The Keystone Metals Forum will take place at Touchstone Center for Crafts from Friday, October 24, to Sunday, October 26. The Forum is a great opportunity for jewelers and metalsmiths from across Pennsylvania (and beyond) to come together for a fast-paced weekend of demos, lectures, exhibitions, critiques, and discussions—all on Touchstone’s woodland campus. The programming will be led by faculty from many Pennsylvania colleges, universities, and arts organizations. It will be an opportunity for dialogue and collaboration between established and emerging makers from across the Commonwealth.
The programming hub for the Forum will be the Great Room of Blaney Lodge. Touchstone will transform this gorgeous timber-framed space into a metalsmithing laboratory where demonstrators and lecturers can project their content onto the 15-foot high walls. Touchstone’s two galleries will be primed with open pedestals to host a pop-up exhibition highlighting the work of Forum attendees. Saturday’s demonstration marathon will conclude with a speed critique: A panel consisting of the Forum presenters will offer advice and insights to attendees who wish to obtain feedback from the region’s most renowned and successful metalsmiths. The evening will end with a bonfire at Touchstone’s fire circle where attendees will be able to network, plan future collaborations, and just hang out.
The fifty-dollar programming fee includes all aspects of the event as well as meals prepared by Touchstone’s beloved Chef Meryl from Friday evening through Sunday morning. Attendees can purchase lodging separately; options include camping on campus and sharing a dorm room in one of Touchstone’s two residence halls. Click here to sign up today!
Demonstrator 1: Jim Bové
Topic: Essential Hollow-Construction Techniques
Jim will discuss and then demonstrate essential foundational techniques of hollow construction by creating geometric forms. He will also discuss soldering closed forms and how to plan more complex pieces so that air flow is not constricted during the soldering process.
Jim Bové teaches courses in jewelry and metals at California University of Pennsylvania. The former technical editor for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), he now serves on SNAG’s board of directors. He teaches workshops nationally and internationally. His artwork appears in numerous publications and was recently selected for an award at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea.
Demonstrator 2: Sharon Massey
Topic: Challenging Jewelry: What the Schmuck?!
In this lecture Sharon will investigate contemporary approaches to jewelry and metalsmithing and identify current trends in the field as well as work that is collaborative, participatory, or activist in nature. Her perspectives are meant to challenge makers to think about jewelry in new ways and to inspire them to find their own voices in their works.
Sharon Massey, assistant professor of jewelry and metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, serves on SNAG’s board of directors. Sharon's work has been exhibited on five continents. If anyone knows of an exhibition in Africa or Antarctica, please let her know. :)
Demonstrator 3: Brian Ferrell
Topic: The Casual Pewtersmith: Organic Hollow Construction with Modern Pewter
This demonstration will showcase some of the techniques that Brian developed working with modern lead-free pewter over the last ten years. Viewers are encouraged to forget everything they know about metalsmithing for an hour. They will witness many unconventional properties of pewter including pewter forming with old drumsticks and baseball bats as well as soldering components while holding them.
Brian Ferrell is an assistant professor of art at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He earned an MFA from the Program in Artisanry (metals) at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. A mixed-media craft artist from southwestern Pennsylvania, he creates one-of-a-kind furniture and hollowware.
Demonstrator 4: Sean Macmillan
Topic: Hot Patinas—Creating Color and Depth on Metals
Sean’s large-scale metal sculptures, mostly created using chasing and repousse, feature rich coloration on steel and copper. This demonstration will highlight the many interesting ways Sean uses heat, ranging from micro-torch flames to kilns’ atmospheres, to create a wide variety of tones.
Sean Macmillan is an assistant professor of metalsmithing at Slippery Rock University. He earned an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Kansas in 2005 and a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2000. His work has been published in 500 Metal Vessels and The Best of New York Artists and Artisans.
Demonstrator 5: Cappy Counard
Topic: Hinge Survey—Dynamic Mechanisms That Work on Multiple Levels
Cappy’s work is renowned for the technical sophistication of its components. Her demonstration will be an exploration of one of the most important elements of her work—hinges. Cappy has an encyclopedic knowledge of hinge options and will offer attendees a survey of her favorite hinges to add visual beauty and reliable functionality to metalsmithing projects.
Cappy Counard earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1999 and her BS in art from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1992. She makes jewelry and small containers that draw upon her interest in architecture, structural geometry found in nature, and those unexpected moments of beauty that make us stop and pay attention. In addition to her studio work, Cappy dedicates herself to her students in the metals/jewelry program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she has been a professor since 1999.
Demonstrator 6: James Malenda
Topic: James Malenda Retrospective
This presentation will be a retrospective of Professor Malenda's prolific work in enameling, metalsmithing, and jewelry. It will also include an overview of student work from Kutztown University's BFA program in fine metals, which he has led for twenty-five years.
James Malenda has taught at Kutztown University for twenty-five years. He received his MFA in gold- and silversmithing from SUNY–New Palts. He's exhibited, lectured, and conducted workshops nationally and internationally. His work is included in numerous collections including the MAD (NYC), The Enamel Arts Foundation (Los Angeles), and the RAM (Racine, WI). For additional information, please visit www.malendamonumetal.com.
Demonstrator 7: Becky McDonah
Topic: The Hydraulic Press—Push Your Way to Texture and Form
In this demonstration Becky will cover a variety of ways to create surface textures and volume using the hydraulic press. Some of these possibilities include punches, matrix, embossing, and conforming dyes. She will discuss and demonstrate different approaches to creating and using dyes in conjunction with urethane to achieve results that range from embossing to deeper forming.
Becky McDonah heads the Fine Art Metals Area at Millersville University and currently serves on SNAG’s board of directors. She has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and has lectured and presented workshops across the country. Some of her accomplishments include winning first place at the exhibition Soulcology: An Exhibition in Metal at the Guilford Art Center and the international juried exhibition Refined VII: Inspiration at The Cole Art Center.
Demonstrator 8: Glen Gardner
Topic: The Art of Toolsmithing—Unique Tools for Making Unique Objects
In this demonstration attendees will explore the mystery behind transforming common steel elements into exceptionally useful hand tools. Imagine making chasers, chisels, scrapers, scribes, and more out of studio cast-offs. Glen will cover forming, shaping, and heat treatment of simple high-carbon steel as these are the key skills required for making useful custom tools.
There is often confusion—and many myths—surrounding tool-making skills. Let’s part the clouds and shine the light.
Glen Gardner is a sculptor/metalsmith whose work ranges from the purely sculptural to the functional. Since beginning his career at Peters Valley Craftsmen, he has taught workshops in a variety of settings including Penland School of Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Society of Contemporary Craft, and several universities across the country.