Beginning Metalsmithing with Nell Fredericksen

Instructor: Nell Fredericksen

Date: Saturday & Sunday, March 17 - 18, 2018, 9am - 5pm

Tuition: Member $120.00 / Non Member $150.00

Material Fee: (Due during workshop) $10 base fee plus additional fee for the exact materials used (copper and sterling silver). Typically students make use of about $25‐50 of copper and silver sheet and wire.

Class Description: Students will be introduced to many techniques that will allow them to manipulate metal to create jewelry and/or small sculptural objects. This is a highly technical discipline, and as such, mastering individual techniques will be emphasized and applied to two specific projects. In addition, each student will be encouraged to use principles of basic design and personal expressiveness to produce unique, functional and sculptural pieces.
Course objectives:
1‐ To provide knowledge of and insight into contemporary jewelry and metalsmithing practices. The basic techniques of sawing, filing, soldering, surface texture (stamping, hammering, heat textures, overlay and solder inlay), and simple fold forming/bending will be covered and applied to individual unique design ideas.
2‐ To begin to conceptualize in the third dimension and/or translate two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional forms. Each piece designed will have height, width, and depth and still be “wearable”.
3‐ To become familiar with contemporary styles and design trends in metalsmithing by looking at the work of many artists working in the field.
4‐ To develop observation, critical thinking and problem solving skills as they apply to wearable art.
On the development of skills: Jewelry and fine metal work is essentially sculpture. However, there are two important differences: scale and function. You need to think of your designs as sculptural, but at the same time they must be functional (wearable) and small in scale. With that in mind, the designs you pursue in this class should go way beyond what we typically see in mass-produced jewelry – the idea here is to be fresh and innovative. Practice of the techniques is imperative (especially when working with silver). Paper models and copper prototypes are helpful. Unlike painting or drawing, there is very little opportunity for redo’s in metal. Every step of metal work is semi‐permanent. It is very difficult to change a design or erase aspects once it has been partially executed in metal. So much of metalsmithing is centered on hand skills and tool application and thus these will be emphasized. However, I do not want to let that overshadow the importance of the conceptual aspects of the work. Keep in mind that your design concepts can be social, political, global, or personal and I hope that in teaching you the techniques I can strengthen your aesthetics and concepts.

Minimum Age: 18 and older or with special permission by instructor

Minimum Enrollment: 4, Maximum Enrollment: 6

About the Instructor: Nell Fredericksen has been a professional artist and fine art jeweler for over 28 years. She is an Artisan Center of VA Juried Master Artisan. She has a fascination and wonder in connection with nature and her work is very organic and reflects the natural world. Nell works primarily in gold and has a high level of expertise in many traditional metalsmithing techniques. Learn More about the Instructor at:

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