Nancy Megan Corwin on her passion for chasing and repousse.

Nancy Megan Corwin

Nancy Megan Corwin, Megan to her friends, is an artist in the truest sense of the word. She has worked as a bench jeweler with her own line. She has also taught in Arts centers, colleges and universities for over 30 years. She was an adjunct instructor at Cabrillo College and Monterey Peninsula College in California since 1984. Nancy was head of the jewelry and metals program for the University of Oregon from 1989 until 1994. For the past 15 years she has traveled across the United States teaching short courses in an impressive list of schools. Including Penland school of crafts in North Carolina, Haystack Mountain school of crafts in Maine, the Glassell school in Houston Texas, the University of New Mexico at El Paso, Pratt Fine Arts Ctr., Danica design, as well as various other programs all across the United States. Megan’s handcrafted jewelry and hollowware are an outstanding blend of contemporary artistry and old world craftsmanship. Hammer in hand, she raises rich textures and sculptural forms capturing the intrinsic beauty of the various metals that she works with.
We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Megan.

Continue reading Nancy Megan Corwin on her passion for chasing and repousse.

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Meet the inventer of the RapidFire Kiln and QuickMelt ovens.



Seattle Findings is very proud to carry RapidFire Pro-M Kilns and QuickMelt Pro 10 furnaces. To learn more about the idea behind these innovative ovens we spoke with the product inventor, Ken Allison.

“The inspiration for creating my original top loading unit came from a personal need to condense and melt some gold and silver that I had been collecting. When I went to the various marketplaces in search of a furnace to work with, I was shocked to find out I would have to spend upwards of a thousand dollars or more for a high powered reliable unit. The units that I came across were also big and bulky, and for me space is a huge concern, so even if I had the money to spend on one of those units, I wouldn not have had the space to set it up!

So, instead of admitting defeat, I started researching into kiln designs and theory. With a more than basic understanding of electrical circuits, and being a general tinkerer of all kinds, I decided I would design a portable furnace that would fit my needs specifically. Continue reading Meet the inventer of the RapidFire Kiln and QuickMelt ovens.

Gordon Uyehara

Gordon K. Uyehara is a freelance artist/designer and writer. He is also an Art Clay Silver Senior Instructor. Born and raised in Hawaii, Gordon received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After working thirteen years in the information technology field, he decided to take some time off for artistic exploration. Taking a class on silver clay at a local workshop he realized that he had found his muse! Gordon still lives in Honolulu and from there he is actively involved in local, national and international competitions. He conducts workshops and speaks at conferences and his art is often featured in magazines, books, blogs and websites. Gordon authored a book,Metal Clay Fusion, which came out in March 2012.

Continue reading Gordon Uyehara

Soldering, Stone Setting, Lost Wax and More with Anat and Joe Silvera

Joe and Anat Silvera are metalsmiths and teachers who currently hail from Berkley, California where they run a small school for jewelry making. They also teach around the Bay area and at bead shops and various festivals around the country. They are well known for their hands on teaching style, with a focus on good technique, as well as their use of equipment that is affordable and very home friendly.

Continue reading Soldering, Stone Setting, Lost Wax and More with Anat and Joe Silvera

Interview with Andy Cooperman: A Master Maker

Interview with Andy Cooperman: A Master Maker
Over a couple cups of coffee, one regular one decaf, I had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with Andy Cooperman. Andy is a metalsmith, writer, teacher and friend who lives in Seattle, WA. His art is stunning both in its design and in its craft. He is a down to earth, extremely intelligent, very approachable person. A little background on some of his professional achievements will help explain why I am so excited to share part of our talk with you. Andy’s work has been featured in galleries nationwide, including Patina Gallery in Santa Fe, deNovo in Palo Alto and Velvet daVinci Gallery in San Francisco.

Continue reading Interview with Andy Cooperman: A Master Maker

Building Facèré

Karen LoreneWe were thrilled to interview the talented owner of the acclaimed Facèré Antique & Art Jewelry Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Karen Lorene has owned and operated her own business for over 40 years now! In addition, she is an accomplished and published writer of 4 books and a quarterly magazine. Karen is deeply involved in the Society of North American Goldsmiths and well known for her knowledge of antique and modern jewelry. Karen is a delightful person and tactful gallery owner and operator. Learn more about Karen and her beloved Facèré in the following interview.

When and how did Facèré begin and what is the story behind the name?
We started North Country Fair, an antique store on Pier 70. We opened Vanity Fair to focus on fine antiques and jewelry. When we were looking to move uptown we decided to change our name to fit the upscale new Sheraton Hotel. We needed a new identification. We figured if Häagen-Dazs could make up a word – then we could too! We opened the dictionary, and came across a Latin derivative – facre – to make as in manufacture. Then, to our name we added French accents and Italianized the pronunciation. We became Facèré [pronounced Fah-cherry]. The name fit! To this day we represent studio jewelers – jewelry artists who make their own jewelry.

Continue reading Building Facèré

More than Metal: Interview with Tim McCreight (Part II)

What is your favorite metal to work in and why?
Metal SheetsWhen I can get my hands on it, high karat gold, it is just beautiful. I spend a lot of time testing metal clay. And I work a lot with ingots, hammering and rolling them down. About 10 years ago, when I started working with fine silver ingots, I just fell in love with it – it’s just – yummy! Fine silver is really quite yummy. (But I would not say so if the other metals could hear!)
What projects are you working on currently?
PMCA new PMC book by Hadi Sanderson, just finishing up the final proofing and designing of the cover. It’s very exciting, it will be sent out today. I am also working on 2 more in house books. And in the next year, I’d like to do another video. I just outlined it this weekend. Workshops, I’ll be forging at Bead & Button and I’m a chairman at the PMC Conference coming up.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years?
I am delighted where I am. I don’t have any plans or desire to change things. I’m not a big future planner. 30 years ago, I didn’t come up with a master plan that put me where I am today. Although, I probably will be cutting back on workshops, with all the travel and the bad food, and nights in hotels, it’s time to step aside for the next generation.
MetalDo you have any advice for beginners to the field?
Someone invented everything. It is efficient to pursue education, but there was no one there to teach the first graver how to engrave. Curiosity is the best tool! Sentences that begin with I wonder – Be Inventive! Trust the process! And don’t over intellectualize. Metalsmithing is logical and there are often 12 or more different processes that will be done to the metal, saw, drill, punch, hammer, solder something on, wrap. When you don’t give yourself the time to explore where a piece could go, or you have too rigidly defined the end result you set yourself up for disappointment and you miss opportunities.
SolderingDo you have any words of advice or encouragement for those of us who are not new to the field, but are continuing on?
Follow your bliss! To do your best to find the arrangement that is most satisfying – there is no one path. There is no hierarchy of craft or material. Find your relationship – – let me focus on the metal the way I like it – – for who you are and where you are. Don’t listen to anyone else, and it’s NOT all good. Don’t fall into the misleading hierarchy. The value is personal reward. Find the mix of paying your bills and creating what is satisfying to you. Don’t be clouded by assumption.
When I asked Tim to comment on his fame and the enormity of his career, he told what a few strangers have told to him at conferences and lectures: “We’ve never met, but you are my teacher.”
Tim’s work will no doubt continue to inspire and teach the metalsmiths and jewelers of tomorrow. This concludes our interview with Tim McCreight. We look forward to our next Spotlight Interview!

-Amelia Upton

An Interview with Tim McCreight (Part I)

Student EditionInspiration often appears when you least expect it. When lacking in ideas, many people turn to review their memories, trying to trigger a spark that may lead to a fuller idea or just something slightly more promising. At Seattle Findings, we began brainstorming different ideas that could jump start our new blog project into a positive, creative direction. After several meetings and multiple discussions, I asked myself what I wanted to read about.
Fundamentals of JewelryWhen I took my first metalsmithing class, my first text book was Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing by Tim McCreight. When I first flipped through the glossy pages and saw images of soldering, piercing and a multitude of finished pieces, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. I was lucky enough to get that first tingling again when I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim McCreight himself. He has been working in metal since 1970 and is very well known for his books and workshops. In his own words, Tim has always been a half glass full (and that’s more than enough for me), type of guy.
 

What first drew you to metalsmithing?

While in college studying history and other esoteric topics such as philosophy, I found myself drawn to doing something more physical. My undergraduate degree was in sculpture, yet I found myself making jewelry. I have always been interested in the small scale. When I was a child, I would always choose a Matchbox car over a larger model. Maybe it’s genetic! If you were to ask someone, “What’s big? Show me with your hands.” They may hold their hands 2 feet apart or 2 inches, it’s all relative to each person. I have always liked small things.

DVD Tim McCreight Why did you begin writing books?

I have always been a reader, started writing and making my own books as a kid. It really became a logical option for me. After my undergraduate work, I was looking to further my own knowledge and found that explaining something is the way that I learn. And at that time in my life, 30 years ago, I was just starting a family and writing allowed me to work in a more kid-friendly schedule.

Boxes and LocketsAs a life -long reader, do you have a favorite book or one that has inspired you?

There are many books that I have read many times. Catcher in the Rye –I’ve read over and over. As for art books, inspired is really the right word. I first saw Africa Adorned at a friend’s house. It’s this large book, mostly pictures, and it just took my breath away. I bought myself a copy soon after, which was a big purchase for me at the time. I showed it to many students over the years and somewhere along the way it disappeared and I bought another copy, because I had to have it!

Also, David Pye’s The Nature of Workmanship and Design — it’s on the opposite spectrum from Africa Adorned, very academic, but helpful in clarifying issues within the crafts.

Cold Connection DVDWhat is your best bench tip?

Not really a tip, but I try to create an “aura of similar sensory input” at my bench. We work in a confined and intimate space; most of our tools and movements take place in a zone of 12 or 14 inches.
I have found that I enjoy my work most when I maintain my focus in that zone. I actually keep a short pencil and short ruler close at hand. I cut my hammer handles down and use a small bench block. Removing that difference as much as possible helps to make the process in synch with the objects I’m working on.
This concludes Part I, be on the look out for the posting of Part II!!
All Books&DVDs pictured above are available in store and online.
-Amelia Upton