The Metal / Jewelry Program is dedicated to the idea that a student’s future success is dependent on creative excellence, strong technical skills and good basic liberal arts education.
Courses are designed to allow each student the opportunity to pursue a personal direction in their work that may be traditional or non-traditional, applied or non-applied. While emphasis is placed on ideation, the courses promote an atmosphere conducive to material and technical exploration. The beginning jewelry course focuses on the development of basic skills such as fabrication/soldering, cold connections, basic forming methods, bezel setting of cabochon stones, surface treatment and embellishment, and a variety of casting processes. Metalsmithing concentrates on metal-forming skills such as raising, seaming, and sinking as well as introducing additional technical information such as die forming, hinge making, basic enameling, lapidary and mold-making.
An MFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in the Metal program entails two years of intensive studio work. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate a serious dedication to their work and research as well as innovative forms of expression. The curriculum in metals focuses on curiosity, passion, and creativity. Students must bring with them a strong foundation of working with metal. Ultimately, we want our students to experiment with both traditional and unorthadox approaches to making while exploring and discovering the rich history of the material. The Metals program is small and select. Up to four students work in a shared graduate studio within the Metals area. The students have access to a wide range of equipment with which to experiment and explore.
The Metals/Jewelry studio complex consists of ten rooms. The main bench room is adjacent to a machine room and a smithing studio. The machine room contains an area for welding (both MIG and acetylne), large machinery for cutting, grinding, and drilling and a sandblaster. The smithing studio has an extensive selection of stakes and hammers as well as a draw bench, milling machine, and machinist’s and watchmaker’s lathes.
There are separate rooms for annealing and acid handling, polishing, enameling and small-tool storage. The casting studio contains equipment for steam de-waxing, vacuum investing, burn-out kilns, and both vacuum and centrifugal casting. There is a separate studio for advanced level students who are assigned bench space. The graduate studios are discreet studio spaces adjacent to the main facility.