Dana Cassara began practicing the art of silversmithing at North Seattle Community College in 1992. She discovered her love for the craft after returning to school to pursue a teaching degree with a focus in social studies. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1998 with a B.A. in Comparative History of Ideas as well as Interdisciplinary Arts, because she just couldn’t stay out of the art department. She has been teaching jewelry design since 1999 and loves what she does. 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!
Metalsmith, educator and writer Andy Cooperman works from his Seattle studio where he builds jewelry and objects for exhibitions and private clients. His work and writing has appeared in blogs, magazines and books, including Humor in Craft, Art Jewelry Today (I, II & III) and The Penland Book of Jewelry and is held in private and public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Central College in Pella Iowa, and the Tacoma Art Museum.
As a teacher, Andy’s goal is to help students develop the creative problem-solving tools that will allow them to see beyond standard solutions and open new doors onto the creative process. He teaches and lectures nationally and is available as a visting artist, curator and creative pot stirrer.
In the Edmund Scientific Supply catalogue (circa 1964) there was a page that featured paramecium cultures. The text described an entire world, utterly alien and invisible to the naked eye, whirling away in a single cloudy drop of pond water. The notion that a complete universe could exist--concentrated on the tip of my finger-- changed everything.
I have considered myself a metalsmith since 1980. It was in the late ‘70’s, as an English major in college in Upstate NY, that I first encountered the field, outside of the jewelry and hollowware that I had seen in stores. There was a classroom in the art building (I spent a lot of time in that building) that seemed to contain some sort of focused excitement for the hunched over figures working inside. There was fire and small, strangely specific tools. The sound of hammering made me pull open the door and walk inside.
What a shocker it was to see that metal could be sawn, formed and, especially, forged-- in a relatively non-industrial place. And when I saw that it could be approached in ways that made it seem unlike metal, that small, almost animate things could be made with it--I had to get my hands into it.
With a second major in Studio Art, I built a small back bedroom studio, spent some time exploring the very similar field of dental crown and bridge manufacture and worked at the bench in several jewelry stores. In 1984, I followed my wife Kim to Seattle, Washington. We have been here ever since.
Seattle is a special place for jewelers and metalsmiths. We have a very strong community of makers who are eager to share what they know and what they think. And we all seem to like each other.
Almost makes the winter gloom bearable.
Please visit his website at andycooperman.com
Barbara Knuth was born and raised in rural Wisconsin where she grew up working with her hands, making things, and enjoying life on the farm. As an adult she discovered her love for metalsmithing while attending University of Wisconsin Whitewater which is where she received her BFA in metalsmithing. Barbara continued onto graduate school at San Diego State University where she earned an MFA in metalsmithing. After school she made her move to Seattle to be a part of a thriving metals community that she actively participates in. Barbara spent 7 years teaching metalsmithing and jewelry full time at Auburn Mountainview High School where she shared her love of metalsmithing with gobs of teenagers. She creates her own work in a private studio at her home in South Seattle and shows her work locally on a regular basis.
Since 2013 Bette Barnett has devoted her work to exploring and experimenting with steel and gold. Bette began her jewelry career in 2010 and subsequently studied with the late Chris Nelson through his advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel, including Keum Boo on steel, steel wire fused with gold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, fusing metal powders to steel, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as steel wire and perforated steel sheet. Bette is focusing much of her current work on Keum Boo on steel, an area that is virtually unexplored among western artists. In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry. The paper entitled “Steel Jewelry—Expanding the Horizons of Steel with Gold” was to have been presented at the May conference had it not been postponed due to the quarantine. Bette has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.
Bill Dawson came to art metals by way of blacksmithing at the University of Oregon. Since then he has been making a living with metalsmithing, both teaching and creating custom pieces for all manner of patrons. A close examination of metalwork of ancient cultures of Ireland has given Bill a deeper understanding of the character of the metal itself, as well as the aesthetics of the past. You can see Bill’s work at www.billdawsonmetalsmith.com.
Master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain has trained, studied and worked in Germany, Canada and the United States to learn the skills he uses. His work is concerned with process and with beauty as well as function. He thinks of decision making in metal as drawing, working with the same sensibilities of mark and commitment as with pen and ink. Many pieces use a 'printmaking' approach to working metal, that is that the work is done in separate steps in groups and layers building towards the finished piece. Process and the tensions between nature and structure are part of his concerns. His work and writing on the results of his technical research, have been published internationally. In 1994 Brain Press was established which documents, publishes and markets the results of his research activities. His most recent publications include two major books in 2008, Foldforming with Brynmorgen Press, and The Jeweler's Bench Book with MJSA Press. A distinguished Fellow of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, he has lectured and taught in England, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia. He is a consultant on the jewelry field, and has written expert witness reports regarding health and safety in US legal cases.
Seattle artist Cynthia Toops has always been fascinated with beads. An ivory cicada bead carved by her father is one of her most cherished possessions. However, it was a copy of Lois Sherr Dublin's "The History of Beads", which catapulted this fascination into a passion and career. Falling in love with the Roman face beads on the cover, Cynthia was inspired to make her own versions. During a visit to her native Hong Kong, Cynthia discovered polymer clay and fell in love with the medium. Cynthia is inspired by 18th Century Italian micro mosaics, as well as the elaborate works of Mexico's Huichol Indians, who embed seed beads in hot wax. Adapting these styles to polymer clay, Cynthia developed techniques that work for her and are 'simple and very low-tech'. Using this technique of mosaic in her work, Cynthia is able to create tremendous richness, texture and subtle color variation on a single piece. Cynthia is widely published and exhibits and teaches throughout the United States.
As a transplanted Midwesterner, it is my good fortune to live and work in the mountains of North Carolina, surrounded by natural beauty and a vibrant craft community. While I spend most of my time as a studio jeweler, selling my work through galleries and at craft shows, I also love teaching workshops. When not in the studio, I am usually working on our house with my partner, David. My work is fueled by a fascination with detail, pattern, and surface; lichen on trees, flaking paint on rusty old metal, the texture and pattern in vintage fabrics, and architectural details just to name a few. I travel whenever possible because each place has it's own way of inspiring me, whether it's the people, the architecture, or natural surroundings. My creative process is time consuming but drawing on metal provides a surface that is unique and can't be achieved any other way. Colored pencil drawing allows me to blend colors and create patterns that are uniquely mine. I draw on metal because it is strong but easily formed. I create jewelry because I appreciate the intimacy of an art form that is worn on the body and that, historically, carries emotional weight. Jewelry combines so many components that I love: fashion, ornament, art, texture, color, and structure. Currently I am working on a new line of work that is all about structure and texture but less about color. I'm excited to see where this body of work takes me but I will continue working in color as well. I am especially interested in teaching this style of fabrication and in helping students improve their skills. Drawings aren't just for the wall, anymore.
Harlan W. Butt is an artist working in metal and enamel who specializes in vessel making, many of which employ cloisonn? patterns inspired by the natural environment. Harlan is a Regents Professor of Art at the University of North Texas where he has taught since 1976. He is past President of the Enamelist Society, past President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the American Crafts Council. His work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Art & Design in New York City, the Mint Museum of Art & Craft in Charlotte, NC, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, the Wichita Center for the Arts in Kansas, the National Gallery of Australia, the Cloisonn? Enamelware Fureai Museum in Ama City, Japan, the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. www.harlanwbutt.com
Helen Shirk is Professor of Art Emerita at San Diego State University where she taught from 1975-2010. She graduated from Skidmore College (BS 1963) and Indiana University (MFA 1969), received Fulbright (1963) and NEA Grants (1978, 1988) and was made a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 1999. Her metalwork is in numerous public collections, including the Schmuckmuseum (Pforzheim), National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Oakland Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
I have a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, N.S. My teaching experience includes printmaking and enamel classes for both adults and children. I was a full time art instructor at the Brock Fahrni Centre and Canadian Red Cross for 9 years and taught part time with the Burnaby Art Centre, and Vancouver Parks Board for two years. I was studio assistant for Maria Phillips at fall concentration Penland School of Craft. My experience includes guest artist at Okanagan College and for at Pratt Fine Arts (for an enamel class taught by Maria Phillips). 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. I am represented by Facere Jewelry Art Gallery, Seattle WA, Velvet da Vinci, SF CA, and Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h Bijoux D'Art, Montreal Quebec. My work has been featured in the 500 Series by Lark, Color on Metal by Tim McCreight and Nicole Bsullak, Guild Publishing, Exhibition in Print 2003, Signs of Life 2008, and the Jewelry Artist.
Jeanie Pratt works as studio artist on the Central Coast of California. She has been a fiber artist since learning to weave in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970’s and more recently has exchanged wire for yarn as the “fiber” of choice. Her metals education can be described as self-directed as she has sought out workshops and classes with a number of distinguished instructors. She has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums and shows. She currently shows at Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA. You can learn more about Jeanie on her website www.jeaniepratt.net
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. See his complete bio and image on his website: www.jeffgeorgantes.com
Jessie Wylie began making jewelry in high school and has pursued this passion with great enthusiasm ever since! She earned her BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from the University of Oregon, and continues to explore her love for wearable art through teaching, working on the board for the Seattle Metals Guild and continual experimentation with materials. Jessie is also a graphic designer who enjoys using a combination of photography, line work and pattern, which is reflected in her metal work. Her jewelry can be found at Gilt jewelry boutique in Portland.
BFA: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point -1985 MFA: Tyler School of Art – 1990 Taught at the University of Oregon, Oregon College of Art and Crafts, University of Portland, Central Oregon Community College as well as classes and workshops at schools and craft centers around the country. I’ve been designing and creating mostly one-of-a-kind engagement and wedding rings for clients from around the world for nearly 40 years. I specialize in creating rings because I love hands and how each hand is unique and because of all that hands can do, express and create. I choose to create mostly engagement and wedding rings because of their importance to my clients and I’m drawn to the fact that my rings will be around long after I am gone. Currently, I am teaching virtually and in person workshops in stone setting, gold alloying and fabrication and wax carving.
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.
Keith Lewis received his BS in Chemistry from Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) in 1981 and his MFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing from Kent State University (Kent, OH) in 1993. He has been teaching at CWU since 1994, where he is currently CWU Distinguished Professor. His jewelry deals with issues of sexual identity, memory, loss, and the notion of jewelry as a transportable polemic. It has been widely published and shown both nationally and internationally and is represented in a number of significant public and private collections, including the Tacoma Art Museum, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, The Rotasa Foundation (CA), The Boardman Family Collection (CA), The Porter/Price Collection (NC), the collection of Susan Beech (CA), The Smithsonian Institution and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to his work as an artist and teacher, he has also written for a number of publications including Metalsmith, New Art Examiner and Artweek and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and of the Metalsmith magazine Editorial Advisory Board. He wishes that students would stop sleeping and start spending more time in the studio. He hates excuses. His favorite fruit is jaboticaba.
Ken holds a BFA in painting and drawing and an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing. Both areas of this training are important to his work and he combines the two in one-of-a-kind mixed media wearable assemblages that are made of colored, painted, patterned, and textured bits of unusual materials combined with silver and gold. His jewelry has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is found in private and public collections including the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum. As an educator Ken has been teaching for more than 25 years. He has presented workshops on jewelry and metalsmithing in schools around the country including Penland, Haystack, and Arrowmont. After nearly 20 years teaching at Montana State University Ken resigned his position in the spring of 2007 to pursue and teach full time studio work and workshops. He now lives and works in the historic smelter town of Anaconda Montana in a newly remodeled home he shares with his wife, dog, and five cats.
Kirk Lang is a Seattle based Artist, Goldsmith and Educator. He holds a MFA from the University of Washington in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Jewelry & Metals. Kirk has taught regionally and nationally at the University of Washington, North Seattle College, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Danaca Design and Penland. In addition to teaching, he has worked for 15+ years in the fine jewelry field as a contracted fabricator, stone setter and engraver. His work can be seen in such publications as MJSA Journal, 500 Metal Vessels, 500 Necklaces, 1000 Rings and Metalsmith Magazine. Most recently, he was awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship, Artist Trust GAP Grant and a 4Culture Individual Project Grant. In 2014 he had a solo exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN and in 2016 was selected to participate in the Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial titled Metalmorphosis. Recurring themes in his work include time, space and mythology, in the form of wearable and interactive sculptural objects.
Maru Almeida was born and raised in Mexico growing up surrounded by a rich silversmithing tradition and the work of local artisans. Her curiously of the artistic transformation of metal guided her to pursue both a BFA and an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Oregon, respectively. Through her education she learned the necessary skills for working with precious materials as well as exploring non-traditional materials to incorporate on her one-of-a-kind work. In her work she develops ideas exploring movement, tactility and discovery through the senses; always looking for a true connection to the work through the body. Maru has been working as an artist and professional jeweler for more that 15 years and has taught at several institutions including the University of Oregon and the Seattle University. She also teaches private lessons at her Seattle studio. Maru’s work has been featured in Metalsmith Magazine and is part of the jewelry collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon. Her wedding rings have been published in the book "500 Wedding Rings" by Lark Books.
Melissa is an Australian-born artist jeweller who lives and works in Seattle, WA. She holds a MFA in jewellery and metalsmithing from Monash University and BA with honours in interior architecture from Curtin University. Her works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the Cheongju City Collection (South Korea) as well as the Arts Centre Melbourne (Australia), and her pieces have featured in the publications Jewel Book, Art Jewellery Today 3 and Lark Books' 500 Silver Jewelry Designs.
Born in war torn Lebanon and moved to the United States in 1998, Michael Nashef has earned his M.F.A in Metals/Jewelry Design from Bowling Green State University. Nashef has managed a jewelry store, worked as a CAD designer, launched his fine jewelry company Intersecting Hearts, and invented few tools that are used in the jewelry industry. He worked as the area coordinator and lecturer at Towson University in Maryland, and currently is an instructor at Western Michigan University. Nashef has an extensive record of exhibition including solo and international shows, and had won many awards, including being aquired by the MAD museum in New York city. He is published in books such as JaMs and New Bracelets.
Michelle Zeidman is a Seattle-based artist and avid traveler. She discovered the joy of enamel jewelry at Danaca Design in the summer of 2017, and has been studying enamel and silversmithing ever since. She takes her inspiration from nature and patterns found in the urban environment. Her enamel jewelry is sold at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Bow, WA and on Etsy. When she's not playing in the studio, she can be found drawing line art animals, creating watercolor paintings that feature wildlife and wildflowers, hiking in the mountains, and SUPing on Washington's waterways. Follow her on Instagram @michelle.zeidman.
Micki Lippe is an internationally known artist who has exhibited her works throughout Europe, South Korea, and the United States. Her works can be found in the collections of the Racine Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum. Lippe has a studio in Seattle and has served the Pratt Fine Arts Center as a trustee and an instructor. www.looselyhinged.com
Milt Fischbein is an independent jewellery artist and teacher. He discovered his love of working with precious metals over 25 years ago. Milt is one of only a handful of metal artists in North America whose studio practice focuses primarily on the design and fabrication of filigree objects. Milt has been fortunate to be able to study filigree techniques with diverse range of well-known filigree artists. Milt has been fine tuning ancient filigree techniques in his Calgary, Alberta studio, creating a body of contemporary silver and gold filigree jewellery. He has been passing on his knowledge of filigree through workshops and lectures. He is a professional member of the Alberta Craft Council. His works have been published in Edmonton’s Where Magazine, Alberta Craft Magazine and in Victoria Lansford’s 2019 Update of her Russian Filigree DVD. A write up on his studio was featured in the July 2017 issue of the MJSA Journal. View more of Milt’s work here: Website: www.mfmetalarts.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/MFMetalArts Instagram: @mfmetalarts YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC30WkSSzPpRf10Cs2_G4cjA
Me̅gan Corwin lives and works in Seattle, Washington. In 1983 she received her MFA in Art Metals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with Eleanor Moty and Fred Fenster. Since leaving her position as Head of Jewelry and Metals at the University of Oregon-Eugene in 1994 to have a child, Me̅gan has been teaching workshops and credit classes in metals worldwide. Her area of expertise is chasing and repoussé, and she has written and published a technical and gallery book on the subject published by Brynmorgen Press, Portland, ME in 2009. Me̅gan has one-of-a-kind jewelry and metalwork in many private collections around the United States and in the following: The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, Washington State's Tacoma Art Museum's permanent collection and in the State University of New Mexico Art Gallery at Las Cruces Gallery's permanent collection. Me̅gan is represented in Seattle, WA at Facere Jewelry Art Gallery. View her work at www.nancymegancorwin.com.
Rachel Kassia Shimpock is a California native raised in Orange County, Ca. by two high school teacher parents. At age 11 she got separated from her parents in historical Williamsburg and wandered into a smithy where a blacksmith let her hit steel with a tiny sledge hammer, she's been smitten ever since! She recently received her MFA in the Jewelry/Metalsmithing program at San Diego State University with Professors Helen Shirk and Sondra Sherman. Metal and the format of jewelry in particular speak to her and for the last 12 years it has allowed her to communicate personal stories and there are many! Rachel is carrying on the legacy of her family and her trade by teaching workshops and art classes utilizing any opportunity to spread the gospel of metals and jewelry!
Participation in the arts was always important to me growing up. A strong arts program in high school influenced my decision to pursue a degree in the arts. I chose the arts program at Bowling Green State University in northwest Ohio where I discovered and fell in love with metals. I was introduced to many artists, including Michael Boyd, who became an inspiration for me. Upon graduation I apprenticed for Michael Boyd at his studio in Colorado. That experience turned into an eight year adventure that continues today. It was with Michael that I learned to work with and manipulate stone, adding a new element to my love of jewelry design. Since being in Colorado I have started my own business, Ryan Gardner Designs. I now showcase my work in galleries across the country. I love working with combining stone and metal in new ways creating works of art for people to enjoy in their daily lives.
"As a young girl I often spent time making things, drawing and assembling projects without instructions. I come from a line of craftspeople, artists and photographers and have always been encouraged to create. My love of jewelry began with a spool of aluminum wire in High School that led to my first line called 'Lobes.' I went on to college to study Fine Arts in Chicago. Later, I learned metalsmithing at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. For the past 7+ years I focused on one of a kind Fine Art Jewelry, such as hand fabricated silver bird cameos set with images from my collection transferred to polymer clay. I find inspiration from my love of organic forms, color and image. I visit a community garden in my neighborhood often for inspiration and taking photographs. This spring I embarked on a new line of jewelry designed using organic forms set with photographs that I have taken during my travels or from my image collection. I love seeing the story that takes shape when the two are combined. I build the originals by hand and then have them cast locally with a company that uses mostly recycled sterling silver. I fabricate all of my clasps and ear wires by hand. I also transfer the photographs myself to polymer clay to give the images depth and versatility. They are then coated in a layer of polymer for durability."
Suzzette O’Dell has been a craftsperson for over 40 years. She found herself drawn into the arts at an early age.
Living in Heidelberg, Germany (1965 – 1970), Suz studied photography, and traveled to other countries with her camera. In the early 80s she began working as a professional photographer in California’s film and commercial industries and spent over 12 years as a freelance photographer, and film production manager.
In the early 90s, Suz continued her pursuit of the arts by studying Lapidary and Metalsmithing at Sharon Arts Studio in San Francisco, California. She continues to satisfy her curiosity about the rich array of our planet’s gemstones.
Suz carefully embellishes metals (silver, bronze, copper) by texturing and hand stamping. This is the foundation for the hand-lapped gemstones she uses. Selected for rich color, and clarity, the gemstones are set into the worked metal…creating a limited studio line and one-of-a-kind works.
In addition to fabrication, Suz uses precious metal clays in her work. The metal clays allow her to hand-cast individual pieces by hand-carving, and use of molds, permitting her to further influence the metals she uses. Suz became a certified Precious Metal Clay teacher in 1998 and had taught at art centers in Northern California and Washington for 20 years.
For 25 years post-conceptual artist, educator, and author, Victoria Lansford has created one-of-a-kind wearable sculpture and art objects that evoke the mystery and splendor of ancient masters yet are infused with her own provocative vision. Through her artwork, publications, workshops, and passion for creating, Victoria has generated an international revival of nearly lost, old world metalsmithing techniques, including high relief Eastern repoussé, Russian filigree, chain making, and granulation, and paved the way for metalsmiths to rediscover the variations from other cultures. Her award winning artwork has appeared in a multiple exhibitions and publications. She creates and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at www.victorialansford.com