Tag Archives: teacher


Making Jewelry with Wire

Jewelry Making Basics with Wire

Instructor: Jennifer Stenhouse
November 4-5, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $295| Basic materials included

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry

Instructor Dana Cassara
December 15, Friday, 10:00 – 1:00
Class Fee:$75| Basic materials included

If you’ve looked at our fall class schedule (and if you haven’t you can at www.danacadesign.com) you may have noticed that we are offering two classes about making wire jewelry: Jewelry Making Basics with Wire and Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry. Both of these classes will get you on your way making your own jewelry designs but what’s the difference between them?

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry is teaching the skills most people think off when you say “wire jewelry”. Basic wire wrapping to create linkage systems for earrings, necklaces, ear wires, and clasps. These linkage systems can be used to add beads and other items to necklaces and earrings or to even be links all by themselves. Ear wires and clasps mean you don’t have to buy them premade and can make them to fit the style and design that meets your creative needs. All of these techniques are cold connected meaning that no soldering is involved so all you need to get started are a few pliers, wire cutters, hammer, and bench block.

From the links to the toggle clasp all you need is some wire and solder know how!

 

The Jewelry Making Basics with Wire workshop is taking wire jewelry to the next level. In this class you will learn the essentials of soldering wire and making wire jewelry. So you can make your own chain and a variety of clasps and findings. But that’s not all you can do. Basic prong setting and some quick tricks for simple stacking rings are also covered in this class.  

 

Examples of prongs settings made with wire

 

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to start looking at wire in new ways. Now the real question is what are you going to make with wire?

 

To register for these or any of our other classes call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle

For  our complete fall schedule visit us at www.danacadesign.com

 

Expand Your Skills with Mentored Study

So you’ve taken a few beginner metalsmithing classes and have jewelry ideas you want to make but are still feeling a little unsure of your skills. Or maybe you’re starting to get more confident but have a question from time to time and don’t have a place to set up a studio at home. You are in the perfect position to sign up for mentored study!

What’s mentored study?

Mentored Independent Study at Danaca Design is having a space to work on your own thing with a helping hand along the way. You can learn new skills while improving the skills you already have in a supportive environment. 

How does mentored study work?

Register for a mentored study class time; either Tuesday evening 6:00 pm-9:00 pm with Juan Reyes or Thursday morning 10:00 am-1:00 pm with Dana Cassara. Classes run in consecutive weeks: 3 weeks = $115, 4 weeks = $145, 5 weeks = $180, 6 weeks = $215.

But the best part is you also have access to practice hours! Practice hours are Tues 10am-2pm, Thursday 5pm-9pm, and Sun 6pm-9pm. 

What is I can’t commit to consecutive weeks?

We also have options for that too. Drop-in to either class time for $20 an hour or purchase a punch card. Punch cards are $150 for 12 hours of class time. Stay for the whole class or just an hour or two. They don’t expire so you can use the time as you need. 

Tell me more about the mentored study teachers:

Juan Reyes began studying silver smithing in 1995 at North Seattle Community College and since then has developed extensive expertise in a wide range of techniques including lapidary and goldsmithing. He is generous with his knowledge, patient beyond measure and well loved for his helpful, non-judging nature. Juan brings warmth and creativity to every class he teaches.

Dana Cassara is the founder of Danaca Design. Her aim as an instructor is to guide individuals through the learning process offering solid technical information, personalized attention, and lots of fun. With the intention of setting students on the path towards transforming their ideas into solid form, she hopes students will take the experience they gain in this studio beyond the classroom into their everyday life where problem solving skills and a profound sense of achievement always come in handy!

Alright I’m sold…now how do I sign up?

To register for mentored study or buy a punch card either stop by the studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916 to register over the phone. 

 

FYI…Dana will not be having mentored study 8/31/17 because we are having our Intermediate Intensive that week. 

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

Fall 2015 Class Highlights

The weather has gotten cooler, the pumpkin lattes are flowing…it must be fall. Which means new fall classes at Danaca Design! Our full schedule will be arriving on our website any day but in the meantime here are just some of the classes that are available for registration right now:

 

Lots of pointed stones by Kirk Lang

Lots of pointed stones by Kirk Lang

Pointed Stone Setting: Theory and Applications Part II
Instructor: Kirk Lang
November 7 and 8, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $295|Some materials included;materials list
Shed your apprehension and learn to set challenging shaped stones in this comprehensive, hands-on weekend with master stone-setter Kirk Lang. Building off, Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Part I, this more advanced level workshop will instruct students in how to confidently set faceted stones with pointed corners. Prerequisites: Basic jewelry fabrication skills and Theory and Application Part I or equivalent.

 

Chasing and Repoussé brooch by Megan Corwin

Chasing and Repoussé brooch by Megan Corwin

Chasing and Repousse: A Modern Approach with a Traditional Base
Instructor: Megan Corwin
November 13 – 15, Friday-Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $450|$10 Materials Fee Payable to Instructor

This is a process oriented beginning class in which students will not only learn to use the tools for chasing and repoussé but will experiment with the extraordinary effects of these tools on sheet copper. Traditional lining and punching will be covered as well as refining techniques and everyone will have the opportunity to make one chasing tool. No experience necessary however returning students welcome.

 

Student using a smith little torch

Student using a smith little torch

Using the Smith Little Torch
Instructor: Micki Lippe
December 5, Saturday, 10:00 – 4:00
Class Fee: $95|Materials list

While there are several torch options, one of the most popular among bench jewelers is a mixed fuel, oxy-propane, and one of the best is the Smith “little-torch”. Micki Lippe, a seasoned professional, will show you why as she demonstrates the versatility and precision of this well-loved tool. Basic soldering experience required. 

 

The flexshaft, one of the most versatile tools at your bench.

The flexshaft: learn it and love it.

It Ain’t Just a Drill: Getting the Most From Your Flexible Shaft
Instructor: Andy Cooperman
December 19, Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $135|Tool kits available

So, you’re a jeweler or metalsmith about to be stranded on a desert island. You can bring only one tool. (Oh yeah, the island has electricity). What tool do you bring?
If you were Andy Cooperman you’d most likely bring your Flexible Shaft machine. It may be the most versatile tool at the bench. And yet for many makers it is the most underutilized and least understood. All levels.

 

Want to sign up for one of these great classes?

Call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by to register in person 5619 University Way NE, Seattle 98105 

Monday-Friday 11am-6pm & Sat 10am-6pm

And don’t forget to keep an eye on our website www.danacadesign.com for our complete fall schedule coming soon!

Casey Sheppard – Art on the Road

Casey Sheppard Photo

Casey Sheppard

 

We are excited to have Casey Sheppard join us July 25th and 26th to teach the Nomadic Cold Connections class. In the class you will learn more about cold connections and make a hinged bracelet with a clasp all without ever picking up a torch. What makes it “Nomadic” well Casey is currently touring the US by bike as a way to connect communities as part of her project Case of the Nomads and bringing her traveling metalsmithing studio with her…how cool is that!

Turk + 182; bracelet by Casey Sheppard

Turk + 182; bracelet by Casey Sheppard

How long have you been making jewelry and what got you started?

Around 2005 I started playing with beadwork and making jewelry for fun. I had funky short hair at the time, sometimes a Mohawk and loved wearing super big long loud earrings. But I found that all the jewelry in stores bored me or wasn’t unique, so I started to make my own. It wasn’t until I wanted to expand into metal that I dove all in. I got a cold connection book, bought the suggested tools listed in the back and finished all the projects. That was my introduction to metal jewelry and the beginning of my addiction.

The Runaways

The Runaways

What is your background? Is it in art or something else?

I come from an artist family. My great grandfather and grandmother are/were writers, my mother has a strong skill in mosaics and sewing, father is a retired art teacher and my brother is truly the most amazing artist I’ve ever seen. Even though I grew up submerged in art my first passions were fashion and tools (grandfather owned a lumberyard most of my life), that’s why jewelry is a perfect fit for me!

Bracelet with cold connected hinge and clasp

Bracelet with cold connected hinge and clasp

You are teaching a class for us called Nomadic Cold Connections, aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students? 

Connecting. I hope to connect with the students through stories and life experiences while creating. Bonding with others and sharing each other’s stories adds so much to our lives. I also look forward to what the students will be teaching me. Ahhhh community!!

kc+india+wilderness

Travel buddy India

You have an interesting project going on this year as a way to connect communities. Can you tell us a bit about this project and how you plan to connect communities through art?

Yeah!! For 1 year I will live/work on the road out of a converted Ford Transit Connect aka Jones with my adventure dog India, mountain bike Skidmark and metal working tools. My goal is to connect with art and bike communities. I will be teaching workshops, visiting with artists, having trunk shows, volunteering, bike racing, riding with different cycling communities and much more.  Once I’ve gotten my hands dirty in these communities I will be writing about them in a weekly blog, this will help to connect and share my experiences with others.

Desert Cuff; made from rusted metal found while on the road.

Desert Cuff; made from rusted metal found while on the road.

How many other cities are you planning of traveling to as part of this project?

Oh man, cities….well, as of now I have almost the entire first 6 months booked with about 30 cities I’ll be stopping at, this also includes parts of Canada and a few really cool Islands!! I can’t wait!!

C is for...

C is for…

Any advice for others on how to start a community based art project?

Advice? Well, stick to your guns but be open to ideas. Everyone has an opinion but try to remember why and who you are doing this project for. Try not to overcommitte yourself, ask others what you can do to help or ask them for help ( worse thing they say is NO) and always always remember to be grateful and say thank you, it’s amazing how much of an impact a simple thank you note will do!!!

bootless + straps (Asymmetry)

bootless + straps (Asymmetry)

Do you have a personal website related to your work or your teaching that we can share?

www.caseofthenomads.com

Thanks Casey! We look forward to meeting you this July and can’t wait to see that traveling studio of yours. 

 

If you would like to register for this or any other class at Danaca Design you can call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA 11am-6pm Monday-Friday and 10am-6pm on Sundays

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. 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!

Summer Classes are Here!

Summer is just about here (Well with the sunny weather last couple days it seems to be here!) and so are our new classes. The new summer schedule is up on the Danaca Design website but here is a first look at the classes exclusive to summer.

We have a new class, new guest artist, some classes that only come around once a year, and a returning instructor that we haven’t had in a while. If you would like to sign up for a class either come to our location at 5619 University Way NE or call us at (206)524-0916. We are open from 11-6pm Mon-Fri and 10-6pm on Sat.

Here some of the highlights for spring but you can always see the entire class schedule and get full class descriptions on our website.

New Class! – Stacking Rings with Gemstones

Stacking rings

Stacking rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor: Dana Cassara

August 16, Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $165, basic materials included

Stacking rings are all the rage. They are fun to mix and match and super easy to make! This class will focus on creating your own delicate stacking rings with sparkling gemstones. Students will learn to size and solder the bands, create and add a simple but very functional tube setting for a round faceted stone, and set the stones! Everyone will make several rings gaining them the opportunity to practice the process and leave with a finger full of beautiful rings made from brass, sterling silver and gold fill. Very basic metal working skills required.

Returning Class – Etching Metal

Etched brass sheet

Etched brass sheet

Instructor: Jessie Wylie is teaching the Etching Metal class this summer and we are glad to have her back!

August 8, Saturday, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Class Fee: $125, Materials Included

See an image or pattern come to life in brass and copper through the acid etching process! This technique is excellent for creating exclusive textures on copper and brass sheet which can be cut and incorporated into jewelry, enameled or used as rolling mill templates to emboss precious metals and even paper. Patterns can be hand drawn directly on the sheet metal or photo transferred. Physical properties of different acids and metals, resist techniques and studio safety will be explored. The end result will yield several etched plates for use in future jewelry/design projects! Follow up this workshop with Enameling Basics II, our beginning transparent enamels class. This workshop is appropriate for beginners, however experienced jewelry artists may find it very exciting as well.

Guest Artist – Casey Sheppard

Gun Street Girl cuff

Gun Street Girl cuff

Instructor: Casey Sheppard

July 25 & 26, Saturday – Sunday, 10:30am – 5:00pm

Class Fee: $265, Materials Included

Cold connection is a fun way to play with metal and design jewelry. At first glance it may seem limiting however restricting your process can cause you to think about your design in a functional way generating unlimited outcomes. In this cold connection class students learn how to create a hinged bracelet with a clasp out of sheet metal, all without picking up a torch. You’ll learn the basics of sawing, piercing, drilling, forming metal and how to layer, add detail and a unique design to your creation. Other techniques learned will include tube rivets, metal/wire forming and finishing details with oxidization. With a unique approach to jewelry design, Casey will offer beginners to advanced level students something useful and insightful to walk away with. No jewelry experience is necessary but can be useful. Please Casey after the class for a personal tour of her traveling metalsmithing studio.

 

Don’t Miss! These classes only happen in the summer

Low Tech Gravity Casting

Gravity Casting

Gravity Casting

Instructor: Juan Reyes

July 11 and 12, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00

Class Fee: $285 Basic materials included

Learn the fundamentals of casting by exploring the exciting and ancient technique of pouring molten metal directly into molds made from organic materials, sand and soft stone. This process does not require a centrifugal setup or any major equipment so it is easily reproduced in a home studio or in your back yard! This workshop will cover carving a mold and casting into tufa (light-weight sandstone), creating a quick mold in cuttlefish bone, a material easily found at any pet store producing a lovely texture, and sandcasting, an ancient way to reproduce an object. Students will also explore casting into other organic materials for surprising effects! Rudimentary alloying, pouring an ingot, finishing techniques and safety will all be discussed. Bring your clean silver scraps if you have some. No experience necessary.

Total Immersion Beginning Jewelry Making

Which came first?

Which came first?

Instructor: Dana Cassara

July 13-17, 5 weekdays, Monday – Friday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $595, Basic materials included

What could be more fun than spending a week totally immersed in learning to make jewelry? Absolutely nothing! Spend an exciting five straight days doing just that. Together we will tackle the fundamentals of learning to work with precious metal: sawing, disc cutting and dapping, hammer texturing, roll printing, basic forming and finishing, as well as bezel setting stones. In this beginning silversmithing class, using copper, brass and sterling silver, students will make individualized jewelry pieces including a pin, pendent, ring and a simple linked project. Each night you’ll go home dreaming of what to create the next day, designing in your sleep. This class is an ideal opportunity to explore a range of techniques, in a condensed time, while creating several projects. No experience necessary.

Jewelry Summer Camp Ages 8-12

kids_camp_01

Instructor: Tegan Wallace

July 20 – 24, 5 weekdays, Monday – Friday, 9:30 – 2:00

Class Fee: $285 Materials included

Looking for a great activity for your 3rd – 6th grader this summer? Check out the Danaca Design jewelry camp! This week-long camp teaches cool jewelry-making techniques such as bead making and stringing, wire working, texturing, stamping, and riveting metal! In addition, we will explore the fundamentals of composition and color theory while learning to use a variety of basic hand tools. Using polymer clay, Shrinky Dinks, seed beads, and copper and brass wire and sheet metal, we will create a variety of jewelry pieces students can wear proudly. After all, nothing is quite as fun as saying, “I made this!” Rings and bracelets and brooches, oh my! Come have fun with us for a week in July! No experience necessary.

Anticlastic Forming in Metal

Anticlastic Cuff Bracelet by Emily Hickman

Anticlastic Cuff Bracelet by Emily Hickman

Instructor: Bill Dawson

July 31 – August 2, Friday – Sunday, Three days, 10:30-5:00

Class Fee: $350, Basic Materials Included

Tool kits available to purchase In this three-day workshop you will learn the basics of anticlastic raising, a process which lends itself to creating exceptionally strong, flexible, lightweight, and organic-looking forms. A new focus on this ancient technique has yielded some of the most interesting forms in contemporary metalwork. In anticlastic forming a flat sheet of metal is shaped by compressing its edges and stretching the center so that the surface develops two curves at right angles to each other, like a horse saddle. We will focus on “open” or “mono-shell” forms made from a single piece of thin sheet metal, working to create striking dimensional shapes. Decking these forms will be shown in class to demonstrate how doing so can expand the range of forms available expanding your design options. Though open anticlastic forms date to the Early Iron Age, it is only recently that they have been explored in detail. You do not need a great deal of metalworking experience to take this class, but some facility with the hammer is helpful.

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

Meet Bill Dawson, Metalsmith

self

Bill Dawson is one of our talented instructors here at Danaca Design. He teaches a variety of classes covering hollowware, forming, forging, metal inlay, engraving, fabrication, and tool making. We also sell a variety of his chasing and forming tools here in the shop. Bill got his start in metals with blacksmithing at the University of Oregon, and has been a working metalsmith and teacher ever since. Recently Sophie asked him a few questions. I loved reading through his responses, especially his take on functional art and artless objects- it definitely made me want to take a class with him!

Okay, here you go!

 

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

I never really imagined doing anything much beyond art, because I never imagined being able to hold down a job.  My childhood hero was Georgia O’Keeffe, and I wanted to grow up to be more or less just like her.  I started out as an oil painter, at around four years old. Though I no longer have it the first painting I can remember making was of a grey dog on a green background.  I do however have the first metal sculpture I created, an iron pony I made when I was eleven. 

102_0429

 

You work in all kinds of mediums and styles, what are your favorite materials to work with, and why? 

I divide creative work into four broad categories:  Additive, assembly, fabrication, etc; subtractive, carving, stock removal, etc; transformational, casting, and shaping; and ephemeral, performance and time based art.  I’m going to give you a favorite for each.  Painting is the medium with which I have worked the longest, and is my favorite additive art, though textiles come a close second.  Each new painting is a unique challenge, and they never become routine.  I like to carve all sorts of material: bone, amber, jet, antler, stone and so forth, but if I had to pick just one to work from now on it would be cedar, and specifically Port Orford Cedar.  It is a variety of yellow cedar that grows in Western Oregon, and has a texture similar to redwood.  I love its smooth strength, carveability, and smell. .999 silver would have to be my favorite transformational material, though there are many metals that I love working, including copper, bog iron, and high karat gold.  The thing about pure silver is that it is just about the ideal material for so many techniques: forging, inlay, casting, etc.  It is both beautiful and profoundly workable.  I don’t do much ephemeral art, but I do enjoy playing music.  My voice is not much to talk about, but I like playing woodwinds, especially playing early music.

 

Everything from tools to jewelry to sculpture to wood, you do it all. As a bit of a Renaissance man; what aspects of your artistry do you enjoy the most?

I most enjoy seeking the balance between the functional and the artistic.  I find that mass produced functional but thoughtless items have no life to them, and art without function is a bit like hothouse flowers that are inedible.  Making a beautiful tool is what I consider the highest form of creativity.  I don’t think of myself as a Renaissance man, but more an Arts and Crafts man.  I take far more inspiration from Hubbard and Morris, than from Brunelleschi and DaVinci.  I love to do a good job of creating, but I want others to be able to do that good work as well.  I think that the most exciting times are when I am working to rediscover some lost technique that I can revive and pass along to other artists.

 

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

The main themes in my work are place and history.  I very much believe in the importance of context, and creative honesty.  Much of my work is either rooted in the Pacific Northwest, or steeped in history, or both.  

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

I could go on about this at length, but I will try to keep it to something reasonable here.  The first thing that any creative person needs is the courage to start a project.  Modern society tells us to fear making mistakes, which are part of learning anything, but too often that fear kills the creativity in us, before we can even get going.  The next thing that we all need is the humility to pay attention to our materials and change plans as they dictate.  You can’t force your work to be something that it is not, and if you listen the nature of your materials will come through in your work, just as your creativity will be expressed through your materials.  The final thing I want students to develop is the grit to see a project through, not to rush it, but to stay with it until it comes to a natural conclusion.

 

In what kind of environment do you work best?

I do most of my best work alone, even when working on a collaborative project.  It is not that I don’t want people around at all, but I like to have a direct and intimate connection to my materials, and this is easiest in private.  When I take breaks I like to get out of the studio and if possible outdoors or on the water.  I find that a long walk, a ride on the motorbike, or a paddle on the canoe helps clear my mind so that I can come back to my work ready to give my best. 

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Bill is currently revamping his website, but you can still visit and check things out while it’s under construction: http://billdawsonmetalsmith.com

We’ve also started a new class series with Bill, Hollowware Fundamentals Beginning Series. Look for our Spring quarter schedule to see what’s next in the lineup! Join our mailing list for early access to each quarterly schedule: http://www.danacadesign.com

 

Thoughts from Nancy Megan Corwin

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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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

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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. 

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  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.

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  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!
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  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! 
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  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. 

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  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

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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

 

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