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Metals courses focus on the direct study of sculptural processes and expression through non-ferrous metals such as brass, copper, and silver which have great expressive potential due to their malleability, durability, value, and aesthetic properties.

Students explore the technical, aesthetic, and conceptual aspects of contemporary metalsmithing while developing professional skills through hands-on work, technical demonstrations, critiques, and exploration of historical and contemporary practice. Students develop their designs and concepts through a range of traditional and non-traditional techniques.

Small metals and adornment such as jewelry operates on many different levels—symbol, art object, fashion accessory, social indicator. In addition, such pieces represent a significant means of human communication through embodiments of personal identity. It sends signals of intent, and the act of adorning the body is a performative act. Jewelry at SMFA examines the relationship between the body, personal ornament, and the audience through examination of historical and contemporary concepts and the technical skills required to produce wearable art.

Welding deals primarily with steel fabrication techniques. We run an industrial metalworking shop designed to serve conceptual artmaking. Sculpting with metal brings your 2D designs into the 3rd dimension, dealing with space and gravity. Students can choose to gain trade-level knowledge of welding technologies or learn how to safely experiment with various processes to redefine how they may be used within the context of conceptually-driven artmaking. Collaborations with other disciplines such as performance and drawing are highly encouraged.

Sample Courses

MTL 0008 - All About Metal
All About Metal is an introductory course that will allow you to become familiar with a variety of basic metalworking methods and that is ideal for the student who is interested in learning how to create small sculptural objects or personal ornaments from non-ferrous metal.

MTL 0010 - Beginning Jewelry
Through demonstrations and hands-on projects, this course will explore the fundamental skills and techniques in jewelry making including processes such as sawing, piercing, cold-connections, texturing, silver soldering, bezel setting, basic forming and simple casting.

MTL 0101 - Digital Fashion: Body as Site
Experimentation and material play is the starting point of this course that centers around the exploration of the relationship between the body and wearable objects.

MTL 0135 - Casting and Mold Making
This course offers an introduction to the process of casting and mold making including all aspects of this process, from creating small sculptural forms and personal ornament by modeling and carving wax, to simple molding techniques and centrifugal casting.

MTL 0191 - Ornament & Adornment
This seminar course will explore jewelry as both body adornment and as ornament and object by covering the vast and rich history of the jewelry and metalsmithing field and helping you begin to understand your place within it.

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