We’re thrilled to be bringing Charles Lewton-Brain to The Makery for an eclectic workshop unlike anything we’ve ever offered before. A mix of lecture, tool-making, and hands-on techniques, this workshop explores the importance of tools and their impact on metal.
We’ll start with a day learning about Charles’ favorite bench tips, tricks and hacks, many of which are pulled from his book and CD Cheap Thrills in the Toolshop. This is a loose, eclectic collection of short cuts, bench tricks, stonesetting and polishing hints, and alternative equipment options representing decades of goldsmithing expertise. The day will include discussions of cheap tool making, jewelers secrets and unexpected sources for useful tools.
The next day, we’ll dive into making our own chasing tools from raw materials and hardware store finds. Through-out this hands-on day, Charles will help us understand the different forms and purposes of various hand tools, including forming, planishing, lining, veining, planishing, and more. He’ll cover basic steel theory as well as the ins and outs of hardening and tempering, and hammer design, alteration options, and use.
We’ll spend the final two days refining our handmade tools and learning how to use them with a centuries-old technique called flat chasing. Flat chasing creates low-relief pattern and texture in metal, often without the use of traditional pitch, which can be messy and hard to use.
This will be an intimate four day experience with one of the acknowledged master goldsmiths of our generation. You’ll come away with tons of new information to improve and enhance your studio time, more than 15 hand-crafted tools to use in your own studio, and textured and patterned metal for use in future projects.
All materials, all tools, and all equipment are provided as part of this all-inclusive workshop so all you have to do is show up ready to work and have a good time! Want to join us? Here are the details:
Workshop Fee: $900
Materials Fee: $75
(taxable and payable at the time of the workshop)
September 20 – 23, 2018
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily
Reserve your spot by paying in full or making a non-refundable deposit now
and paying the remainder by August 15, 2018
(We’ll send you a separate invoice for the balance and you can pay securely online at your convenience!)
Please be sure to read our Terms and Conditions before registering!
Note: We recommend bringing your own eye magnification to help you see as clearly as possible while working. In addition, hearing protection is strongly encouraged. Because these needs are so personal, it’s impossible for us to have the right thing on hand for every student. Need help with this? Call the studio or send us an email!
ABOUT CHARLES LEWTON-BRAIN
Master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain trained, studied and worked in Germany, Canada and the United States to learn the skills he uses. His work is concerned with Process and Beauty as well as function. He thinks of decision making in metal as drawing, working with the same sensibilities of mark and commitment as when working 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. He has worked on the Cage Series of work extensively since 2001. Images of some Cage work is here Slide Show. He traveled to Thailand to visit Dr. Hanuman Aspler, his colleague, in the spring of 2008. This journey contributed to a major exhibition and catalog (River Trip) and rekindled his interest in chasing. Over 700 images from the journey are here. He also published two major books in 2008, Foldforming with Brynmorgen Press, and The Jeweler’s Bench Book with MJSA Press. He spent January 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand studying chasers. Since 2012 he has co-juried the Lewton-Brain Foldforming Competition, an international online exhibition organized by the Center for Metal Arts and Sue Lacy.
A distinguished Fellow of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy 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. A short video interview showing foldforming is here. A 2010 online interview with Jay Whaley is here.
He developed ‘fold-forming‘, a series of techniques new to the metalsmithing field which allow rapid development of three dimensional surfaces and structures using simple equipment. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise chose a project of his on the further development of fold forming for inclusion in a book on innovative developments in science and invention in the world, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise 1991 Edition. He has written seven books, over 15 monographs and published hundreds of articles in magazines as well as book chapters. He translated the monumental 560 page German “Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing” into English. He was on the editorial masthead at MJSA magazine, and has been a contributing editor on a number of books to MJSA Press.
He served as a director on the board of the Alberta Crafts Council for five years and six years as the National Crafts Representative on the board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, where he had national reporting responsibilities and presented the views of Canada’s national crafts organization, the Canadian Crafts Federation of which he was a founding participant. After a year as Vice-President he served over two years as President of the Canadian Crafts Federation/Federation Canadienne des Metiers d’Art. Charles was an essential member of the Craftyear 2007 Project which resulted in over 550 events nationally. He created Alberta’s Black Rod for the Legislative Assembly, a major piece of state silversmithing. Similarly he has made maces, chalices and repaired important awards: click here for more.
He has lived in Calgary since 1986 and served for 19 years as Head of the Jewellery/Metals Program at the Alberta College of Art and Design and teaches full time, writing articles, exhibiting, consulting and making work. In 1996 he began a web site collaboration with Dr. Hanuman Aspler in Thailand. The Ganoksin Project web site is now the largest educational site in the world for jewelers with over 4 million unique visitors a year who linger for an average of 20 pages and a 12,500 member archived, searchable discussion email list called Orchid. His writing started the site. From 1991-2002 he and his former spouse, artist Dee Fontans created and ran the Centre for Jewellery Studies in downtown Calgary.