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November 1999

Precious Metals & Bench: News

Metalsmiths Go South

The Florida Society of Goldsmiths celebrates its 15th year with workshops conducted by top metalsmiths

Founded at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, the Florida Society of Goldsmiths is a non-profit organization offering workshops, lectures and shows for jewelers and metalsmiths. It has five chapters throughout Florida.

"There is a great need for training and education in all areas of benchwork – our society was created to bring together the best people in the country to meet that need," says Gini Rollins, FSG's executive director. "The more support we and groups like ours get, the better able we will be to offer bench jewelers and metalsmiths the opportunities they need to master their craft."


The Northeast chapter of FSG will offer five workshops Jan. 4-8 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, FL. The workshops run simultaneously and cover such topics as forging and fold-forming, taught by jeweler/silversmith John Cogswell; enameling, taught by Sydney Scherr, a professor of metals and jewelry at Savannah College of Art and Design; and granulation, taught by Jean Stark, a speaker and author. The program costs $425, which includes 17 meals. The workshops fill up quickly so if you are interested, call (904) 734-6878.

The West Coast chapter of FSG will present its 14th annual Jewelry and Metalsmithing Workshop in July at Wildacres, Little Switzerland, NC, a vacation retreat. At press time, the course and instructors had not been chosen, but organizers always seek top instructors. Last summer's workshop featured Alan Revere, Kurt Matzdorf, Barbara Simon and Jean Stark. Topics included fold-forming, precious metals clay, jewels of the Dark Ages, tessellation and hinges. The workshop costs $435 for members and $475 for non-members. The fee includes tuition, lodging, 11 meals, gratuities and a group photo. The workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call (352) 597-9055.

Hall of Fame

FSG's other major endeavor is its newly created National Metalsmiths Hall of Fame, dedicated to honoring metalsmiths who have had exceptional careers or had achievements in related fields while fostering an appreciation of the craft. FSG plans four categories of awards:

  • Artists or designers who consistently produce exceptional works of art.
  • Educators – including directors, curators and marketing and development personnel – who make important contributions to the field of metalsmithing.
  • Individuals or couples who support the art of metalsmithing
    by volunteering, collecting or exhibiting.
  • Business patrons who make a substantial contribution to the field of metalsmithing. Readers are invited to submit nominations in any of the four categories. Contact FSG to request a nomination form. FSG also seeks financial sponsors for this program. Contributions are tax-deductible.
  • Florida Society of Goldsmiths, St. Petersburg, FL; (727) 550-2052,

by William H. Donahue Jr.

Alan Revere leads a workshop at last summer's jewelry and metalsmithing workshop sponsored by the West Coast chapter of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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