goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain trained, studied and worked in Germany,
Canada and the United States to learn the skills he uses. His work
is concerned with Process and Beauty as well as function. He thinks
of decision making in metal as drawing, working with the same sensibilities
of mark and commitment as when working with pen and ink. Many pieces
use a 'printmaking' approach to working metal, that is that the work
is done in separate steps in groups and layers building towards the
finished piece. Process and the tensions between nature and structure
are part of his concerns. His work and writing on the results of his
technical research have been published internationally. In 1994 Brain
Press was established which documents, publishes and markets the results
of his research activities. He has worked on the Cage Series of work
extensively since 2001. Images of some Cage work is here Slide
Show. He traveled to Thailand to visit Dr. Hanuman Aspler, his
colleague, in the spring of 2008. This journey contributed to a major
exhibition and catalog (River Trip)
and rekindled his interest in chasing. Over 700 images from the journey
are here. He also
published two major books in 2008, Foldforming
with Brynmorgen Press, and The Jeweler's
Bench Book with MJSA Press.
A distinguished Fellow of the Society of North American Goldsmiths,
a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and a Fellow of the Gemmological
Association of Great Britain he has lectured and taught in England,
Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia. He is a consultant
on the jewelry field, and has written expert witness reports regarding
health and safety in US legal cases. A 2010 online interview with
Jay Whaley is here an
hour long interview
|He developed 'fold-forming',
a series of techniques new to the metalsmithing field which allow
rapid development of three dimensional surfaces and structures using
simple equipment. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise chose a project
of his on the further development of fold forming for inclusion in
a book on innovative developments in science and invention in the
world, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise 1991 Edition. He has
written seven books, over 15 monographs and published hundreds of
articles in magazines as well as book chapters. He translated the
monumental 560 page German Theory
and Practice of Goldsmithing into English. He was on the
editorial masthead at AJM magazine,
and has been a contributing editor on a number of books to MJSA Press.
He served as a director on the board of the Alberta
Crafts Council for five years and six years as the National Crafts
Representative on the board of the Canadian
Conference of the Arts, where he had national reporting responsibilities
and presented the views of Canadas national crafts organization,
Crafts Federation of which he was a founding participant. After
a year as Vice-President he served over two years as President of
the Canadian Crafts Federation/Federation Canadienne des Metiers dArt.
Charles was an essential member of the Craftyear
2007 Project which resulted in over 550 events nationally. He
created Alberta's Black
Rod for the Legislative Assembly, a major piece of state
silversmithing. Similarly he has made maces, chalices and repaired
important awards: click here for more.
He has lived in Calgary since 1986 and is long-time Head of the Jewellery/Metals
Program at the Alberta College of Art
and Design as well as teaching full time, writing articles, exhibiting,
consulting and making work. In 1996 he began a web site collaboration
with Dr. Hanuman Aspler in Thailand. The Ganoksin
Project web site is now the largest educational site in
the world for jewelers with over 4 million unique visitors a year
who linger for an average of 20 pages and a 10,500 member archived,
searchable discussion email list called Orchid.
started the site. From 1991-2002 he and his spouse, artist Dee
Fontans created and ran the Centre for Jewellery Studies in downtown
His two daughters Erika Kulnys-Brain
and Aniko Lewton-Brain are successful, lovely, intelligent young women.
To order Erika Kulnys' 2005 CD "Hurricane" Email
Us. His brother Peter Lewton-Brain is a renowned ballet
specialist and osteopath, with his partner, Etoile, Principal
Dancer and now head of a ballet school, Paola Cantolupo and their
Links for Lewton-Brain's Artwork and Goldsmithing / Wall
pieces from 2009 / Wall
pieces from 2008/
Whaley 2010 hour long interview
/ CraftCast Interview 09
Interview 07 / Slide
Show of Cage Series Work / "River
Trip" Project Cage Series Work / PDF
of Lewton-Brain's CV 2009
Resume Charles Lewton-Brain Go
1986 MFA, SUNY, New Paltz, New Paltz, NY, USA. 1984: FGA, Gemmological
Association of Great Britain. 1980: ZDF, Certificate in German Language
Skills: Goethe Institut/Volkshochschule, 1979-80: Studies at the Fachhochschule
für Gestaltung, Pforzheim, BRD. 1978: BFA, Nova Scotia College of
Art and Design
Selected Professional Experience
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1986-09 Jewelry/Metals Program head (92-98, 99-06) and metalsmithing instructor
at all levels, for conceptual, technical education, drawing, design. Alberta
College of Art and Design.
1980-09 Studio artist and free-lance consultant for industry and small
scale jewellery production.
1986-09 Author of jewelry books, monographs, videos and over a hundred
articles in magazines.
1996-2009 Co-founder of the Ganoksin Project, worlds largest information
web site for jewelers.
1986 Instructor, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, summer session
1986 Adjunct instructor, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City
1981-84 Instructor, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
1982 Manager, Frobisher Jewellery Centre, a Government of the North West
Territories project, Baffin Island, Canada
1980 Goldsmith, Karl Angermaier GMBH, Pforzheim, BRD
1979 Goldsmith, Richard Bossert GMBH, Pforzheim, BRD
1978 Instructor, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, summer session.
Workshops and Lectures Given
1979-09 Two hundred+ on various subjects given in Canada, USA, Australia,
Selected Grants and Awards Go
2005 Award of Honour,.Alberta Crafts Council, provincial.
2003 Honorable Mention, Metal Arts Guild National Exhibition.
2001 Alberta College of Art and Design Student Association Teachers Cup.
1999 “ACAD Board of Governors Award of Excellence”, “in
recognition of significant contributions to the arts in the province of
1997 Alberta College of Art and Design Student Association Inaugural Teachers
1995 Stamford Perrott Innovative Project Grant for computer software development
Honourable Mention, ‘Relics for the Future’, Dartmouth Nova
1990 Selection for publication by the Rolex Awards for Enterprise 1990
1989 Production Award, Metal Arts Guild Exhibition, Toronto
1986 Society of North American Goldsmiths Research Grant for research
1985 Award of Merit, Grand Prix de Quebec, Montreal, PQ
1985, 84 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Scholarships, Dept of Culture, Nova
1984 Award of Merit, Crafts 18, Pennsylvania
1983 Design Award, Metal Arts Guild of Toronto Exhibition
1977 DoFasco Purchase award, Metal Arts Guild Exhibition, Toronto
Selected One-Person Shows Go
2004 "Charles Lewton-Brain", Fleury Gallery, Houston, Texas.
2000 “Charles Lewton-Brain”, Riccardo Accurso Gallery, Sheperdstown,
“Gemscapes”, Firehouse Art Center Gallery, Norman, Oklahoma
“Charles Lewton-Brain”, El Camino College, Torrance CA
1999 “Charles Lewton-Brain”, Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver,
“Charles Lewton-Brain: Work”, North Seattle Community College
“Charles Lewton-Brain”, Wesleyan Potters Crafts Cooperative
Gallery, Hartford, CT
1998 ‘Charles Lewton-Brain’, New Brunswick School of Crafts
Gallery, Fredericton, NB
1998 'Gemscapes: Charles Lewton-Brain', Minds Eye Gallery, Scottsdale,
1994 ‘Charles Lewton-Brain’, one man show R. Grey Gallery,
1992 'Ten Forward', Muttart Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
1989 'Recent Work', Letki Design Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1988 'Recent Work: Sets', Fireworks Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
1987 'Charles Lewton-Brain; Metalwork', University of North Dakota Art
1986 'Charles Lewton-Brain; Recent Work: Metal', Anna Leonowens Gallery,
1983 Mount St. Vincent Art Gallery, Halifax, 'Nova Scotia Crafts I: Charles
1982 'Recent Work', Centre des Arts Visuels, Montreal
1981 'Sculpture in Jewellery', Fireworks Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Selected Juried Exhibitions and Group Shows Go
2006 "The Hurricane Show", State Museum of Pennsylvania,
The Martini Show, Altered Space Gallery, Venice , CA, and New Orleans,
"Parameters of Preciousness", McAnich Arts Center, Glen Ellyn,
2005 "Melting Point", Art Central, June, Metalphoric Group,
"Body Ornament West", Alberta Crafts Council Gallery,, Edmonton,
AB, January-April. "Natural Abstractions", INFLUX Galler, ,
Metalsmith Magazine, "Exhibition in Print", publication, juried,
Published summer 2005.
2004 "December Exhibition", La Freniere and Pai Gallery, Ottawa,
"Oeuvres récentes de 40 artistes-joalliers, Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h,
"Shades", juried show, Object/Design Gallery, Vancouver, August
"The Shiny Show", INFLUX Gallery, juried, commercial, Calgary,
"Body Ornament West",Triangle Gallery, public, Calgary, AB,
"You Wear What You Eat", Juried, Kirkland Art Center, public,
Kirkland, WA, USA.
2003 “New Art Jewellery”, Christopher Gallery Calgary, Sept
03, With Dee Fontans.
“Wind Chill”, Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton, AB,
“Big”, invitational, Uncommon Objects Gallery, Harbourfront
December Exhibition, Galerie, Noel Guyomarch, Montreal, PQ
"Adorn and Protect", Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton,
"Celebrate Tomorrow Today" invitational, Nova Scotia Talent
Trust, Halifax, NS.
2002 ‘Turn up the Volume', Metal Arts Guild national juried exhibition,
‘Art/Craft: The Great Debate’, Juried, Alberta Craft Council
Gallery, Edmonton, AB
Holiday Exhibition, invitational, Lafreniere & Pai Gallery, Ottawa,
2001 ‘Once Upon a Time: Artists Examine Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends’,
Invitational Wustum Museum, Racine Wisconsin.
“The Year of the Bear” Willock and Sax Gallery, Waterton Lakes,
2000 “Filtered Senses”, Brookfield Craft Center Gallery, Connecticut.
(Curated this show)
“Current Views’ (invitational), Pratt Fine Art Center Gallery,
“Attitude and Action”, curated by Gail Brown, Birmingham,
“Exhibition in Motion”, performance, SNAG Conference, Boston,
1999 “Silver”, Invitational Exhibition, Canadian Crafts Museum,
“Celebration of Alberta’s Jewellery Artists”, Mesa Silver
“Measure by Measure: Jewelers Explore the Four Dimensions”
“Fire and Iron”, CANIRON Exhibition, Calgary and Edmonton,
"Identity/Identite", Metal Arts Guild national travelling exhibition
“The End is Near: Artists Look at the Twentieth Century”,
Wustum Museum, Racine.
1992 Inaugural Exhibition, “Treasury of Canadian Crafts”,
Canadian Crafts Museum
1991 “Formes et Contrastes”, invitational, Grand Prix des
Métier d'Art, Quebec.
1989 'Sets, New Canadian Jewellery', Roz Macallan Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
1988 'Objects of Magic', Grand Prix des Metiers d'Art, Montreal
1986 'A Garden Party', Clodagh, Ross and Williams Gallery, New York City
1985 'Charles Lewton-Brain: Pamela Ritchie', Art Gallery of Nova Scotia,
1984 'Jewellery International', American Craft Museum, New York City
1983 'Jewellery in Transition', Prime Gallery, Toronto
1982 'Precious Metal Objects', Centre des Arts Visuels, Montreal
Selected Further Professional Experience Go
2004-2006 President, Canadian Crafts Federation (National Arts Service
1996-07 Established collaborative educational web site called Ganoksin.com
-the largest free educational site for jewelers in the world with more
than 7 million uniquie visitors a year visiting the site. A 6,500 person
mailing list "Orchid" is archived and searchable.
1994 Founded Brain Press to publish software, books and videos. Authored
5 books since.
1980-07 Invention and development of Fold-forming; an internationally
recognized system of working sheet metal completely new to the field characterized
by rapidity and complexity of cross section. Hundreds of discrete named
forms have been identified and researched.Go
1980-09 Magazine articles and books published regularly nationally, internationally
and on the World Wide Web. Over 800 pages of writing published at the
A snapshot of writing activies: Articles published in 2006.
2006 "Foreword","Impressions: Moving The Surface"
book, Brain Press, 2006. ISBN: 0-9698510-7-3
"Bench Tricks For Goldsmithing" CDROM, powerpoint, and bench
tricks book pdf. Brain Press, ISBN 0-698610-8-1, 2006
"Bit by Bit" At the Bench, MJSA Journal (AJM), September 2006,
pp 69-70, ISSN 0838-2484 Vol 1, No 4, pp 69-70
"The Hole Story" At the Bench, MJSA Journal (AJM), August 2006,
pp 77-78, ISSN 0838-2484 Vol 1, No 3, pp 10
"Taking Shape", At the Bench, MJSA Journal (AJM), July 2006,
Vol 1, # 2, pp 69-70
#13, "Tech Sheet: Working with Hinges", Insert and Tech sheet,
MJSA Journal, (AJM ) magazine, 2006
"Lasting Impressions", At the Bench, AJM, May 2006, pp 65, Vol
#10, "Tech Sheet: Polishing Tools and Tips", Insert and Tech
sheet, MJSA Journal, (AJM ) magazine, 2006
"Cheap Tricks: Tips for finding and making chasing tools", AJM
(American Jewelry Manufacturer magazine, March, 2006, pp 66-67 Vol 51,
"Burnish Your Image", At the Bench, AJM (American Jewelry Manufacturer
magazine, January, 2006, pp 58-59 Vol 51, No. 1
In the last phases of writing book on Fold-Forming with Brynmorgen Press.
Writing book on the jewellers bench, a Ganoksin/MJSA co-publication.Go
A snapshot of articles which mention me or my work in 2006.
2006 Alberta Craft Magazine, "In the News: ACC Fine Craft Awards",
Winter 2006, p 10
American Jewelry Manufacturer Magazine, "Best Technology and Booth
Awards", April, 06, pp 1021
Avenue Magazine, "Contents" (full page of my work), May 2006,
Chatman, Kyle, " A review of the Use of Concrete in Fine Art",
Paper, University of California, Berkeley, April 2006
Dahlberg, Eric, C., "Sparks Exhibition Review", MAGazine, Spring/Summer
2006, pp14, ISSN 0838-2484 Vol 21, No 1
Elaine Thompson, Sharon, "Point Break", Avoinding diamond breakage
during the setting process. Canadian Jeweller, February/March 2006, pp
40-42Vol 127, No 1
Gollberg, Joanna, The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry", Lark Books/Sterling,
NY, NY, ISBN 13:978.1-57990-570-5, pages 51, 59, 76, 116
Hackett, Regina, "Artists Candy Breaks the Mold", Seattle Pi.com,
May 11, 2006
Jewllery Business, "Up Front: The Year of Craft in Canada",
October 2006, pp 14
Janzen, Kathleen, "Making The Book: Dreaming in colour", ¨MAGazine,
Spring/summer 2006, pp11, ISSN 0838-2484 Vol 21, No 1
Magazine, "Message from the President", Spring/Summer 2006,
pp3, ISSN 0838-2484 Vol 21, No 1
Revere, Alan, "500 Earrings", Lark Books, publication pending.
Salahub, Jennifer, "Small Satisfactions" Introductory essay,
"Impressions: Moving The Surface" book, Brain Press, 2006. ISBN:
0-9698510-7-3, p 9, 68, 70
Swerve Magazine, "Hot Rocks, Less Bucks", 02/17/06, pg 26
Wojtkielo, Tina, “Shifting Years” ”, American Jewelry
Manufacturer Magazine, April, 06, pp 10
Yonick, Deborah, "The Economics of Ergonomics", Jewllery Business,
Professional Artist since 1981. Exhibited and published widely
with national and international recognition for his contributions as an
artist, educator and cultural sector worker. Visiting Artist at numerous
colleges in Canada, the United States and Australia, and speaker at conferences
in Canada and the United States, England, Australia, Portugal. In 1984 was
granted Distinguished Membership status from the Society of North American
Goldsmiths and Juried Membership Status in the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts
Council, Halifax. In 1999 the Alberta College of Art and Design awarded
him the "Board of Governors Award of Excellence", "in recognition
of significant contributions to the arts in the province of Alberta".
In 1997 and 2001 he won the Student Association's "Teachers Cup"
for outstanding teaching and inspirational work for students.
Important contributions to historical development: Maintained a strong practice
and exhibition record since 1981. Published images of work and opinions
widely. Writing subjects ranged from critical to technical, from PR methods
and photography for artists to studio safety and research papers on historical
and technical subjects. Personal artistic research into process and compositional
systems is reported to the field internationally in the form of books, videos
and articles. Thousands of metalsmiths internationally have adopted methods
he developed and use them in their work. His inventions and working techniques
are taught around the world in jewelry programs.
He invented fold-forming, a large system of working sheet metals that is
completely new to the world. It uses simple hand tools to produce complex
three dimensional and relief forms and structures rapidly. There are hundreds
of shapes possible, and the results are widely used for sculpture, installation,
decorative blacksmithing and jewellery making. Numerous colleges and schools
worldwide now offer courses using these techniques. The British Museum research
lab (Metals Head, Paul Craddock) and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise have
confirmed this is a new, original approach to working metals (1990).
As an educator he has influenced many students, and directly taught his
ideas about position, philosophy, learning and technique to several thousand
people through workshops and lectures. Many students credit his teaching
for their success in the United States and Canada. He taught at the Nova
Scotia College of Art and Design from 1982-84, 86 and in Calgary since 1986
at the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he has been jewellery/metals
program head for over ten years. He has given over two hundred workshops
and lectures internationally.
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Lewton-Brain translated the 560 page book "Theorie und Praxis des Goldschmieds"
by Erhard Brepohl (from German into English). A 13 year "service to
the field" project (two complete editions were translated). This book
is the most important, comprehensive book in the metals field (2001). He
has written four books for jewelers, the last one, on safety for metal workers
has become a standard resource in the field. Some eight published monographs
have sold tens of thousands of copies internationally.
Past President of the Canadian Crafts Federation/Fédération
Canadienne des Métiers d'Art, Canadas national organization
for the craft sector. He was a founding member of the group in 1999. He
spent six years as a member of the Board of the Canadian Conference on
the Arts (CCA) as the national representative for Craft with reporting
and representational responsibilities to the eleven provincial craft councils
and to the Canadian Crafts Federation. His reports (every six months)
from 1996-2002 were influential in national Craft development and as references
for provincial and federal bodies. He served as an Alberta Craft Council
Board member1991-95. He has participated in many provincial cultural intitiatives,
conferences and workshops provincially and nationally.
Lewton-Brain created a major competitive commission for the Legislative
Assembly of Alberta, the 'Black Rod' made of sterling silver, gold and ebony,
42" long. Only the British Parliament and Ottawa have this symbolic
object. Alberta is the first other commonwealth Legislative Assembly to
have one. The British Parliament, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Royal
Canadian Legion were all sponsors of the project (1996-97). Other public
commissions include the Mace for the Technical University of Nova Scotia
in Halifax and a chalice made for the Pope's visit to Halifax in 1984.
His contributions to significant contemporary practice include: Wearable
art, exposed in the form of public performances, lectures and published
images. Risky work, challenging audience and wearer. Contemporary jewellery
shown to the public in numerous venues and disseminated through magazine
and catalog images, as well as the internet.
He has focused since 1997 on 'Cage' series works, related pieces bound by
format, ranging from performance oriented body art to jewellery. The recent
concentration has been on jewellery. The jewellery is made by welding stainless
steel wire with an orthodontic fusion welder, then electroformed, literally
grown in a copper-acid bath, finally heavy gold electroplating.
He has served as a jury member on a number of juries, Saskatchewan Craft
Council, Metal Arts Guild (national), ACAD awards committee member 1990-2001.
Member of Diplome D'Honneur committee of the CCA and juror for the national
Diplome d'Honneur and for the Rogers Communications Award (English) (Media
Competition). Juror for the Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership, and
juror for the Saul Bell Awards in 2003. Canadian curator and national coordinator
for "Handwerk 96", international exhibition at the Munich Handwerksmeße,
Germany for nine years (1989-98). Curated 'Body Ornament West" in Calgary
and Edmonton in 2004 and has curated a number of exhibitions of contemporary
jewelry in North America. Technical editor and advisor for books by other
authors. Editorial advisor and columnist for AJM magazine.
Lewton-Brain's web published articles have touched thousands of artists
and craftspeople. In concert with Dr. Hanuman Aspler, he developed the
Ganoksin Project (1996-05), now the largest educational resource web site
in the world for jewelers and metalsmiths. http://ganoksin.com/ Over 600
pages of his writing are published there. The Ganoksin Project has up
to 2,500,000 hits a month, people linger for an average of 20 pages, some
6000-9000 unique individuals visit a day. The 5500 member mailing list
'Orchid' generates some 50 edited messages a day, all archived and searchable.
The impact worldwide is huge, and the site provides access to critical,
business, PR and technical information to tens of thousands who would
not otherwise have it. The Ganoksin Project has created and facillitated
partnerships for information sharing with over 12 international jewelry
magazines and a number of trade, industry and art jewelry oganizations.
A history of the Ganoksin Project is here.
He maintains a list of some 400 metals, jewelry and art links which are
widely circulated via email and have been published at several web sites,
(SNAG, Metal Web News, Australian Jeweller). He regularly compiles and submits
lists of exhibition opportunities to Canada's national metals group (MAGlist)
and to the Orchid list.
Influence of his research into compositional systems can be traced in the
work of many people nationally and internationally.
Galleries representing Charles Lewton-Brain's artwork and goldsmithing.
Alberta Crafts Council Gallery, 10186-106 St. Edmonton, AB
T5J 1H4 , Canada, Tel: 780-488-6611, Fax: 1-780-488-8855, Email.
Gallerie Noel Guyomarch, 137 Laurier W., Montréal, Québec, H2T 2N6, Canada, 514-840-9362 Email
Gallery, 22 Dupont St. E., Waterloo, ON N2J 2G9,Canada,
Phone: (519) 747-4644
INFLUX Gallery, 2nd level,
Art Central, 100 - 7th Avenue S.W. , Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0W4, Canada,
Tel: 403.266.7527, Email
La Freniere and Pai Gallery, 13 Murray St., Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 9M5 Tel: 613.241.2767,
David Rice Gallery,
100 Osborne Street South, Winnipeg, Canada R3L 1Y5 Tel: (204) 453-6105
Fax (204) 453-1024., Email
R. Grey Gallery, Boise,
818 W. Idaho Street, Boise, Idaho 83702, USA, Email
and Sax Gallery, 110 Bison Courtyard, 211 Bear Street, Banff, AB, T1L 1C2, 1-866-859-2220 Work Email
A slide showof Images
of Cage Series Work
Collections housing Lewton-Brain's Work
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Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Legislative Assembly of Alberta (made Black Rod)
Royal Canadian Legion, Calgary Branch
Wustum Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, Canada
Technical University of Nova Scotia (made University Mace)
Nova Scotia Art Bank
Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Permanent Collection.
DoFasco Steel Corporation of Canada, Hamilton, Ontario
Ken Thompson Collection, Toronto, Ontario
Wolf Collection (Barbara Rockefeller Associates), New York, New York
Knapp Collection, New York, New York
Sobel Collection, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
Frosh Collection, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Lewton-Brain's Teachers and Students
His important teachers included Bob Ebendorf, Jamie Bennet, Klaus Ullrich,
Walter Zeiss, Christian Gaudernak, Kurt Matzdorf, John Cogswell, Harold
O'Connor, Haaken Bakken, Bill Ottermiller, George Van Duinwyck, and Orland
His successful students are many, who include Jeff De Boer, Brigitte Clavette,
Louise Perrone, Steve Fong, Kari Woo, Devon Clark, Shona Rae. He has taught
over 2000 individuals personally through workshops. Some have national Canadian
or international fame, and those who have adopted techniques he pioneered
from workshops include Harold O'Connor, Cynthia Eid among others.
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