Brain Press: Workshops
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An Interview with Charles Lewton-Brain


























A List of Workshop Subjects offered by Charles Lewton-Brain

Summer 2017 Workshops See This spot in April
with Charles Lewton-Brain
(Winner of the 2012 Governor Generals Award)
Short Video Interview
Foldforming Info

What is fold-forming?
Foldforming slide shows and videos on Youtube
Course Supply List
Fold-Forming Hammers and Tools Descriptions

Foldforming Competition 2012 video by Sue Lacy
Foldforming Competition 2013 video by Sue Lacy
Foldforming Competition 2014 video by Sue Lacy
Foldforming Competition 2015 video by Sue Lacy
Foldforming Competittion 2016 video by Sue Lacy


Brain Press has a collaborative web site with the Ganoksin Project. This is the largest resource on the internet for jewelers and metalsmiths. Charles was a founding partner with Dr. Hanuman Aspler in the project. A Ganoksin Project History























Lewton-Brain Workshop Subjects Offered

Workshops can be tailored for your needs.
Contact us

Fold Forming
Patination of Metals
Gold Application Techniques
Resist Plating
Catches, Findings and Mechanical devices
Bench Tricks for Goldsmiths
Hinges and Hinge making
Criticism and Analysis of work
Jewelry in non-precious materials
Introduction to Small Scale Production Processes
Chasing and Repoussé
Making your own Chasing Tools
Photography for Small Objects
Drawing for Jewelry
Raising, Forming and Large Hollow Construction
Stonesetting Workshops
Constructing your own PR Tools and Professional Documentation

Other Workshop Subjects

Fold Forming: Fold forming is a new, quick, easily learned way of shaping sheet metal with hand tools. It emphasizes forming using the metals characteristics. Rather than forcing form upon the material forms are derived from the natural plasticity and ductility of the metal. Lewton-Brain invented fold-forming which is now internationally recognized as a new way to work metal. Shaping is extremely efficient and rapid (many are 3-7 minutes working time). Tools are simple; fingers, hammers, anvil and mill. Complex relief forms are made from sheets of metal often on one annealing. They resemble chased, constructed and soldered forms. It works with most metals including aluminum and, niobium and is applicable for jewellery, hollowware, enameling, anodizing etc. An advanced level workshop is now available.
Patination of Metals: Safer, easy patination methods for metals that involve easily obtainable and kitchen chemicals to produce a wide range of blues, greens, browns, blacks, greys and reddish tones on most metals including precious. Application methods and control of pattern and surface are described. This is addressed as a compositional system. Fold-forming Description / Fold-Forming Tools

Patination of Metals:
Safer, easy patination methods for metals that involve easily obtainable and kitchen chemicals to produce a wide range of blues, greens, browns, blacks, greys and reddish tones on most metals including precious. Application methods and control of pattern and surface are described. This is addressed as a compositional system. Workshop Subject List

Gold Application Techniques: This lets you paint and design with different metal colors onto background metals. The results of a two year research project for the Society of North American goldsmiths. It includes fusion applications (gold painting), doublee, Keum-boo, depletion gilding (tumbaga, guanin), inlay, overlay procedures and a discussion of fire gilding. Control factors for free compositional choice are defined and demonstrated. Many of the techniques work well under enamels as given in a presentation to the 1993 Enamelist Society Conference in Cincin-nati. A free compositional system. Examples

Keum-boo: This class teaches how to easily hot burnish 24K gold foil onto silver objects. This incredibly simple designing technique was re-introduced to the West from Korea in the last ten years. It lets you apply 24k yellow gold shapes onto silver sheet intended for later construction, onto finished silver objects, onto any gold alloy, steel, platinum and palladium. The white silver/gold alloy Electrum can be used the same way and with liver of sulfur provides options for yellow, white and black on the same silver object. This is a really rapid, easy method of adding the richness of 24k gold to silver and gold objects. Examples
Workshop Subject List

Resist Plating: This lets one quickly and freely compose with different metal colors onto metal surfaces. A unique, original workshop, it teaches how to use electroplating solutions with resists to compose with. Results can be very painterly and it is easily learned. Simple resists allow free compositional choice in a ‘Batik’ approach to surface. The standard (toxic and now less toxic available) jewelry shop solutions; copper, nickel, silver and gold are used. Simple patinas offer greens, blues, browns and black. This is a way of making pictures, of painting using the colors of metals.Examples

Catches, Findings and Mechanical devices: A range of simple and complex hand-made findings and mechanisms are demonstrated and described. The concept of relative fitting is emphasized. This results in more successful construction technique and technical problem solving skills than traditional 'blueprint building' approaches may offer. Production aids and bench tricks are discussed. If short this workshop is mostly lecture.Workshop Subject List

Bench Tricks for Goldsmiths:
If you are interested in homemade tools and bench tricks to speed your production and understanding this workshop is for you. A loose, eclectic collection of short cuts, bench tricks, stonesetting and polishing hints and alternative equipment options for goldsmiths representing decades of goldsmithing tricks gathered together. Cheap tool making, jewelers secrets and unexpected sources for tools are described. Many are described in Lewton-Brain’s book Cheap Thrills in the Toolshop and the CD Bench Tricks for Goldsmiths.

Hinges and Hinge making: This workshop deals with hinge making, its tricks and considerations. Simple and complex hinges are described and discussed. A generic hinge is demonstrated and made by participants and is done so as to preclude soldering errors. Force fit hinge pins, lubrication, thick walled hinges, hidden hinges, silversmiths hinges, spring hinges and simple hinge based catches for bracelets may be described. Workshop Subject List

Criticism and Analysis of work: This jurying workshop has participants bring their work in for individual critiques of work preceded by a lecture and working group discussion of what is important in critical evaluation of an object. A serious critical opportunity for those who can benefit from an honest external view of their work. Methods of self evaluation are taught in the workshop that lead to better, more cohesive work.Top

Jewelry in non-precious materials: This workshop allows rapid making of work so as to facilitate discussion of theory and design of finished work in a short time span. Concept, intent and design are discussed. Understanding and creative control of jewelry roles and contexts is stressed. The many contemporary uses of non-precious materials are discussed. Participants will make work that stresses content and meaning over intrinsic value. Workshop Subject List

Introduction to Small Scale Production Processes: The workshop concentrates on production thinking and planning with the small workshop in mind. Processes are examined that offer the metalsmith ways of making multiples with limited equipment. Also procedures that produce fast results in metal and which can therefore be adapted for use by producers of unique work or reproduced items. The lecture will deal briefly with production planning, press use and options for surface manipulation, forming, blanking, casting, gold painting, paper die use. This is a tremendous amount of information and so some areas such as casting must necessarily be skimmed. This course, if short, concentrates on information sharing.

Chasing and Repoussé: European, North American and Asian chasing techniques are discussed and taught, as is steel theory and tool making. Hammer design, alteration options and use, pitch making and it's control are discussed. Concrete pitchbowls are made. Tool types include forming, planishing, lining, veining, gadrooning, matting, side/set down, pearl punches, stamps, chain and pattern. There is an introduction to European and Asian chisel work. Cloth area inlay on steel is demonstrated. Control factors are defined. A truly general and deep exposure to the plastic world of chasing metal.Top

Chasing Tools: Make Your Own
This intensive class teaches how to make chasing tools and what is important to know about them. It teaches an in-depth understanding of steel theory and control in tool making. All the kinds of chasing tools are shown, which includes lining, forming, planishing, veining, gadrooning, pattern, stamp making, chain and rope, matting and texturing, soft and more. Chasing tools from other cultures are described. Gold area inlay is shown. Hammer alterations are shown. You should be able to make about eight or more chasing tools in this workshop.

Photography for Small Objects: A professional system for photographing items of jewelry scale is demonstrated which costs less than 60.00 (less the camera and tripod). Professional quality photography on this basic system is taught. Digital camera use, film types, lighting, miniature spotlighting, composition, drop shadow backgrounds, surface understanding and image creation are covered. PR. techniques are taught and sources shared. You will walk out taking publishable images of your work.Workshop Subject List

Drawing for Jewelry: An introduction to the drawing skills needed to design jewellery and to communicate ideas to others. Drawing is discussed in skill oriented terms, dealing with it as a conceptual tool for manipulating and understanding objects and their making. Drawing skills touched on include contour, orthographic and oblique projection, perspective, exploded, rendering systems and the use of various media. Design and creative exercises are included.Top

Raising, Forming and Large Hollow Construction
: This workshop teaches the basics of raising and forming, planishing, large seams, large constructions and solderings, wiring aids and set ups for soldering. Because large constructions are time consuming for participants if this is a short workshop it is primarily information.Workshop Subject List

Stonesetting Workshops: Available from introductory to advanced professional levels at any length requested. The longer the better but a good informative workshop can be designed specifically for your group in the time available. Settings options include tube and Gypsy setting, simple and constructed bezels, basic single stone bead and star bead setting, snap settings, European style engraved bezel settings, Prong settings, constructed star settings, thick walled, high cabochon, square and fancy bezels, Flush mount,. 'Mirror' and buff top settings, basic engraved single bead setting: a review of three approaches. multiple bead settings. 2 bead run strip setting. More complex bead setting is discussed, as are Pavé setting in two styles, rear and tab settings and odd settings.Top

Constructing your own PR Tools and Professional Documentation
This workshop deals with how to put together the things you need to talk to the market place, galleries and magazines. How to write a biography, do a statement, plan a PR package, determine design options for your business cards and so on. Exercises, instructions, samples will convey information. Workshop Subject List

Other Workshops Offered:
(ask us for descrioptions)

Design and Creative Tools
Wax and Cast Metal
Teaching through Process and Problem Solving
Homemade Tools/Ancient Technology
Gem Identification on a Shoestring
Flexible Shaft Use and Tricks
Simple Electroforming
Workshop Subject List

Brain Press
Box 1624, St M, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1E3, Canada
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