In this class we will explore the juxtaposition of fiber and metals, and create works that use these flexible, durable, and ephemeral materials to build sculptural and wearable objects. Stitched and knotted fiber techniques will be introduced in combination with fine metalsmithing methods, including cutting, shaping, and riveting copper, brass, and silver. Over 5 weeks students will make at least 3 finished objects that combine these hard and soft materials in innovative ways. Sculptural pieces will use knotting techniques or wire substructures and hand-sewing to create larger, lightweight forms, and wearable designs will include a fiber and metal neckpiece with a cabochon stone setting, a riveted ring in silver, and the use of intricate pierced designs combined with embroidery techniques to create earrings. Through short readings and a brief visual research assignment, students will also learn about ancient examples of metal and textile work in art and wearable objects, as well as modernist and contemporary artists such as Ruth Asawa, Anni Albers, Olga de Amaral, Gego, and El Anatsui.
This class will meet online on Monday and Thursday evenings for technical instruction and project support. Demonstrations on metals and fiber techniques will also be recorded to allow for flexible viewing throughout the week. Faculty will be available for consultation on individual work during digital office hours. Students will be provided with a kit of tools and copper, brass, and silver materials to support the creation of the metalwork components, and will need to source their own recycled or purchased fiber elements. Experience with fine metalsmithing or fiber techniques is not required, however, students with prior training in these techniques will be supported in new explorations of familiar techniques.
Our work will be conducted remotely using Canvas and Zoom. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.
Course Reference Numbers
Art, design, craft, art history, teaching.
$180 for supply kit including tools and materials for fine metalworking.