2024 marks my 35th year as a professional metalsmith!
To celebrate, I’m launching 2 huge projects!
One is a retrospective of my artwork with insights and highlights about my most significant pieces from each year of my journey. This will be experienced both online and in print, so wherever you are, you’ll be able to participate. Look for details coming in the late spring.
The other project is something I’ve wanted to pursue formally and more holistically for three decades. I’ve sought out ancient and medieval metalwork in all my treks and travels, sometimes as the primary focus and sometimes as “museums on the way to the airport,” cramming in visiting collections and artifacts when, where, and however I could.
As a maker, I see things that others often don’t. I see the commonality of techniques and technologies that are often overlooked in the discussion of objects’ imagery, designs, and iconographies. I see that the way an Eighteenth Dynasty amulet from Egypt was made relates to the way an Anglo-Saxon saddle ornament was created even though they don’t look alike and were made almost two thousand years apart.
My aim is to research the dissemination of metalsmithing techniques through ancient and medieval cultures with special focuses on Eastern repoussé and granulation (and granulation that gets categorized as filigree).
There will be conversations, papers, and videos discussing and documenting my findings. It will take several years (if I’m speedy). Yes, as projects go, it’s a bit…huge, but it’s also about time.
Because of the magnitude of both these projects, I won’t be offering the same course schedule next year. There will be a few classes, but not in January. Twice I’ve launched winter classes with early bird sign ups while being away from the studio during the holidays, and I don’t have it in me to repeat the adventure a third time! Honestly, getting ready to teach a course, getting the word out, getting the course dashboard and the many materials ready, and communicating the all the details of how it works is way way way more work than actually teaching.
My school is here to stay, but my schedule is a wild card! If there is a course you’re interested in taking, don’t wait. It might not come back around next year.
In other news
Good news for those of you who patiently, or frustratedly, wondered why the spot prices haven’t been loading on the home screen: They’re back! Finally!
Kitco had some issues with their own site that stopped third party sites and apps from loading the charts, but they’ve fixed them at last. Thanks for your patience.
Have an iPhone or iPad but don’t have iMakeJewelry? Get it here.
My Eastern Repoussé Extended Online Course has officially opened. Students can now watch the demos and begin working. Our first live Q&A session is this Friday at 1pm Eastern (New York time).
This is the course where we deep dive into all the details of Eastern repoussé from the basic steps through to advanced processes like overlapping, extreme undercutting, and multi-layered relief all from one sheet of metal. I keep adding new modules and projects, so even if you’ve taken my in-person courses or my online course early in the pivot, there is lots of new content!
Last summer I became obsessed with chasing on tubes and cylinders after seeing the Cylinder Sheath of King Aspelta, part of the Nubian gold work exhibition at the High Museum when it was on loan from Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I’ve spent much of the last 6 months figuring out the ways such work can be accomplished both in antiquity when tubing would have been seamed and now when it can be purchased seamless.
Inspired by my investigations, I’ve added a bonus module to the current Eastern Repoussé Extended Online Course that covers chasing on tubing! These can be used for beads, amulets, or pen barrels. Warning: Chasing on tubing is addictive!
This fall, I’ll teach Eastern Repoussé II: Rings & Cuffs once again. The prerequisite for that course is having studied Eastern repoussé with me (studying chasing and repoussé with anyone else won’t get you in this course).
Please note: I won’t offer the Eastern Repoussé Extended Online Course next January. I’ll offer it and my Eastern Repoussé II: Rings & Cuffs again in the coming years, but neither is slated for 2025.
3D Filigree is starting next month.
This is the course where I break down, step-by-step, exactly how I create the gravity and physics-defying filigree for which I’m known. This is where I teach students the ins, outs, positives, negatives, and secrets of creating these kinds of design of their own.
Get something you love for Valentine’s Day!
Fact: none of my artwork, courses, or tools contain any calories!