Mixed Media

Make Your Mark!

Necklace, Jan Smith

Image and Mark Making in Enamel with Jan Smith

August 17-19 at Danaca Design

“I love the diversity and seductive qualities of the enamel and enjoy sharing an understanding of the material with students. I begin with a simple sketch, using the enamel as a printmaking or drawing medium, I work rather intuitively allowing the work to evolve. There is an element of assemblage or evolution in my process and composition, and I am excited about the imperfections in the surfaces.” -Jan Smith

Pendant, Jan Smith

With her decades of experience as a printmaker and jewelry designer, Jan Smith has a remarkable amount of expertise creating various compositions in enamel with a wide range of techniques. Her illustrative approach is translated into botanical and natural forms as well as more abstract and modern designs that rely on linear detail, diverse layers of color, and fine execution.

Necklace, Jan Smith

Over three days in August, Smith will lead students through a broad range of techniques to develop exciting surfaces. With sgraffito, students can create multiple layers of contrasting color by scratching or drawing designs in a top layer of enamel allowing the color beneath to show through after the piece has been fired. Through multiple layers of opaque or translucent glazes, different effects and levels of depth in the piece can be achieved. Underglaze pencils and watercolor techniques allow for more intensive detail and line-work, as well as intriguing color-play evoking greater subtlety and depth in the designs. Over-glazing in translucent or clear finishes can achieve unifying effects and protect the piece. Ultimately this workshop will open a whole new world of detail and depth to every students enamel work.

Work by Jan Smith

In Image and Mark Making in Enamel, Jan Smith takes the time to explain how each method can work with the others to build distinctive pieces. Students create prototypes of each technique, getting a feel for each method’s possibilities, and then create a series of pieces that can be incorporated into their jewelry. Armed with new knowledge, tools, and enamels, practitioners will have an entirely new narrative with which to compose pieces and images to “make their mark”.

We can’t wait!

Uncategorized

Low Tech Casting

Student pouring metal!

Sometimes the old ways are the best. The first weekend in August silversmith and jeweler Juan Reyes will take students through several casting techniques that have been used for millennia in, Low-Tech Gravity Casting. Not only are they tried and true, these methods also use a minimal amount of equipment, and can be easily reproduced in a home studio, or even in your backyard.

Cuttlebone cast ring shank

Juan will guide students through various mold making processes and approaches. Whether it’s sand casting found objects, such as twigs or buttons, exploring the unique textures of cuttlebone, or carving your own molds in tufa stone that you can reproduce time after time, this two day casting class opens novice and experienced jewelers alike to this fun and rewarding sculpting method. It is also one of the best ways to use your scrap silver!

Low tech casting bits, samples, and experiments

With his expertise and enthusiasm Juan Reyes brings warmth and creativity to every class he teaches. He recently took the time to answer a few questions about his work.

What got you started in metal smithing and jewelry making?
My family has several jewelers in it. As a child, jewelry was something that I didn’t want to make when I was living with them.  When I came to Seattle, I realized that I was missing that part of my family.

What do you like best about casting pieces?
One of things I like about a casting a piece is that once you made the first piece,  you can make a mold and make as many as you want.

Do you have a favorite casting method?
Sand casting is my favorite method. It’s easy for me, because you just have to have something to print into the sand, then you close the mold and pour the metal. However, at the end of my class everybody has their own favorite method.

What are the biggest challenges new learners might have in this class?
The big challenge that I notice in my class all the time for my students, is learning to be comfortable with a big torch and pouring the metal into a mold once the metal is melted.

Do you have a favorite casting material?
Silver is my favorite metal to work with. Silver is very forgiving, you can melt and reuse it many times, that’s why I like it.

Melting metal!