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SYMPOSIUM PRESENTERS

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Elizabeth Brim      Jack da Silva     Laura Estrada      Harold O'Connor

Video recordings of presentations and demos will be available for ticket holders ONLY. You can purchase your ticket through Sunday, July 25, 2021.

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Jack da Silva

A native of California, Jack da Silva was born into a Portuguese family of artisans. As a third-generation gravestone maker, Jack’s passions includes: advocating hand-crafted arts, teaching Jewelry/Metal Arts, 3D Design, producing Metal Arts educational events, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, volunteering, writing and fundraising. 

Jack was first introduced to metal working when his father asked him to straighten out double head nails recycled to use in erecting wooden forms to fabricate hollow cast concrete mausoleums. “When my Dad handed me a bucket of bent nails, I was not thrilled. Yet, it helped me to learn how to grip the hammer handle, develop the direction and sequence of hammer blows, the appropriate amount of force required and to protect my hands. I include this exercise using a heavy gauge copper wire as an introduction when I teach forging techniques.” 

In 1981, da Silva earned an MFA in Metalsmithing/Jewelry Design at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, with a focus on research and conducting hands-on experiments of ancient/traditional metalworking techniques from around the world. 

 

In 1982-83, Jack da Silva was invited as a Visiting Professor in Jewelry/Metal Arts at Kook Min University and Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea. Jack continues to present workshops, lectures, exhibiting nationally and internationally. 

 

Jack has offered college level art courses since 1981 at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA; as Tenured Professor Evergreen Valley College, San Jose, CA, currently as the Jewelry Metal Arts Instructor, City College of San Francisco, CA. He owns and operates the Jack da Silva’s Metal Design Studio. In 1999-2008, he founded MAKER: Metal Arts worKshop & Educational Retreat, a week long, hands on, adult metal arts camp at Camp Loma Mar, near Pescadero, CA.

 

Jack's work appears in publications and public/private collections: Victoria & Albert Museum Collection, London; Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, South Korea; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Fremont Public Schools, Fremont, OH; City of Antioch, Antioch, CA; Portugal and across the USA. 

 

Jack brings forty years of experience teaching Jewelry/Metal Arts. His public service includes fourteen years as a non-profit Board Member: the Society of North American Gold smiths, California Blacksmith Association, San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, Metal Arts Guild San Francisco, California Crafts Museum and the Junior Center of Art & Science. 

Harold O'Connor

"[I] was born in 1941 in Utica, New York, and moved to Colorado in 1958 to study psychology and sociology at Western State College. I was influenced by a visiting professor and subsequently changed my major to anthropology and transferred to University of New Mexico to complete my B.S. degree in 1970. I then attended the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a MFA, which enabled meto teach college. In between New Mexico and Mexico, I journeyed to Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Austria to study goldsmithing. During my 56 years in the field, I authored five books including The Jeweler’sBench Reference, which has sold over 45,000 copies worldwide. I have taught workshops on various metal techniques in over 20 countries. Some 20 museums worldwide have acquired my works for their permanent collections, including the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

I usually work on a theme: starting with inspiration from ideas, progressing to drawings and occasionally making paper models, then to fabrication of the works. Examples of some themes are: “A Matter of Time”on how society thinks of time,” “How to Wrap Five Eggs” based on an exhibition of Japanese packaging,“New Zealand Beaches,” “Mountains and Valleys – aerial views of the Rocky Mountains,” “Backyard Muses – inspiration from yard plants,” and “Meandering through a Japanese Garden in Denver.” Other inspiration comes from my travels and my social and physical environment.

I’m known for several techniques employed in my creations: reticulations of silver, rolling mill embossing, gold and silver granulation, gold lamination on silver and copper, and setting stones and shapes from a different perspective. My works have an organic feeling to them. Spectrolite (Finnish variety

of labradorite) is used almost exclusively in my work. I also make use of geodes and small pebbles."

Over 20 museums worldwide have acquired Harold's works for their permanent collections, including the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). He currently resides in Salida, CO and his work can be found at Aaron Faber (NYC), Mobilia Gallery, (Cambridge, MA) and Patina Gallery, (Santa Fe, NM).

This information has been copied and edited from an interview Harold gave to Interweave in 2019. You can read the whole article HERE.

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Elizabeth Brim

I am a sculptor and use ancient traditional blacksmithing techniques to produce pieces that reflect my upbringing as a “ Proper Southern Lady “. My grandmother and mother are inspirations. Both were meticulous seamstresses and made frilly dresses for me and my sister. They entertained with fairy tales and I played with fabric scraps that fell to the floor as they worked. 

Working with steel to produce feminine themed sculptures, I enjoy the tension between subject matter and material. Using a hammer, anvil, torches and welders, I forge personal narratives that explore, question and sometimes poke fun at gender stereotypes. 

Making my work is fun and challenging.  I believe viewers can detect that and the sense of achievement and satisfaction I feel while working. Steel is inexpensive. When people acquire my work they are investing in my skills, vision and creativity and share my joy in making

Pride in craftsmanship is most important to me. I believe that concept is most effectively conveyed if the artwork is well crafted. As a woman entering a male dominated craft I knew my technique would be scrutinized. I always strive to make my pieces as well crafted and technically proficient as possible. 

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Laura Estrada

I am a metalsmith and jewelry designer based in Los Angeles. My work consists of sustainably crafted jewelry collections as well as sculptural, custom one-of-a-kind adornment.

 

As far back as I can remember, I have been making little objects with my hands out of any material I could find. Raised in a nomadic, eccentric, working class Guatemalan American family, making art felt like one of the few ways I could express myself. After earning my BFA in jewelry design from the University of Georgia, I had a number of incredible opportunities working for women in the industry, including apprenticing under renowned jeweler Lola Brooks.

 

With a deep understanding of the craft, a sense of the business side, a concrete work ethic and passion for sharing my story, I took the leap and started my own brand. My current trajectory combines my traditional metalsmithing and art jewelry background with an engagement in the high end fashion and editorial world in Los Angeles and internationally.

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