Why I picked CSU for Metalsmithing.

It was a bit tough picking out a school both Lisa and I wanted to attend. We ended up looking at a bunch of different schools throughout the US and finally settled on Colorado State University. It offers a metalsmithing program I’m very interested in, along with some exciting engineering programs for Lisa.

by hang_in_there  vi flickr

Which door to choose?

I settled on the arts early on in our search for schools, and was dismayed to find many of the programs offered out there didn’t seem as good as the others. Then came the tricky part of matching up a program I liked the sound of, with a school that offered a something Lisa wanted to take. One of the programs that looked good to me was the MFA in metals at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. They have an interesting set of classes and we both would have enjoyed living in Oregon, but we’d already discovered Fort Collins in Colorado at this point. Another program I looked into was offered at an Arizona university. This one mixed metalsmithing with blacksmithing, with access to an outdoor blacksmithing forge.

I was always comparing the various courses with the one offered at CSU, and I kept finding it to be the most interesting. Especially intriguing are some of the advanced techniques which will be available to me in the 3rd and 4th years:

ART 445 04(0-8-0). Metalsmithing and Jewelry IV.
Chasing and repousse techniques in two- and three-dimension; inlay, engraving, and etching techniques.

ART 446 04(0-8-0). Metalsmithing and Jewelry V.
Advanced techniques: granulation, electroforming, photoetching, makume, niello; ferrous metals techniques.

The makume and niello in particular are techniques I haven’t been able to find offered anywhere else. I would really love to get some experience with makume, or burl metal technique. It sparks all kinds of ideas thinking about being able to make something out of metal that looks like wood. Niello is a similarly striking technique which adds a black metallic mixture to your metalworking. It can create beautifully contrasting works of art.

I am very grateful to be able to go to Colorado and learn the metalsmithing that I have been dreaming about for several years now. This is such a wonderful opportunity to have, and I look forward to sharing the various creations I make in this program.


An Anglo-Saxon Fuller brooch from the late 9th century with Niello.

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Categories: College, Jeremy, Jewelry, Lisa | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Why I picked CSU for Metalsmithing.

  1. Snez

    I’m delighted that you will very soon totally immerse yourself in this passion of yours Jeremy :) I love the look of Niello. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more. hugs :)

  2. Thanks Snez! We are really excited to move and get going back to school! :)

  3. I’m also looking forward to seeing some of your creations, Jeremy. Finding such an exciting array of subjects can only be a dream come true.
    Glad the same Uni had an interesting course for Lisa too.

    Can’t imagine how you would have solved the problem if you’d each wanted to go to different ends of the US.

    I’ve never heard of either technique but the Angle-Saxon Niello looks stunning.

  4. We were happy to discover our classes matching up nicely at the same school! It’s possible we will be able to take the same folklore class at the same time which would be really fun too.
    I’m quite intrigued by the Mokume technique as well – I couldn’t find a good creative commons image of it, but here’s a google search for the term:


  5. Do you have ideas on what to do with these new techniques or are you looking to expand your skills first? I guess that’s a chicken and egg question from a naive reader (whose partner does different kinds of jewelry making).

    • It’s a bit of both really. I have a great many ideas, but lack the skill to do what I want. I’m also unsure if some of my ideas are feasible since I don’t know if the techniques will do what I want them to. I’m fairly confident that I will be able to make some of the Steampunk creations that I have been jotting down in my sketchbook, and that as I learn new techniques I will be able to add to what I can do. :)

      • All will be possible soon. Incidentally, here in Colorado, there’s a couple of metal-working societies (that sounds odd) that often focus on jewelry. I don’t know what’s in Fort Collins, but my girlfriend (a jewelry maker) participates in a couple in Denver and Boulder. Fun awaits!

  6. I hope there’s some great clubs in the Fort Collins area too! Metal working societies sound great :D

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