Rachel Shimpock will be teaching at Danaca Design, Sept 30 – Oct 1 and as a bonus she’s bringing her awesome jewelry and having a pop-up trunk show with Barbara Knuth!
We are sooo excited to see Rachel’s current collection. As usual the original “kitchensmith” has created a collection that highlights her sense of humor and kitsch to create jewelry that will certainly get some attention.
Barbara is debuting a new collection so come get the first chance to see (and own!) one of her newest pieces.
Not familiar with Barbara and Rachel? Read on for more info:
Rachel Kassia Shimpock is a California native raised in Orange County, Ca.She received her MFA in the Jewelry/Metalsmithing program at San Diego State University with Professors Helen Shirk and Sondra Sherman.
At age 11 she got separated from her parents in historical Williamsburg and wandered into a smithy where a blacksmith let her hit steel with a tiny sledge hammer, she’s been smitten ever since! Metal and the format of jewelry in particular speaks to her and for the last 12 years has allowed her to communicate personal stories and there are many! Rachel is carrying on the legacy of her family and her trade by teaching workshops and art classes utilizing any opportunity to spread the gospel of metals and jewelry!
Barbara lives and works in Seattle and was the 2015 Seattle Metals Guild Emerging Artist award recipient.
Barbara Knuth’s work contemplates the experience of the bereaved. After a loved one has passed, there is a longing for return; she feels an urge to ‘put things back’. Fueled by a need to reconcile with the past, she repairs and restores detached branches and cut sections of trees. Using the familiar bodily forms of a tree, Barbara creates sculpture and body adornment that act as memorials. Metal, wax, and salt are used in combination with the wood in efforts to preserve and salvage the items. Repetitive processes such as wrapping, stapling, and pinning are meditative and express a passing of time.
We can’t wait to see what both of these wonderful jewelry artists bring! Want even more time hanging out with Rachel while she is in town? There is still room in her powder coating class too!
Shake and Shoot: Powder Coating With or Without the Gun
September 30, October 1, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $325 | Materials included
Powdered Plastic that fuses into a glassy plastic surface in a home toaster oven? Yes, it can be done with or without the gun! Easy, quick and inexpensive powder coat is a fun way to add color to any surfaces that can tolerate a little heat like metal, wood or… If you love color this is another tool in your toolbox. Basic metalworking skills helpful but not necessary.
To register call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by the studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA
Peggy Foy is not only a talented metalsmith and instructor but a super nice person too! We are happy to have Peggy teaching with us at Danaca Design.
Next month she will be teaching Mechanisms: Hinges and Clasps. The class meets four Wednesday evenings in June (6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24) and will present a variety of ways to make hinges and clasps, including traditional hinges with knuckles, locket latches, and closures for necklaces and bracelets.
How long have you been making jewelry?
Hard to believe I’ve been at this for almost 15 years!
What is your background? Is it in art, or something else?
I studied metalsmithing in college, at the University of Georgia. Aside from metals, I also usually have a day job in graphic design or project management – currently I’m doing a little of both as a project manager for a sign company.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
I have to pick a favorite? I really like working in metal – all metals, whether that’s silver or copper or steel or gold. I’m not much of a fibers person, and I don’t do much with clay either so I don’t use PMC. I’m trying to get better with wax carving for casting, but it’s not my strong suit. I like texturing and fabricating with sheet and wire, and forging. I mostly work in silver, but I can’t seem to stay away from the other metals too.
Can you tell us about any memorable teachers from your past who have influenced what you’re doing today, as an instructor or as an artist?
I took a class with Linda Darty several years ago – that totally changed my approach to teaching. She’s wonderful to work with, super encouraging and supportive but gentle in urging students along – which I think is really necessary in a limited class-time situation.
What king of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, are there any recurring themes in your work?
Art nouveau is a big influence, the graceful swirling lines and the sweeping shapes. Thematically, I am interested in science fiction and fantasy; so a lot of my work reflects the idea that it maybe came from another time or another world. I often make pieces that look like they “do” something, mechanical devices or talismans that could activate by the right magic words.
What got you into teaching jewelry/metals?
Teaching happened gradually for me – honestly I was a bit intimidated by it at first. Just out of school I was keenly aware of how much I still had to learn; I knew there would be a lot of questions that I wouldn’t be able to answer for students. But I was a studio monitor at Pratt Fine Art Center for a while, basically like being a TA, and I found that I did know how to answer questions for students. And I found that I really loved working with students and sharing that knowledge, helping them succeed. I’ve been teaching for about four years now and I absolutely love it.
Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?
All of my classes help students improve their soldering; I think that’s one of the biggest skills that just takes practice, but a little coaching goes a long way. We also talk about a lot of the technical stuff too, the how’s and why’s of what the metal is doing. But most importantly I want my students to feel inspired and excited about the processes we’re learning. It’s supposed to be fun!
Do you have a personal website related to your work or your teaching?
Yes, my website is www.peggyfoy.com. You can also find me on Instagram, @peggyfoyjewelry, and on Facebook, @Peggy Foy’s Jewelry. Instagram is probably the best way to keep up with what I’m doing in the studio!
Thanks Peggy! Your work is lovely and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
If you would like to register for Peggy’s Class call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our location 5619 University Way NE in Seattle.
More information about Peggy’s class and all our other classes can be found at www.danacadesign.com
October 3rd and 4th David Tuthill will be teaching Hot and Cold Forging for Jewelry at Danaca Design. This class aims to initiate students into the hot and cold manipulation of non-ferrous and ferrous metals for jewelry and other small scale objects. Using brass, copper and steel students will employ a variety of hammers and other tools to forge squares, tapers, spoons and utensils, twists, fullers, decorative rivet heads and other ornamental details.
But what is the difference between hot forging and cold forging? And what sort of jewelry can you make by forging?
Forging is one of the oldest known metalworking processes dating to at least 4000 BC and most likely earlier. Metals such as bronze and iron where forged into hand tools and weapons, but the earliest recorded metal used seems to be gold. Traditionally forging was done by a Smith using metal heated in a forge and formed with hammers on an anvil.
The industrial revolution replaced traditional forging techniques by developing some of the first electric powered hammers. Today most industrial forging is done with computer-controlled hydraulic and air hammers. But there are still blacksmiths that use traditional techniques when making one of kind items such as decorative gates and forged jewelry is made much the same way as it was millenniums ago.
Difference between hot and cold forging
Forging is the process of shaping metal by using localized compressive forces. The blows are delivered with a hammer or a die.
Cold forging is when the metal is hammered or formed at room temperature (or cold) and annealed periodically to soften the metal. Metals such as silver, brass, and copper can all be cold forged fairly easily.
Hot forging is when the metal is hammered or formed while the metal is hot normally just after being removed from a forge. Most steel and iron needs to be hot forged.
Many types of jewelry can be made in whole or part by forging. Forged rings and bracelets are very commonly seen but you can also forge pendants, belt buckles, earrings and more. You can use the technique to make very industrial jewelry out of steel or fine and delicate jewelry from silver or gold. Forging has unlimited potential only limited your imagination.
June 19th – 21st guest instructor Victoria Lansford will be visiting us from Atlanta, GA to teach a workshop in High Relief Eastern Repoussé. Victoria has generated an exciting revival of nearly lost, old world metalsmithing techniques including high relief Eastern repoussé and Russian filigree.
I was able to ask her a few questions about herself as an artist and to get a bit more information about the high relief Eastern repoussé technique. Now I can’t wait to take her workshop myself!
How long have you been making Jewelry?
I’ve been metalsmithing for 26 years. It’s my profession, but really I consider it a long term love affair.
What is your background? Is it in art or something else?
As a kid I was into every kind of art and craft medium popular in the 1970’s. Before I was a metalsmith, however, I was a professional jazz and modern dancer. Getting injured led me to exploring higher education options. I’d always wanted to work in metal and found that Georgia State University had a program (sadly, it’s no longer part of the art department). I was hooked on metal immediately.
What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?
Most of the imagery that influences me comes from ancient and medieval architecture, specifically Gothic, Moorish, and Indian. I’m also extremely inspired by ancient Egyptian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco design. In a more abstract way, my work is informed by my love of cosmology and Complexity (Chaos) Theory. Much of that inspiration shows up in my work in the form of doors, archways, abstracted plant leaves, and spirals. Those shapes all represent transformation and emergence to me. I’m obsessed with the relationship between positive and negative space and creating work with a sculptural feel of depth as if looking into a hidden world. All those shapes give my work a very yonic (opposite of phallic) look.
You are going to be teaching a class for us in High Relief Eastern Repoussé, what is different between this repoussé technique and what we normally think of as repoussé?
It’s a different process with differently shaped tools that result in lots of options in terms of design and height. In some forms of Western repousse, the way the metal is hit from the back is somewhat secondary to all the refining work from the front. For example, lots of artists puff up a general area then do most of the shaping through chasing. In Eastern repousse there is much more of a back and forth process. Some other differences are (almost) always working within a matrix and using plasticine rather than pitch when working from the front.
Some people assume that Eastern repousse means the peaks and valleys that are characteristic of my work, but that’s just one style option. Eastern repousse works well with sterling, which means it can be done in a much thinner gauge of metal and therefore is lighter and more durable for use in objects like jewelry. Fine silver doesn’t lend itself so easily to that option. Of course, the technique works beautifully with 18k and 22k gold and with copper too.
Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?
My goal is always for students to be able to apply what they’ve learned to their own design aesthetic so they can create what they want. I provide some design options for people who just want to focus on the technique in class, but I don’t require everyone to make the exact same patterns. It’s all about gaining an understanding of how to apply the process of Eastern repousse to any design. I’m really passionate about making the techniques I teach easily accessible to people, and watching students have that “light bulb” moment is incredibly rewarding.
I saw on your website that you do much more than just jewelry. Handmade books, collage, art objects, what are your favorite things to make besides jewelry and why?
Besides making jewelry my favorite thing is doing illumination work with Medieval manuscript techniques because I love smearing intense color into ornate flourishing work. Before I made my Eastern repousse bound books, I spent 4 years studying calligraphy and learning how to gild on real vellum and paint with dry pigments. The funny thing is as soon as I start working in a different medium, the first things I reach for are the metallic paints and gold leaf. I joke that it’s all part of my plot to metallicize everything!
You are visiting us from Atlanta, Georgia if we come visit you what should we check out in Atlanta?
Atlanta has a fantastic zoo that happens to be in my neighborhood. (Yes, I have wild neighbors.) The CNN tour is interesting. One of my favorite small museums in the world is the Carlos Museum at Emory University. They often have great exhibits with an eye toward antiquity.
Really Atlanta is a foody and shopping haven. If you’re missing Seattle coffee, check out Octane, which has some of the very best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s also the place I escape to to do most of my writing and design work. Atlanta is smack in the middle of a forrest, which makes it beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall. I’ll just apologize up front for the airport and the traffic.
Thanks Victoria! We look forward to meeting you in June.
You can find out more details about Victoria’s class and the rest of the classes offered at Danaca Design on our website www.danacadesign.com
I first started making jewelry my freshman year of college.
In what kind of environment do you work best?
I like a studio with lots of windows, and a garden setting. Light is important and also the sense of letting the outside in.
What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
I love sterling silver. When I am chasing or forming sterling sheet it is ductile and responsive yet resists just enough to allow for specific detail and crisp edges. It can look soft, organic, industrial and architectural. I also like to work in copper for its softness and warm color.
Have you had any teachers who have shaped you as an artist?
The teacher who had the biggest impact on my work and my career as an artist is Eleanor Moty, my major professor in graduate school. She introduced me to chasing (detailing the surface of metal with shaped steel tools) and repoussé (punching up the back side of sheet metal to create form on the front), the techniques that have become my passion and the basis to my teaching career. Eleanor is a consummate jewelry artist and perfectionist. She has also become a friend and mentor. Working with Eleanor Moty changed my life’s trajectory in so many ways. Without her support I would not have had the confidence to write my technical and gallery book, “Chasing and Repoussé: Methods Ancient and Modern”, which has lead to the wonderful experience of teaching around the world.
Are there any other art forms close to your heart?
I love ceramics and collect as much as possible, from plates to sculpture. I have worked in clay a few times and although it is not my main technique or material, I find it very engrossing. I also collect copper vessels from Santa Clara, Mexico. These are beautifully raised and chased pieces made by families who have been working with these techniques for several generations.
Of the many gallery shows and exhibitions you have been in or worked on, which was the most engaging for you?
Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery exhibition entitled “Louder than Words.” The jewelry artists were asked to respond to the phrase “Jewelry speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often” and the concept that artists create contrasts and communions between the visual language of jewelry art and the literary language of the printed page. Story telling has been a significant part of my life, both verbally and in the writing I have done related to the artwork I produce. This theme brought up several stories from my past, two of which are represented in the attached images. I used to live in Florida and experienced a minor but still unnerving hurricane. The winds and the darkness were frightening of course, but the eye of the storm is what I remember most – the glowing sun and the sense that I was in a tunnel of light and quiet. The name of this piece is “Silence is Golden”. The second piece, “Heart on Fire” is based on imagination rather than experience. The fire and hot lava at the center of a volcano has always fascinated me. I love the theme shows at Facèré as they spark many new ideas and often cause me to expand my technical experience.
What recent piece are you most proud of?
I have been adding color to my work through colored pencils. For the 3×2 show I collaborated with Larry Scott, glass bead maker, on a piece we called “Late Harvest” – a brooch with a branch theme that I chased and formed, colored with pencil and then added Larry’s beads. We enjoyed working together and the end result pleases us both.
Love her work as much as we do? Take her Chasing and Repoussé Class! Coming up February 6th-8th Megan Corwin’s three day workshop will be the one not to miss. See website for more details:
Cynthia has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. While she is known for her figurative micromosaic pieces, in the last few years she has been concentrating on thin sheet work, creating the cone and claw necklaces and the rolodex series. Most of her work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads which she and her husband collect. Cynthia has a BFA in printmaking from the University of Washington and a BA in Biology from Drake University. She spends long hours researching and planning work with Dan Adams, her husband and collaborator. Besides her jewelry work and teaching, she enjoys sushi.
What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else? I have a BA in Biology from Drake University and a BFA in Art (Printmaking) from the University of Washington.
You often use unusual materials in your work, when did you start making experimental jewelry? What do you like about it? I work primarily with polymer clay. I started making beads in 1986 and then made small brooches and necklaces. My first necklace included glass and stone beads and found objects combined with my polymer beads. This was inspired by African jewelry where they use disparate material. Glass is another medium I have worked with – micromosaics and enameled glass pieces. I also enjoy dry felting but developed frozen shoulder and trigger finger which necessitated a temporary haitus.
What attracted you to polymer clay? I cam across polymer clay during a visit to Hong Kong. It is a very accessible material and requires very little equipment or outlay that was a big attraction to a beginning artist.
Your works exhibit huge attention to detail, have you always worked this way? I like to work small, especially on micromosaics because I hate conditioning clay!
What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work? Lot’s of times the image is dictated by the theme of the gallery show. When left to my own devices, I often use folk stories or animal imagery. Sometimes I incorporate simple everyday life (e.g. knitting, hiking, enjoying a cup of coffee, etc…) into my pieces. In my necklaces they are often about color, textures or playing with different shapes and materials.
You regularly collaborate with your husband, Dan Adams. How is working as a team different from working on your individual work? The first thing we have to decide on is a piece that is exciting to both of us. It could be a color theme or story line. Then we work separately on the beads and then discuss whether they work together or if its back to the drawing board. It is more difficult that working on your own, but sometimes the piece is richer because of the additional challenge.
Have you had any one teacher who have shaped you most as an artist? I think Glen Alps, my advisor at the University of Washington Printmaking program, is my biggest inspiration in regards to work ethic. Even into his 80’s he still spent time in the studio every day. I believe in hard work and commitment which often means long hours.
If you like what you see and would like to learn more from such a great artist sign up for her class at Danaca Design Today. Cynthia’s Class “Polymer Micro Mosaics” will be on January 10th and 11th 2015, come visit or give us a call before all the spots fill up! Check out our website for more details, http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=index