Tag Archives: Keith Lewis

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 most 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: 206-524-0916

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

Keith Lewis is Coming to Town!

Keith Lewis will be teaching an enameling class here next month. The class is already full, but we wanted to share a little more info about Keith. We’re really excited to have him here!

Keith sent me his artist bio. It’s short and sweet, and I love the description of his favorite tool.

“Keith Lewis was born in the wilds of Pennsylvania, but now lives in the wilds of Eastern Washington, where he teaches jewelry at Central Washington University.

His favorite tool is a Craftsman brand machinist’s reamer that belonged to his father. As an object it is completely beautiful: tapered, fluted, sharp and poised. It is also singularly specific in its usefulness. It makes holes bigger and is good for nothing else.

His favorite fruit is jaboticaba.”

I asked some questions as well…

What got you into teaching jewelry making/ metals?

I went to grad school rather late (at 30) knowing that the kind of jewelry that I wanted to make had more of a home in academe than in the marketplace. I suspected that I also wanted to teach and was lucky enough to be given a chance to teach in grad school. I found that I really liked it and was lucky enough to be invited to teach at UW for six months and then moved over into a full-time position at CWU.

What are your favorite materials to work with and why?

I just love sterling silver. The color, the workability, the sense of being precious enough but not OMG Gold! And I am in love with enamel, because it never, ever cooperates. It appeals to the codependent in me.

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 was lucky enough to spend a year studying with Bruce Metcalf before he stopped teaching. I still am inspired by the clarity and seriousness of his thoughts on craft and humbled by the discipline and facility of his work.

Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?

I hate disengagement. My partner says that I am hopelessly frustrating because I can get excited about anything! It’s true. Everything is worth exploring and I always hope that my students walk away excited to dig deeper!

Do you have a personal website related to your work or your teaching?

I don’t. I’m lazy and old-fashioned.

Thanks Keith!

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of his upcoming Enameling Oddities class here in the studio. And, hoping he’ll teach here again sometime so I can be a student!


The summer class schedule is here!

Our summer class schedule is ready! We’ve got a bunch of great stuff coming up this quarter. In addition to our regular beginning series classes (offered every quarter) we’ve got a nice selection of featured classes as well. More details can be found on our website: http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=classes&c=summer2014

We’re excited to be offering Kids Summer Jewelry Camp for Ages 8-12 with Tegan Wallace. This is a brand new class! It runs July 14-18, Monday-Friday 9:30-2:30.

Young students learning about the studio tools

Young students learning about the studio tools

Keith Lewis will be here to teach Enameling Oddities.

Keith Lewis enamel

Keith Lewis enamel

Learn casting methods you can use at home in Low Tech Gravity Casting with Juan Reyes.

Sand casting

Sand casting

In Etching without Acid with Nanz Aalund students will learn a non toxic way to etch copper, brass, bronze, and nickel silver.

Etched brass sheet

Etched brass sheet

Andy Cooperman will be back for Creative Surface Development.

Andy Cooperman

Andy Cooperman brooch

Explore polymer clay with Cynthia Toops in Beyond the Polymer Cane.

Polymer bead necklace by Cynthia Toops

Polymer bead necklace by Cynthia Toops


To learn more about these classes and see what else we have to offer please visit our website: www.danacadesign.com


You can register for classes by calling us at 206-524-0916, Tue-Fri 11-6, Saturday 10-6.