Tag Archives: instructor


22nd Seattle Metals Guild Symposium

Tiff Massey, Power

It’s almost SMG Symposium time! What’s the SMG Symposium? It is an annual event put on by the Seattle Metals Guild that is a gathering of makers and speakers from both the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. It is a popular tradition that is great for metalsmiths, artists, and jewelers of all ranges and abilities. You don’t have to be a member to attend…but you do get a discount on tickets if you are. 

Online ticket sales end at midnight, Thurs Oct. 12.

There are many places in the area to purchase lunch but you may pre-buy lunch through the symposium. Last day to purchase lunch with symposium ticket is by midnight, Sat Oct. 7

For more information to go www.seattlemetalsguild.org 

To purchase an advance ticket click here

This year’s speakers include:

Montreal-based jeweler, author, and Toolbox Initiative co-creator Matthieu Cheminee

New Orleans based modernist sculptor, and post-industrial blacksmith Rachel David

Self -taught engineer, inventor, and kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson

San Francisco Bay area art jeweler, curator, and Shibumi Gallery owner April Higashi

and Detroit based interdisciplinary sculptor and jewelry artist Tiff Massey

While the artist talks are a big part of the symposium that’s not all! Explore a selection of hard-to-find metals and jewelry related titles at Charon Kransen’s book sale, the always popular Silent Auction, and a post-Symposium after-party at Rhein Haus restaurant.

And that’s not all…there is more to see and do over Symposium Weekend

Friday, October 13:

Nucor Steel Mill Tour (spots are limited)

Sunday, October 15:

1pm – 3pm “Designing Kinetic Sculptures: A Conversation with Arthur Ganson” at Equinox Studios

3pm – 5pm Opening reception for SMG show Contained at KOBO in Higo

5pm – 8pm Open House at Equinox Studios

What a weekend!

 

 

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

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

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces with Keith Lewis

November 11 – 13, Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $480 | Some materials included

Numerous beautiful and complex mixed-metal patterns and compositions can be created both by soldering and by exploiting the different melting points of common jewelry metals. In this workshop we will explore various ways of combining metals to create rich effects through experimentation with soldering, fusion and inlay, further enhanced by rolling and roll-printing and the application of a series of simple patinas that enhance the contrast between metals. Beginning Series or equivalent required. More details at www.danacadesign.com

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

This weekend Keith Lewis is back at Danaca Design to teach us all about creating mixed metal patterns and compositions. You know all those scraps of different metals you have laying around? Or would you like to start adding some gold to your work but you can only afford a tiny, tiny bit? This class is about how to use those small bits of metals to create new “yardage” of mixed metals that you can use in your jewelry work.

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Earrings by Keith Lewis

Want to know more? Well we asked Keith Lewis himself to tell us a bit more about what to expect this weekend and here is what he has to say:

How do you use mixed metal surfaces in your work or how might I?

In the past I have used these techniques to make more production-oriented work, as they generate lively, visually arresting patterns at relatively low expense. For instance, with these techniques you can get a lot of bang from a very small amount of gold.

That said, the resultant patterned sheet is often a bit difficult to solder, so one of the exciting challenges is to devise ways to incorporate it into work using cold connections. I’m hoping on Sunday, after folks have generated some “yardage” we will be able to brainstorm about some ways to do so, particularly in the form of simple, elegant pendants and earrings

What is most exciting about the process you will teach this coming weekend?

For me there are two things. First; these are techniques that grow from and help elucidate some of the intrinsic qualities of metal- particularly different melting characteristics and malleabilities. I find that I understand metal better from having experimented with these techniques.

Secondly, these techniques permit the kind of playfulness and spontaneity that is hard to come by in metalsmithing. There are a lot of pleasant surprises and intriguing puzzles that arise from this approach.

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Is there a history of mixed metal surfaces in metalworking? Can you tell me a little about it?

Yes, there certainly is. The mot obvious reference point is Japanese mokume-gane and some of what I’m covering might be called “faux-mokume”. There is also the long history of marriage-of-metal within Western and Asian metals traditions and periodic uses of cold-inlay techniques in everything from Japanese metalwork to Indian Mughal work (as well as Western armor-work.) Another reference- of course- is the diffusion bonding of materials in damascening, Sheffield plate, “gold-filled” jewelry and bimetal such as those made by Phil Baldwin.

 

Thanks Keith for answering our questions. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this weekend!

If you would like to register for this or any other of our classes you can either call us to register by phone: 206-

or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Decorative Metal Inlay: What is it?

Introduction to Decorative Metal Inlay

June 17-19, Friday – Sunday, 10:30 am-5:00 pm

Class Fee: $350 | Materials Fee: $10 payable to instructor, specialized tools available for purchase

This axe head has an elaborate example of metal inlay to create the design

This axe head has an elaborate example of metal inlay used to create the design

June 17 – 19, Friday – Sunday Bill Dawson will be teaching Introduction to Metal Inlay at Danaca Design. But what is metal inlay? I asked Bill to give us a brief history of the technique and he was very generous with his information. Here is what Bill had to say:

3600 year old metal inlay disc

“Precious metal inlay techniques are quite ancient, with early examples dating from the Bronze Age, and becoming rather popular with the introduction of iron working and gold refining around 2600-2500 ybp.  A beautiful early example is the 3600 year old bronze disc shown here.  The sun, moon, important stars, and the sunrise and set horizons are all marked in gold inlay.  Many experts believe it to have been an instrument for making corrections to the calendar from astronomical observations, but others think it may have been used for far more complex calculations.  
kashima

Vase by Kazuo Kashima

 
Basically, inlay work involves mechanically attaching a soft metal like gold or silver to a harder and contrasting metal like bronze or iron.  Typically this is done in one of two basic ways:  For field or line inlay, some of the base metal is cut away to make room for the inlay, and the edges of the hollow or channel is undercut so that when the inlay is driven in it forms a dovetail.  That is the channel is wider at the bottom, and the soft metal fills the space and can’t come out.  Alternately a file tooth pattern can be cut on the base metal, and when the softer inlay metal is driven down the teeth grip like Velcro  This has the advantage of allowing for the inlay of very thin foil.  Base metals are usually chosen to either contrast with the color of the inlay,or to take a differential patina.  Artists in Japan use this to great effect, as with the vase pictured here by Kazuo Kashima.  
drbrooch

Example of foil inlay by Bill Dawson

 
In the workshop at Danaca we will consider and compare Eastern and Western approaches to these techniques, and make many practice samples.  These will include dot inlay, line inlay, and inlayed foils.  One of the great advantages to foil inlay, called “Damisquino de Oro” in Spain, and “Nunome Zogan”,in Japan, is that you can cut the tooth in patterns that show through the foil, and add to the design.  In fact Nunome Zogan means cloth textured inlay.  I have used this visible texture in the leaves in the disc brooch here.”

 

Thanks Bill! We appreciate the information and look forward to your workshop.
If you would like to find out more information about the Intro to Metal Inlay class click here or to register call us at 206-524-0916

Danica Design is a jewelry and small-scale metal working facility located in the University District of Seattle. Learn more about us and view our full schedule at www.danacadesign.com 

Featured Instructor Peggy Foy

Peggy Foy working hard

Peggy Foy working hard

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.

 Panel Bracelet; etched copper, brass; 2"x7"x.125"; 2014

Panel Bracelet; etched copper, brass; 2″x7″x.125″; 2014

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.

 Larimar Bracelet #1; sterling, larimar, topaz; 2.5"x1.25"x1.75"; 2012

Larimar Bracelet #1; sterling, larimar, topaz; 2.5″x1.25″x1.75″; 2012

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.

 Polish Flint Necklace #1; sterling, polish flint, smokey quartz; pendant 2"x1"x.375", 18" necklace; 2015

Polish Flint Necklace #1; sterling, polish flint, smokey quartz; pendant 2″x1″x.375″, 18″ necklace; 2015

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.

Larimar Necklace #1; sterling, larimar, topaz, Peruvian blue opal, apatite, aquamarine; pendant 1.25"x3.25"x.375",  19" necklace; 2012

Larimar Necklace #1; sterling, larimar, topaz, Peruvian blue opal, apatite, aquamarine; pendant 1.25″x3.25″x.375″, 19″ necklace; 2012

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

Thoughts from Nancy Megan Corwin

megan_2_
How long have you been making Jewelry?

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.

ripostequill

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.

conjoined

 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.

my-dolly-is-better-than-your-dollymy-dolly-is-proud-of-her-hat1

 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.

Silence is Golden NancyMeganCorwinHeart on Fire NancyMeganCorwin

 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.

Late Harvest for Australia

 

 

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:

http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=classes&c=winter2015

Meet and Greet with Jennifer Stenhouse

jennifer_stenhouse

A native of Atlanta Georgia, Jennifer Stenhouse currently makes her home and studio in Seattle, Washington. She has been teaching art and jewelry classes, workshops, lectured and exhibited throughout U.S. and Mexico for over 20 years. 

At the University of Wisconsin Madison, Jennifer studied with Martha Glowacki who encouraged her use of mixed media and jewelry skills. Fred Fenster and Eleanor Moty gave Jennifer the opprotunity to develop a strong base in metals techniques and design, and a better understanding of integrity  to one’s craft. 

Jennifer began teaching at Savannah College of Art and Design in Foundations and Jewelry classes as elective. Due to the strong interest from students wanting to major in Metals and Jewelry, Jennifer proposed and the developed The Metals and Jewelry Department. While in Savannah she also maintaned a small studio in the historic City Market. After departing Savannah Jennifer began teaching at the Vermont Art Exchange in North Bennington, Vermont. At VAE she taught several classes and workshops in jewelry, printmaking and drawing.

Currently Jennifer teaches jewelry classes and workshops in the Seattle, Washington area, including Pratt Fine Art Center, Danaca Design, and Tacoma Metal Arts Center. 

jennifer bee
  1. How long have you been making Jewelry?

I actually started making stuff as early as I can remember. My grandfather taught me photography. I was continuing with photography and printmaking in college. I began to use found objects, collage and mixed media elements in the work until they ultimately became 3-d objects. The sculpture scale I was working in was very small. The jewelry studio seemed to make the most sense for the tools and techniques I needed. So I came to develop my skills in the jewelry studio. By 1992, I began teaching at Savannah College of Art & Design. By the following year we developed the new metal department at SCAD.

great-white-mesh_144_big

  1. You teach as well, how did you get into teaching?

I love teaching art. I’ve been teaching since 1990 in foundation classes, art criticism, jewelry, and metals techniques. One of the reasons I decided to go to University of Wisconsin-Madison, was because every other school I was looking at for graduate school, had at least one professor from Madison. I wanted a good start as a teacher in a place that produced good teachers.

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

Well of course! I actually started casting before I learned anything else in the jewelry studio, and I’m still amazed at the endless possibilities. I believe one could study metals and jewelry for a thousand years and not truly master everything. 

  1. We have a variety of your cuttlebone pieces in the gallery, is there anything you’d like to share with us about why you enjoy working with cuttlebone, how you came around to using it, or anything interesting about the material and it’s possibilities?

Ah the awesome little cuttlefish!!! How I love it so! Each one is unique and marvelous. The texture is an amazingly intricate delicate pattern interrupted by carving and captured by metal. The history of the use of cuttlebone as a mold is inspiring. But, the way I like to use it for pattern and immediacy is what makes me most happy!
dscn2128_164_bigimage_198_big

  1. What are your favorite materials to work with, and why? 

I like casting with silver and bronze, and playing with stones. But I have to admit copper is what I love the most. Because I started in printmaking, copper is the gold standard in the etching and engraving world. So when I first ventured into a jewelry studio and caught a glimpse of their stomp shear scrap bin full of copper….I was confused! What were they doing with it? Hollow forms, color, heat, shape, texture! It was colorful, textural, sensual! Amazing stuff! 
dscn2135_148_big

  1. 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?

I’m really seduced by the feel of the materials I’m working with. The textures of the materials and tools. They feel good. I’m always feeling each part, material, stone, saw blade, edges….that is what makes me keep going. But I love the processes of casting. It’s the ritual, the smell, the heat. 

jensten

  1. What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?

Much of my sculpture is based in universal mythologies and synchronicity. I like to try and work with materials that help to relate a narrative, or open a conversation with the viewer. With my jewelry I try to find a way to streamline those ideas and materials into a much more simple thought, comment, or expression. 

  1. Do you have a website related to your work?

www.jenniferstenhouse.com

 

Don’t forget to check out Jenifer’s upcoming class at Danaca Design…

 

Survey of Stone Setting

January 21, 28, and February 4, 11, 18, 25, 6 Wednesday nights, 6:30 – 9:30

Class Photos

This fast-paced, primarily demonstration style course will introduce students to a wide variety of stone setting techniques including a basic bezel for cabochons; prong and flush settings for faceted stones; pedestal settings; tube, post, and bar settings for multiple stones; capture sets; and a few ideas for how to set unusual shaped stones or found objects. Soldering setups and finishing tips, as well as overview of tools and equipment that make setting easier and provide professional finishes will be introduced in this comprehensive and valuable class. For those with experience it may provide some review and/or a critical missing link of information. For beginning students this course will offer an excellent overview of what is possible with stones and simple techniques to jump in and try. All levels, basic metal working helpful.

Instructor: Jennifer Stenhouse

 

Turning it up to 11!

11-year imageTime flies when you’re having fun and my how it has flown.  Friday, December 5th I’m astounded (and excited) to be celebrating our 11th year in this great old building on University Avenue. What an adventure it’s been!

I the rented the space in July 2003, ran my first class in October and finally opened the gallery in December with a grand opening event. I remember that evening clearly, everyone asking, “where’s your jewelry work?” I had almost nothing on the shelves in the gallery but I looked around and indicated with my hands held out that this, the studio, was my work for the year! Today I’m happy to announce I have a quite a few pieces in the gallery, as well as a lovely studio:-).

Copper mesh and silver earrings by Dana Cassara

Copper mesh and silver earrings by Dana Cassara

 

Some years ago it became tradition to host the Student-Teacher Exhibition during the month of December and to schedule the opening reception to coincide with our anniversary party.  This is a wonderful event with friends and family of students, teachers and the studio crew. It is a night not to be missed if possible!

Turquoise and silver earrings by Lexi Lee

Turquoise and silver earrings by Lexi Lee

This year we have an incredible selection of fine jewelry made by students, many of whom are sharing and selling their work for the first time. And, although we are lucky enough to carry the work of quite a few of our teachers in the gallery on a regular basis, during this exhibition we have the opportunity to see some very special pieces. It is a great opportunity to support terrific teachers and superb students and pick up a one-of-a kind-piece of jewelry for yourself or someone you love.

Polymer bangles by Ekaterina Dickenson

Polymer bangles by Ekaterina Dickenson

Silver brooch by Megan Corwin.

Silver brooch by Megan Corwin.

Our event Friday night is 6:00pm – 9:30pm. Hope you can make it! If not, make an effort to swing by the gallery during regular business hours to see the show and pick-up something truly exceptional. The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 11-6 and Saturdays 10-6.

Enameled Earrings by Linnie Kendrick

Enameled Earrings by Linnie Kendrick

Iron and silver pendant by David Tuthill

Iron and silver pendant by David Tuthill

 

 

Silver pendant by Linda Larsen

Silver pendant by Linda Larsen

 

Silver and fur brooch by Jean Shaffer

Silver and fur brooch by Jean Shaffer

For more info about the studio go to www.danacadesign.com

Happy Holidays!

Best, Dana

A Little Bit About Jeff Georgantes

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Jeff Georgantes, Rock Pendant

Every quarter we offer a mix of beginning and more specialized intermediate and advanced classes with both local and visiting instructors. Next month we’re excited to have visiting instructor Jeff Georgantes in the studio teaching Fire, Forge and Flush-Stone Setting. While this class is more specialized and won’t cover the same material as our beginning classes, it’s still open to all skill levels. We have room for just a couple more ambitious students in this class.

Fire, Forge and Flush-Stone Setting
Instructor: Jeff Georgantes
December 13 and 14
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00

This class will lead you on a journey filled with twists and turns to explore a variety of core metalsmithing skills that culminate with a finished silver ring. First, using either your own or purchased recycled sterling silver you will cast an ingot. Then with the help of the rolling mill along with hammers and an anvil, you will forge out a silver ring. Next, you’ll practice flush setting faceted stones, getting ready for the real deal, setting stones into your hand-wrought silver ring. The class will be filled with tips and tricks for ingot making, forging and flush setting, including making your own setting tools. Open to all skill levels!

Jeff G

Jeff Georgantes

A little about Jeff, from his website:

JEFF GEORGANTES has a MFA in Jewelry/Metals from CSU, Fullerton and a BA in Art and a MA in Sculpture, both from CSU, Humboldt. He taught Art at College of the Redwoods, Eureka, CA, for fifteen years and has taught numerous visiting artist workshops across the USA. He helped develop and coordinate the Jewelry/Metals program at the Mendocino Art Center from the early 1990s until 2005 when he started his position as head of the Jewelry/Metals program at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. His work can be seen in Alan Revere’s book, The Art of Jewelry.

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Jeff Georgantes, Steel Washer Ring

ceramic ring copy

Jeff Georgantes, Ceramic Ring

 

Sophie asked him a few questions recently, and I really enjoyed reading through is responses! The questions and his answers are below. 

 

What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else?

I’m one of those oddballs that figured out their life’s path as a teenager. I went to a high school that offered Jewelry as part of its shop program. At 16 years old, I became obsessed with making jewelry and working with metal. It has remained my life’s passion ever since. One of the things that I’m most proud of is that since graduating from college in 1979, I’ve only been employed as an artist or in something art-related.  There’s been a lot of struggle and sacrifice, with many twists and turns, but somehow I’ve been able to pull it off.

8. shell locket open

Jeff Georgantes, Shell Locket (open)

7. shell locket

Jeff Georgantes, Shell Locket

 

Your narrative work is very unique, when did you start making artwork this way and how did you discover it?

I went to college in California in the 70’s.  West Coast Funk Art was big then had a strong effect on craft related arts across America. West Coast Funk was a movement of painters, sculptors and craft artists and was a reaction against abstract expressionism. Narrative format played a strong role in Funk.  Painters William Wiley, Wayne Thiebaud, ceramic artist Robert Arneson, and jewelry artists like Ken Cory, Jim Cotter, and David Laplantz were strong early influences of mine. I also took a lot of film history classes in college.  In my very early work, I imagined I was making movies with jewelry. That’s how my narrative work started.

 

What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?

I like working with the full range of jewelry material options. On a practical level, I don’t work with gold or diamonds in my own work too often, because they are so expensive and don’t leave a lot of room for experimentation.  But… I’m very lucky to have worked a fair amount in jewelry stores over the years and have gotten to a chance to work extensively with precious metals and stones.  That’s a real treat! The only way to really learn how to be a diamond setter is to set a lot of diamonds and how does an average person accomplish that? The easiest way is get a job as a bench jeweler in a jewelry store, which is what I did for a long time. 

In my own work, currently I use silver, gold accents, rough hand-cut stones, found objects and calibrated cabochons. I like being able to combine lots of different materials in unexpected ways.

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Jeff Georgantes, Amethyst Pendant (back)

3. amythest pen

Jeff Georgantes, Amethyst Pendant

 

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?

I don’t really have one process that I like above all others. My obsessions go in phases. Sometimes it’s soldering, sometimes it’s casting, sometimes it’s stone setting. When I was in high school I was obsessed with grinding and polishing my own cabochons.  I got a job as a dishwasher and saved every paycheck until I could buy a ’63 Volkswagen convertible and a lapidary grinder/polisher/rock saw.  The Volkswagen didn’t stay long, but the lapidary grinder has been with me ever since. Two summers ago, I unearthed that ancient lapidary set up and replaced all of the wheels with modern diamond wheels and brought it back to life. Now I’m obsessed with grinding found rocks.  Almost every piece in my current solo exhibition has found rocks that I’ve ground on that old high school tool.

Recently I bought a PUK pulse arc welder. I’m definitely obsessed with that. With pulse arc technology I’m pretty much able to throw away all clamps, literally hold the parts together, tack them and solder after that. It’s not an understatement to say, this is life transforming!!

 

What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?

Every morning that I can, whether it’s in the forest, at the beach or on a city street, I try to start my day with a walk or a run. I seem to get my best thinking done on those morning journeys. I think about everything and I think about nothing.  Love, politics, what I have to do that day, how pretty the river, a tree or a flower is, new ideas for sculpture and how cool that thing on the ground would look in a piece of jewelry.  I spend a lot of time looking at the ground.  Part of that is so I don’t fall on my face, which sadly I do every once in while. On another level though, it’s because there is so much amazing and wonderful stuff down there that I can’t stop from picking it up. Sometimes my running short’s tiny pockets get so filled that I have to carry things as well.  Not a very practical idea when running, but it’s an obsession. 

I like to juxtapose those found objects, which have inherent, yet overlooked beauty and contrast them with conventionally thought of precious materials such as calibrated gemstones, gold and silver. In my time working as a custom goldsmith and stone setter, I learned that almost all forms of stone setting mechanically entrap the gem. At some point, I realized that I could utilize many of those traditional techniques to hold other types and shapes of objects.  I am endlessly intrigued with coming up with imaginative ways to entrap found objects. Besides traditional stone setting techniques, I love using miniature nuts & bolts, taps & dies and whatever else I can figure out as well.

 

You have made everything from engagement rings to saddles, what kind of work is the most inspiring to you?

You know…. I just like making stuff out of metal. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a diamond ring or a 13’ steel sculpture.  The ability to work and learn new things is what inspires me the most.  When I first started in college I wanted to become the best metalsmith that had ever been. It took me about two weeks to realize that was impossible and not a very smart goal, but what replaced it was to learn as much about metal as I could.  Over the past 40+ years, I’ve tried to learn or at least be aware of as much of my ginormous field as I can. 

All of these phases bring rewards.  Stone setting is introspective and disciplined. I love that. Making the silverwork for Skyhorse Saddles custom saddles, led me to learning how to ride a horse and owning an Arabian mare and doing endurance rides. What a gift!! Steel and bronze sculpture taught me how weld and how to cast things bigger than a grape. That’s influenced my work both big and small. It’s all inspiring.

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Jeff Georgantes, Georgantes Brooch

9. Kastelli

Jeff Georgantes, Kastelli

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Jeff Georgantes, Fence

 

Of all the places you have taught, which has shaped you most as an instructor?

I fell into a job teaching jewelry at a small Northern California Community College, named College of the Redwoods.  The previous instructor had a family emergency and had to cancel right before classes began. At the last second, I unexpectedly got the job. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had a gift at teaching and over time it became a co-career.  Teaching at a rural community college, I had a very diverse mixture of students. I learned that everyone has a story and that many have to power through tremendous adversity to move their lives forward.  I worked with homeless students who lived in the forest surrounding campus or the school parking lot. Others were recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Occasionally, there were students who were convicted of a crime and were given a choice of jail or college. There was an endless stream of reentry students, who for infinite number of reasons wanted to go back to school, to try and make their dreams come true. Many were fresh high school graduates who didn’t really didn’t want to be there, but somehow stuck with it and found their place. The age range was 16-80. It was an honor and a privilege to meet and share time with every one of them. What I learned at College of the Redwoods is that everyone who takes classes whether towards a degree or just a weekend workshop is there to transform their life in some way.  My job as a teacher is to help them accomplish their goals in whatever way that is appropriate and possible.

That philosophy helped get me my current position as head of the Jewelry/Metals program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Many people don’t realize that the big colleges like Dartmouth are “need blind,” meaning that ability to pay has nothing to do with being accepted. Everyone has to be smart, but not everyone has to be rich. Over 60% of Dartmouth undergraduates are there on full scholarship.  That means mixed up with students from some of the wealthiest families in America, are kids from the inner city, rural Native American reservations and Third World villages.  What I love the most is that unless someone tells you, you don’t know where anyone is from.  What binds them all is that they may be smart, but they’re not necessarily wise. They’re still kids.  It’s up to me and a zillion others, to help mentor them to become the future leaders of the world.  It’s so much fun and it is fulfilling beyond anything that I could ever imagine. Having a philosophy rooted in accomplishable idealism is a job requirement for a career in education.

the night she...

Jeff Georgantes, The Night She…

6. Living with Katie

Jeff Georgantes, Living with Katie

1. twig-acorn chain

Jeff Georgantes, Twig Acorn Chain

13. Pine Cone Chalice #1

Jeff Georgantes, Pine Cone Chalice

14. pinecone-apple pen

Jeff Georgantes, Pinecone Apple Pendant

Thank you Jeff!

If you’d like to grab one of the last two spots in Jeff’s Fire, Forge and Flush-Stone Setting give us a call at 206-524-0916. We’re here Tues-Fri 11-6 and Sat 10-6.

 

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