Classes, Gallery Event

June Surprises, July Dreams

battle of the rings Champion

Dear Friends,

June was full of surprises and the biggest for me was anticipating who would be crowned Champion of the Ring Smackdown 2020! After a grueling month of competition, Karen Keller of Pyrus Designs took the big win with her lovely ring, “Secrets Safe with Me” made from sterling silver and bolder opal.

Karen says, “This hand fabricated flip ring is full of surprises! One side has a galactic boulder opal simply set in a shadow box frame. The second side features a hand sawn beetle. Beetles are symbols of resilience and hard work while boulder opals are believed to bring clarity and emotional security. This piece also contains a ‘secret drawer’…although small, it is meant for any personal keepsake/secret. The last surprise is its versatility. It wears just as beautifully as a pendant as it a does ring!”

Karen made this ring especial for the competition. She took the opportunity to challenge herself and was rewarded well. Let’s all take a lesson from Karen! What a memorable adventure the Battle of the Rings 2020 was. It helped many people get through a tough spring and it certainly kept us all on our toes at Danaca Design. There’s no doubt, we will do this again next year. See ALL the rings HERE. Some of my personal favorites, which I will be featuring on Instagram over the next week, are still for sale!

 

In other exciting news we held our first class in the newly retrofitted Danaca Design studio space, the Beginning Jewelry Series: Introduction workshop. It was a small class which was a great way to get familiar with the new layout and covid protocols. I was concerned it wouldn’t be as much fun as B.C. (before Covid!) but this excellent group of students proved otherwise. Our new class limit is 6 students and our protocol is strict. Take a look at it HERE.

newly retrofitted studio

We’re starting to open up more workshops for the summer so if you’re ready to get back into the studio, we’re ready for you.  Check the website for regular updates, www.danacadesign.com. To make room for Covid-safe classes something had to give; sadly, for a variety of reasons, our storefront gallery became the sacrificial beast. This decision was not made lightly. Fortunately, our online gallery has taken off! So if you are looking for a special piece of jewelry for yourself or a friend please make Danaca Design Gallery a part of your shopping experience.

Although we celebrate our anniversary at Danaca Design every year in December, it was July 1, 2003 when I took the plunge and rented the building on University Way, 17 years ago… I had this idea that it would be cool to create a gathering space for people to learn and share knowledge of metalsmithing, my passion, without being locked into a long term class. And that this place could provide the tools and atmosphere for individuals to grow creatively and thus personally. It was quite a dream for a single, thirty-something-year old with no savings account, but I’ll be darned if that dream didn’t materialize.

Of course it wouldn’t have been possible without you, so cheers to you all! I say, let’s keep dreaming. I can dream with a mask on, can you?

Danajewelry studio classes beginning student projects

Classes, Specialty Workshops

Jeanie Pratt – Designs in Woven Metal

 

Visiting instructor Jeanie Pratt will be teaching a woven metal class in September, we’re really looking forward to it. Great opportunity to incorporate something new into your work!

Designs in Woven Metal
Jeanie Pratt
September 20-22, 2019
Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00
$490

Find more info or register here: https://wp.danacadesign.com/classes/designs-in-woven-metal/

 

 

Jeanie Pratt – Artist’s Statement

I delight in the magical surrealism of reality in nature. My designs are informed by studies of entomology, and life sciences, as well as experiences while living in the tropics and the desert. I savor researching and revisiting the realm of anomalous plants and animals. With this comes the humble reminder that we are just one species in a multitude of interdependent creatures. We are defined as human beings by our need to create personal adornment and art. I feel a connection to a continuum of artisans as I pursue the possibilities that emerge from within me.

As a fiber artist now working with metal; I find that after 30 plus years, I am still striving to turn straw into gold. The textile patterns and textures fixed into the metal evoke memories of the traditional textiles and basketry encountered while living abroad. Translating fiber techniques into silver, gold and copper continues to fascinate me. With a weaver’s eye for color, I explore the processes of applying patinas and enamels, as well as incorporating gemstones and beads into my work.

In the solitude of my studio, I lose myself in time through detailed labor-intensive and historical processes. As I meld my lifelong interests, I endeavor to create exquisite and timeless pieces of jewelry and sculpture. This counterbalances the often irresolvable challenges encountered in my daily life. With passion and joy, I continue to push my own limits as well as the limits of the techniques and materials.

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!

Classes, Specialty Workshops

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!
Classes

Winter Class Schedule Preview

Hard to believe but this year is almost over! Why not add learning a new skill to your 2018 resolutions and take a jewelry class. Here’s preview of what is in store for winter but visit www.danacadesign.com for our complete schedule, expanded class descriptions, and materials list.

To register stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916.

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces
Instructor: Keith Lewis
February 17-19, Saturday – Monday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $480

This workshop explores 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. This is an intermediate class and basic metal working skills are required.

Featured Classes
Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making
Instructor: Dana Cassara
January 15-19, Monday-Friday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $595 | Basic Materials Included

What better way to kick off 2018 than spending a week making jewelry? The immersion workshop combines all three of our Beginning Jewelry Series workshops in to one week long jewelry making vacation. Each day you’ll go home thinking about what to make the next day! No experience necessary.

Chasing and Repousse: A Modern Approach with a Traditional Base
Instructor: Megan Corwin
February 2-4, Friday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $450 | $10 fee pay to instructor

In this beginning class, students start by learning to use the pitch bowl and hammer to chase, defining, and texturing the front of a piece of sheet metal and repousse, forming from the back. Explore the great textures and forms made possible with this technique. No experience necessary.

Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Fancy Stones
Instructor: Kirk Lang
March 3-4, Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee:$295 | $95 materials fee pay to instructor

Learn to set challenging shaped stones in this hands on weekend workshop with master stone setter Kirk Lang. Building off of Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Round Stones, this more advanced workshop will teach students how to confidently set stones with pointed corners. Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Round Stones or equivalent experience required.

Precious Metal Clay Basics I
Instructor: Suzette O’Dell
January 13, Saturday, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee: $95 | $75 materials fee pay to instructor

Discover what can be made with Precious Metal Clay+ (PMC+), a marvelous material that can be worked just like clay but when fired becomes pure fine silver. PMC is a great alternative to casting and lots of fun too. No experience necessary.