry techniques that I come back to regularly. Firstly, I am always on the lookout for unique cabochons such as picture jasper and plume agate that can inspire my designs. Larry Osler and West Coast Mining are my favorite sources of great stones with interesting shapes. Secondly, I love drawing abstract images and transferring them to metal by acid-etching. The etching process creates remarkably precise renderings that can be enhanced in the jewelry fabrication process. Thirdly, I love vitreous enameling, especially on hydraulically pressed metal that gives the pieces form and depth.
Your work mostly features beautiful enamel work. What is it you like about working with enamel?
Enameling is a traditional method of adding a wide range of colors to metal. Enameling techniques date back to antiquity, but are also fresh with contemporary innovation and vision. I like blending colors, adding glass beads and glass frit. The possibilities are limitless. I combine two of my favorite techniques by applying champlevé enameling to acid-etched metal. Some of my pieces at Danaca Studio were made that way.
What is your favorite type of jewelry to make and why?
I love making brooches more than any other form. To me, they are stand-alone works of art and clothing becomes the matt and frame. Recognizing that brooches don’t work for everybody, I also make a lot of pendants and necklaces. Usually when I make a brooch, I add a hidden loop or bale so it can be worn as a pendant if desired.
Do you have a website or where else can we see your work?
I have a maker profile on the Society of North American Goldsmith’s website that can be found at: http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/members/JeanShaffer
Thanks Jean! We love having your work in our gallery and look forward to watching your jewelry making continue to grow. Want to see more of Jean Shaffer’s work? We have a selection of Jean’s jewelry in our gallery at Danaca Design. We are open Monday – Friday from 11am-6pm and Saturday 10am-6pm
Is there a mother in your life you’d like to recognize? She may be your own mother, the mother of your kids, or a friend’s mother who’s special to you?
Our gallery is full of great work right now and we just might have the perfect gift for the mother in your life.
Use promo code MOMROCKS to get 10% off your gallery gift purchase until May 10th.
For moms who would rather make than wear, we also have gift certificates which can be used towards any of our classes or tools.
The gallery is open Monday-Friday 11-6, and Saturday 10-6. Come visit and see if anything grabs your eye!
5619 University Way NE
We’re fortunate to have Harlan Butt coming to the studio next month to teach Cloisonné Enameling in the Round. We wanted to share a bit about him with you, so please read on to learn more.
Harlan will be teaching Cloisonné Enameling in the Round will be on November 8, 9, and 10 from 10am-5pm. We do still have a couple open spaces, so if you’re interested give us a call.
Now on to Harlan!
Harlan W. Butt is an artist working in metal and enamel who specializes in vessel making. Many of his vessels feature cloisonné patterns inspired by the natural environment. Harlan is a Regents Professor of Art at the University of North Texas where he has taught since 1976. He is past President of the Enamelist Society, past President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the American Crafts Council. His work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Art & Design in New York City, the Mint Museum of Art & Craft in Charlotte, NC, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, the Wichita Center for the Arts in Kansas, the National Gallery of Australia, the Cloisonné Enamelware Fureai Museum in Ama City, Japan, the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
What got you into teaching jewelry making/ metals?
As a graduate student I was a Teaching Fellow and taught a beginning class. I liked sharing what I knew with students. After grad school I applied for teaching jobs but didn’t receive an offer for one for about a year and a half, at San Diego State University in 1975. I’ve been teaching since then.
Can you tell us about any memorable teachers from your past who influence what you’re doing today, as an instructor or as an artist?
I have to give credit to my forth grade teacher Ms. Newell, who helped me have confidence in myself and my high school art teacher Mr. Steitzin, who encouraged me to develop what talent he thought I had. Professor Stanley Lechtzin at Tyler School of Art gave me a great foundation in technique and the desire to be the best I could be. Brent Kington at Southern Illinois University was the ideal example of an artist/metalsmith who was passionate about his work and who cared about his students.
Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?
I hope to express passion I have for what I do and how I think it can give your life meaning and purpose. I believe technique and craftsmanship are the vehicles we use to express ourselves as artists. You can’t do it without them but they are the means not the ends.
Your artwork often appears rooted in inspiration from the natural world, has it always been this way? When did this passion begin?
I have had an interest in knowing about and understanding nature, both as real phenomena and as metaphor for what and who we are since I was a child. It has been the subject of my work as an artist since the beginning.
In what kind of environment do you work best?
Until recently I would have said that I work best alone in my studio. But in the past few years I have had students working with me in my studio a few days each week. This has been rewarding for me and I have learned a lot from them.
Many of your pieces employ cloisonné enameling technique, what makes this technique one of your favorites?
I have produced over 450 pieces and many of them do not employ cloisonné, in fact many early pieces had no enamel. Its true that most of my work since about 1985 includes some cloisonné. The technique allows me to draw with lines and to create patterns with hard edges, unlike some of the other enameling processes. But I have also used champlevé, basse taille, stencil, silk screen, ceramic pencils and painting enamels on my work.
If you could only embark one piece of information to your students that they will remember for the rest of their lives, what would that advice be?
Wow! I’m not a sage and I don’t know if anything I could say would be that memorable, especially for someone’s entire life. I’ve found that different information and various knowledge can have a critical impact on someone at the time a person is ready for it and not be so significant at other times. But to believe in yourself, to be disciplined but open, to avoid attachments that are unimportant or unhealthy and to pursue a passion in something and not let anyone or anytime keep you from doing it. That’s about the best I can come up with.
Besides cloisonné, what is your favorite technique to teach?
Thank you Harlan!
We’re really looking forward to having him in the studio next month. If you’d like to register for Cloisonné Enameling in the Round give us a call at 206-524-0916. We’re here Tues-Fri 11-6, and Saturday 10-6.
You can see more of Harlan’s work on his website: http://harlanwbutt.com