Archive

weekend courses

Dates: 25 to 29 July 2016
30 hours
Cost: 700 euro + 22% VAT
Deadline for enrollment: June 20, 2016

Due to popular demand and success, Alchimia offers again a workshop on filigree from July 25 to 29 2016, with Susanne Matsché (www.susannematsche.com), an Austrian-American-German jeweller, specialized in this very particular method adapted to contemporary jewelry.

Take some time, just like this ancient technique requires, to carefully read Susanne’s account over her encounter with filigree, and the richness of its possible creative uses, in contemporary jewelry and beyond.

* When I went studying to Moscow as a young exchange student from Vienna (previously I had studied design for 2 years), I came across filigree which was hugely popular in the jewelry department there, and at first it seemed oddly exotic…but a good teacher managed to draw my attention to the magic of it. He taught me its secrets and I dived into the world of silver ornaments – one year of intense technical training. When I came back to Austria I experienced a cultural shock, and the pieces I had made were shocking for the department (not their style at all)! It took me a while, but after creating a few special pieces, I processed this clash. 

Ever since, filigree has played an important role in my works. Up to this day I am directly or indirectly influenced by this experience. Handing on my knowledge in the filigree workshops I teach, and introducing the technique to students of contemporary jewelry, is so interesting because I can perceive the wide variety of approaches to this ancient technique and the amazing different paths on which the students are taking the fine wires.

* The fine silver wire with which we work in the workshops is very soft, it has an almost textile quality, suggesting associations with techniques usually untypical for metalwork, like stitching, weaving, binding, wrapping…

Due to its softness the wire/the fine silver elements can also be used in a very organic way, as if the parts of the piece of jewelry were growing and flowing. Sometimes I see a vine and I think of various wires winding around the rigid structure of the fence…

* I find it intriguing to start out from a thin plain wire, like a first line in a sketch, and to first build a two dimensional surface from there, then moving on to the third dimension. Working with filigree is also about the excitement of working up all the elements from scratch (even the special solder) into a delicate, three-dimensional piece, which is a great source of inspiration for the students’ work and an opportunity for them to integrate this knowledge into their own previously acquired set of skills.
IMG_0245

* In contemporary jewelry there is an overall tendency to create large, sculptural pieces. Working with this fine technique is definitely a challenge, because one’s attention gets drawn to the detail. A colleague of mine, who had never seen my work in real life, was amazed to find that some of the pieces he had seen in pictures were actually smaller than he had thought. The intricacy of this technique and the effort and time it takes to create large surfaces, can be an interesting motivation to “think smaller” (and this doesn’t necessarily have to always refer to the physical size of the piece).
IMG_0499

IMG_3174

* The roots of the filigree technique in jewelry lie in ancient mediterranean cultures (the Phoenician, Etruscan and Greek Empires). With the rise of the Constantine Empire in the first millennium BC, the technique was introduced to Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Filigree was, and still is, used in many parts of Latin America (as introduced by the colonial powers) and the Oriental world (from Northern Africa all the way to the Arab peninsula) as well as Asia. Filigree was also practiced throughout Europe (from Portugal, Spain and Italy, through the Alpine regions, all the way to Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the Balkans). In many parts of central and Western Europe today however, the technique is barely used anymore. The high cost of labour made it hard to produce and its distinctive style became generally unpopular in mainstream jewelry in Europe during the 20th century. 

Since ancient times the challenge of this technique was “to use minimal amount of precious metal to create an object of maximum size” (Oppi Untracht, “Traditional Jewelry of India”) and it remains an interesting challenge for today’s young jewelers and a sure source of inspiration!

*Among the things I always find inspiring is to look at traditional pieces and costumes from all around the world. Often they involve filigree. It is not only inspiring to study the actual pieces, but also the context and the way they were worn. One of my favorite examples is the national costume of Zeeland (a region in the Netherlands) where women wear the most amazing headgears.

dutch lady

* In today’s world full of efficiency and simplifications, it can be rewarding to take some time for a closer look at such an ancient and intricate technique, which is so slow and so loaded with ornaments. I find that taking this step “backward”, can lead to unexpected steps forward/sidewards/inwards,… or it can lead to an in-depth examination of the present (work), with its underlying ideas and approaches.

* The word “filigree” is often used not only in relation to jewelry, but in general to poetically describe something fine, light, fragile and delicate, regardless of the dimensions. Many things, from sugar decoration for cakes to the work of the ingenious engineer Gustave Eiffel are all associated with “filigree.” When entering the German word “filigran” into an internet search engine, apart form jewelry one finds entries about insects, botany, tattoos, even construction of concrete bridges. No matter what size, “filigree/filigran” is a fascinating principle dealing with the use of the structure’s lightness to create space. Therefore, I believe that inspiration for fine pieces can be found anywhere, on the streets, in a hardware store, on a map, in a forest…

IMG_0670_2

IMG_0884_2

IMG_0841

 

December 2015

Exploring pigments and gold leaf on metal surfaces

lucia-(003)

Teacher: Lucia Massei

Date: 4-5-6 December 2015
Cost: 400 € + VAT Tax

Introduction to colours/pigments and demonstration of various colouring techniques on metal: hot acrylics, pigments and their application, resins, (mixed media), chemical thinners and adhesives. rolling mill stamping, flame gilding.

Realization of one or more coloured jewels using silver/copper/brass

Gold leaf , silver leaf, pigments, acrylics and non-precious metals  are supplied by the school .

Each student should  bring his own personal tools.

Preview jewellery making experience is required.

 

November 2015

Transparent Jewels: Working with Plexiglass, colors and resins

marzia_1

Teacher: Marzia Rossi

Date: 13-14-15 November 2015
Cost: 350 € + VAT Tax

Plexiglass is the most transparent material that you can find, it’s easy to buy it opaque and in different colors, but in this course we start from its extraordinary, amazing transparency. We will experiment different ways to treat the surface, drawing, dig, obtain a volume, cut, bend a shape. We will apply color in shades and strong lines.

The first part starts with a short presentation of materials in use during the course (Plexiglass, resin glues, colors) with characteristics and main differences.

The course continues by cutting many shapes in different thicknesses, sperimenting surface treatments; create texture or drawings, impress decorative elements by heating, apply colors. Create volumes by gluing several layers or bending by heat a shape, incorporate resin or metal elements, experiment with resin and Plaxiglass the process of bending a shape by heat.

Choose at the end one or more try outs and transforme them in a piece of jewel.

This course is for both beginners and those who already have experience in jewellery making.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school.

 

Creating Jewellery in Resin: Free Experimentation with Cast Epoxy Resin

ALCHIMIA_BANNER_EVENTS_YOKO

Teacher: Yoko Shimizu

Date: 6-7-8 November 2015
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

In this course students will learn to work with epoxy resin and will be able to experience the multiple possibilities of this material. The focus of the course will be on the use of resin in combination with metal, the casting (silicon molds), the incorporation of diverse materials (paper, wood, colour, sand..) during the polimerization process,
the possibilities of surface effects and finishings

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

Nunome Zogane: Antique Japanese Inlay Technique

ALCHIMIA_EVENTS_ELISA-DEVAL

Teacher: Elisa Deval

Date: 13-14-15 November 2015
Cost: 400€+ VAT Tax

Creation of the base texture on metal using Mekiri-Tagane
Execution of a silver (or gold) inlay on the metal sheet based on ones individual design.
Polishing of the metal sheet with sand paper and stone.
Introduction to the use of the Rokusho coloring technique.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

Creating Jewellery in Resin: Free Experimentation with Cast Epoxy Resin

 

ALCHIMIA_BANNER_EVENTS_YOKO

Teacher: Yoko Shimizu

Date: 6-7-8 November 2015
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

In this course students will learn to work with epoxy resin and will be able to experience the multiple possibilities of this material. The focus of the course will be on the use of resin in combination with metal, the casting (silicon molds), the incorporation of diverse materials (paper, wood, colour, sand..) during the polimerization process,
the possibilities of surface effects and finishings

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

 

 

Nunome Zogane: Antique Japanese Inlay Technique

 

ALCHIMIA_EVENTS_ELISA-DEVAL

Teacher: Elisa Deval

Date: 13-14-15 November 2015
Cost: 400€+ VAT Tax

Creation of the base texture on metal using Mekiri-Tagane
Execution of a silver (or gold) inlay on the metal sheet based on ones individual design.
Polishing of the metal sheet with sand paper and stone.
Introduction to the use of the Rokusho coloring technique.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2015

Creating Jewellery in Resin: Free Experimentation with Cast Epoxy Resin
Teacher: Yoko Shimizu
Date:13-14-15 March 2015
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

 

Yoko Shimizu, necklace, resin, silver

Yoko Shimizu, necklace, resin, silver

 

In this course students will learn to work with epoxy resin and will be able to experience the multiple possibilities of this material. The focus of the course will be on the use of resin in combination with metal, the casting (silicon molds), the incorporation of diverse materials (paper, wood, colour, sand..) during the polimerization process,
the possibilities of surface effects and finishings

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

 

Pigments on Metal: Experimentation in Mixed Media
Teacher: Lucia Massei
Date: 20-21-22 March
cost: 400€ + VAT Tax

Lucia Massei, bracelet

Lucia Massei, bracelet

Introduction to colours/pigments and demonstration of various colouring techniques on metal:
hot acrylics, pigments and their application, resins, (mixed media), chemical thinners and adhesives. rolling mill stamping, flame gilding.
Realization of one or more coloured jewels using silver/copper/brass
Gold leaf , silver leaf, pigments, acrylics and non-precious metals
are supplied by the school.
Each student should bring his own personal tools.

 

Acrylic Glass: Methods for Application in Jewellery
Teacher: Marzia Rossi
Date: 27-28-29 March
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

ring, acrylic glass, silver, oil, stones

ring, acrylic glass, silver, oil, stones

Introduction to the techniques of working with acrilyc glass:
sawing, mat polishing, shiny polishing, 
bending with heat, application of colour, joining with glue.
Realization of one or more jewels combining metal and acrilyc. 
This course is both for beginners 
and those who  have experience in jewelry making.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

For information and enrolment contact: info@alchimia.it

Course in textile techniques in metal
Date: from Friday 30.January to Sunday 1.February

IMG_3317

It is amazing how many things can be made with just a hook and a thread.

Daina Taimina, hyperbolic planes

Daina Taimina, hyperbolic planes

Daina Taimina is a mathematician and she uses the art of crochet to create a strong, durable model of hyperbolic planes.

In the weekend course at Alchimia we will use crochet to create beautiful, light, and stunning jewelry.

doris maninger, necklace, detail, iron and silver

doris maninger, necklace, detail, iron and silver

The course will start on Friday 30.January and will end on Sunday 1.February. 15 hours of experimenting with a hook and all types of different metal thread.
The course will be taught by Doris Maninger, director of Alchimia who has been working with textile for more than 30 years.

Doris Maninger with her loom, about 20 years ago

Doris Maninger with her loom, about 20 years ago

“The amazing thing about working with thread is on the one hand that you need almost no tools (proved wrong when we look at the picture above) and that the work is in a way never ending.”
It can be continuously changed, it is an endless work in progress.

Doris Maninger, necklace, Ephemeral falling

Doris Maninger, necklace, Ephemeral falling, electroformed silver, iron wire

In the course we will learn the basic stitches of crochet with different metal wires: from iron to copper, silver and also brass
working with metal is very different from yarn, on the one hand it is easier, you cannot lose loops on the other hand it is much harder being metal not as soft as yarn.

brooch, copper

Doris Maninger, exercise brooch, copper

We will also work on finishings and inserts of other materials and I will try to make everybody understand the enormous variety of application this technique offers.

Immagine 1

Doris Maninger, necklace detail, iron, silver

 

“It is a work which not everybody might like doing”, Maninger says, “it needs a lot of patience and focus, but if you start it and like it then it will open up worlds for you.”

Arline Fish, creatures of the Deep, coated copper wire, crochet

Arline Fish, creatures of the Deep, coated copper wire, crochet

Doris Maninger has been working with textile since the 1970ies, sawing, weaving embroidery in yarns and later on also in metal.
“Metal wire is very specific it needs different treatments and working methods than textile threads. Almost every textile technique can be carried out in metal wire but one must know the tricks to do it well. There are lots of books about the subject and the best one is surely “Textile Techniques in Metal” by Arline Fish. When I started to work in metal, I bought the book and tried by myself. I succeeded quite well, but the work did not have the quality I was striving for. It was not unless I started doing workshops with Arline Fish, (she was a wonderful teacher) that I really understood metal wire and how to approach it.”

Immagine 10

Doris Maninger, detail of necklace, different stitches in hollow forms iron, silver

 

Works in metal wire are very seductive, with wonderful movement in chains and necklaces, there is something mysterious and luscious in their substance.

IMG_4515

object in iron with different inserts, work in progress

My preferred material is iron, its color and its strength give me the possibilities to make also big sculptural objects, but I work also a lot with silver.

Doris04

Doris Maninger, ephemeral series, electroformed silver, iron wire

 

“I think this course will bring benefit also to those who already work with metal wire because my vast experience and my love and passion for this craft can give a lot of new inputs and outlooks”

Doris Maninger

 

Doris

Doris Maninger, exercise necklace, copper, fine silver, iron

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2015

Pigments on Metal: Experimentation in Mixed Media
Teacher: Lucia Massei
Date: 9-10-11 January
cost: 400€ + VAT Tax

Introduction to colours/pigments and demonstration of various colouring techniques on metal:
hot acrylics, pigments and their application, resins, (mixed media), chemical thinners and adhesives. rolling mill stamping, flame gilding.
Realization of one or more coloured jewels using silver/copper/brass
Gold leaf , silver leaf, pigments, acrylics and non-precious metals
are supplied by the school.
Each student should bring his own personal tools.

 

Acrylic Glass: Methods for Application in Jewellery
Teacher: Marzia Rossi
Date: 23-24-25 January
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

Introduction to the techniques of working with acrilyc glass:
sawing, mat polishing, shiny polishing, 
bending with heat, application of colour, joining with glue.
Realization of one or more jewels combining metal and acrilyc. 
This course is both for beginners 
and those who  have experience in jewelry making.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school


Textile Techniques in Metal: Magic Wires for Jewellery
teacher: Doris Maninger
Date: 30January to 1st February
Cost: 350€+ VAT Tax

How to create jewellery with metal wire, an amazing world of possibilities.
From the creation of 3D forms with interlaced wire, to the wonders that can be done with just a crochet hook
Doris Maninger will guide into the world of never ending wire.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

March 2015

Creating Jewellery in Resin: Free Experimentation with Cast Epoxy Resin
Teacher: Yoko Shimizu
Date:13-14-15 March 2015
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

In this course students will learn to work with epoxy resin and will be able to experience the multiple possibilities of this material. The focus of the course will be on the use of resin in combination with metal, the casting (silicon molds), the incorporation of diverse materials (paper, wood, colour, sand..) during the polimerization process,
the possibilities of surface effects and finishings

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

Pigments on Metal: Experimentation in Mixed Media
Teacher: Lucia Massei
Date: 20-21-22 March
cost: 400€ + VAT Tax

Introduction to colours/pigments and demonstration of various colouring techniques on metal:
hot acrylics, pigments and their application, resins, (mixed media), chemical thinners and adhesives. rolling mill stamping, flame gilding.
Realization of one or more coloured jewels using silver/copper/brass
Gold leaf , silver leaf, pigments, acrylics and non-precious metals
are supplied by the school.
Each student should bring his own personal tools.

 

Acrylic Glass: Methods for Application in Jewellery
Teacher: Marzia Rossi
Date: 27-28-29 March
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

Introduction to the techniques of working with acrilyc glass:
sawing, mat polishing, shiny polishing, 
bending with heat, application of colour, joining with glue.
Realization of one or more jewels combining metal and acrilyc. 
This course is both for beginners 
and those who  have experience in jewelry making.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

April 2015

Laces are not only for little girls: antique embroidery techniques for jewellery
Teacher: Doris Maninger
Date: 17-18-19 April
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

In this workshop taught by a sawing fanatic, students will learn to handle needle and thread, will experience the suspension of time stimulated by the repetition of a simple act and will give over thinking to their hands.
Needle and yarn, as old as mankind, antique embroidery techniques to make absolutely unique jewellery.

 

May 2015

Nunome Zogane: Antique Japanese Inlay Technique
Teacher: Elisa Deval
Date: 8-9-10 May
Cost: 400€+ VAT Tax

Creation of the base texture on metal using Mekiri-Tagane
Execution of a silver (or gold) inlay on the metal sheet based on ones individual design.
Polishing of the metal sheet with sand paper and stone.
Introduction to the use of the Rokusho coloring technique.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school


Acrylic Glass: Methods for Application in Jewellery
Teacher: Marzia Rossi
Date: 22-23-24 May
Cost: 350€ + VAT Tax

Introduction to the techniques of working with acrilyc glass:
sawing, mat polishing, shiny polishing, 
bending with heat, application of colour, joining with glue.
Realization of one or more jewels combining metal and acrilyc. 
This course is both for beginners 
and those who  have experience in jewelry making.

Tools and non-precious materials as well as handouts on the course are supplied by the school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

with Daniela Malev

Date: November 14 to November 16,  three days 15 hours

cost: €350 + 22%VAT

for information and enrolment: info@alchimia.it and www.alchimia.it

4 Daniela_Malev

The infinite possibilities of fastening  is the theme of this workshop.
The importance of the needle, one of the oldest ways to drape fabric around the body – THE FIBULA – forerunner of todays brooch, will be the starting point of technical reflections around appropriate solutions for the backside of brooches.
Every brooch needs its own way of fastening, this workshop will give students the tools to invent their own fastening in accordance with the concept and the materials used in the piece itself.

12 safety pin

In the field of contemporary jewellery the brooch is the most common and also much discussed form of jewellery.
One of the special challenges of making a good brooch is to find an adequate solution for the needle which connects the piece securely to the body but goes beyond being a mere functional and invisible backside.
It should be an essential part of the brooch in terms of content and aesthetics.

pic workshop brooching techniques

In the workshop students make excercises to different needle techniques and ways of thinking about what a needle can be and how it can be solved.

 

7 Daniela_Malev

Participants should bring different materials and fragments which you would like to turn into a brooch.

 

9 Daniela_Malev

Daniela Malev

1972 born in Dresden

1991-94 study, work and travel in USA, Mexico, Australia

1998 diploma as classical goldsmith in Dresden

since 2002 self-employed as jeweller

2007 master craftsman´s certificate in Hanau (Staatliche Zeichenakademie)

2011 Bachelor of Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery Design in Idar-Oberstein

2014 Master of Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery Design in Idar-Oberstein

2008-09 teacher for goldsmithing in Hanau (Staatliche Zeichenakademie)

2012 and 2013 teaching assignments for goldsmithing and brooch back mechanisms in Idar-Oberstein

2014 workshops brooch back mechanisms in Alchimia School for Contemporary Jewellery, Florence