Who doesn’t want a hobby in which you can use a hammer to beat on metal? What’s not to love? The more I learn about metalsmithing, the more I love it. It all starts with a creative vision, metal, and basic tools. From these three components comes a lovely piece of art.
According to Wikipedia, metalsmithing has a long history. It is traced back to the Bronze Age. It is an old, ancient craft intertwined throughout the human experience. Metalsmithing has a place in all human living. It includes weapons, cooking, eating, dressing, farming, ranching, adornment, and living. It was and is the skill of using tools and metal to create items.
This video superbly tells the story of metalsmithing. The story goes beyond the obvious and dives into the metalsmith experience. I relate to this video in a creative way. The artist describes his drive to create by transforming metal into something beautiful.
Some consider metalsmithing as a beautiful art form. Others consider it a skill. I think jewelry metalsmithing is both. It takes great skill and education to manipulate metal into different forms. At the same time, a metalsmith must have vision and creativity to know what that strip of metal will become.
The process of metalsmithing is multi-leveled and methodical. It is a skill that takes patience. Andrea Bonelli discusses her career as a jewelry metalsmith in this interview by JobShadow. She is an artist who loves to learn new things. Experimentation is crucial to the creative process.
Samples of Metalsmithed Jewelry
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From the Olbia Treasure. The Art Walters Museum.
Graceful and intricate metalwork includes hinges and gemstones.
These pieces were found in the Ukraine and believed to belong to the Olbia treasure. The bracelets feature intricate metalwork, working hinges, and inlaid stones.
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The Lava Bracelet. The Brooklyn Museum. Created by Art Smith, 1946
This stunning bracelet is the perfect example of modern jewelry metalsmithing. The artist, Art Smith, used layers of silver metal to create the curving lines of this piece. His vision is complete in the curves and flicks of metal resembling the rolls of hot lava.
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Gothic Bracelet (once a Diadem). The Art Walters Museum.
This stunning piece has incredible metalwork. The detail includes open weave work, encrusted gems, carvings, and hinges.
Metalwork is a fascinating form of jewelry making. Metalsmithing inspiration and resources are on my Pinterest board Metal Work Jewelry.