Functional Metalsmithing Techniques: Boxes, Bangles, and Bowls

Bowl and box duo
Carved metal box
 2 different jeweled boxes

Date: June 20-24, 2022 (Summer)
Medium: Metalsmithing
Instructor: Ginger Seiple (email)
Skill Level: Intermediate

Two areas of study/creating with metal are planned for this workshop. Both can be described as functional containers. And while the hinged bangle is not a container, it is an easy project for learning to make perfect hinges.

In this workshop will first explore the process of raising a flat disc to a vessel. Each student will be provided with tools to work with at their own pace. Starting with a 3” or 4” disc they will raise each disc into different shaped bowls. Using 22 gauge copper the miniature vessels can be raised in a relatively short amount of time. Once raised, the students will have several options for surface embellishment to create interesting multi-dimensional works of art.

The second area of exploration will be creating a small hinged box or locket, or a hinged bangle. For the bangle a basic 3-knuckle butt hinge will be demonstrated, along with a fabricated catch for the hinge. Or they may choose to design and fabricate a box with a hinged lid. Both hinge demonstrations will include ways to precisely fit components, and the box hinge demo will include installing a bearing for a hinge. Students will also become proficient in using drawplates for wire and tubing.

All hinging materials will be supplied; students will supply metals for the box or bangle projects, and the small copper discs for raising. There will be many samples of both projects to stimulate the students aesthetic.

At this time, the enrollment limit has been reached. If you would like to be added to a wait list, please call the CraftSummer office at 513-529-7395.

Supply List

Supplies are subject to change. A final list will be emailed to each participant before the first day of class.

  • Silver and/or base metal materials for creating small hinged boxes - small textured scraps can be used to embellish; bring wire as well
  • 22 gauge copper sheet (1) for raising 3" or 4" small bowls
  • one piece of 16 gauge sterling silver 15mm wide X 7.5" - 8" long for the hinged bracelet project
  • any miniature forming hammers you have
  • chasing tools and hammer if you have them
  • ball burs and any texturing burs you like to use
  • delrin or rawhide mallet
  • riveting hammer
  • measuring tools - calipers, mm ruler, dividers, scribe, markers
  • files including triangular and square
  • sandpaper and cleaning abrasives you like to use
  • steel block
  • lung, eye and ear protection
  • solder and flux preference

Estimated cost: students will spend $25.00- $35.00

Studio Fee

All workshops have a studio fee. Fees are collected at the end of the workshop and payable by check or credit card. MU no longer accepts cash.

Estimated studio fee for this workshop: $TBD*

*The final cost may vary depending on the actual cost of materials at the time of the workshop. It is possible for fees to be less or greater than the range indicated depending upon individual student usage.

Studio supply fees are an estimate and can be subject to change due to supply chain issues or transportation cost.

About the Instructor

Ginger Seiple’s first exposure and intrigue with metal forming was in 1970 at Kent State University where she was studying nursing. Her exploration into metal did not begin until 1987; prior to this time her creative energies were focused on the art of nursing and raising a family.

In 1987 when she lit a torch for the first time she ignited a passion that grew, and continues to grow, like wildfire. She left nursing behind and began a journey to learn and develop the skills she wanted to understand with metalsmithing. After a few community art center courses and becoming comfortable with a torch she built a home studio. Her desire to understand the effects of heat on metal resulted on her becoming extremely skilled at setting gemstones, and she began successfully selling her work.

She has spent the last 25 years studying with many masters. Over the years her focus has narrowed and for the last several years her studies have been mostly with masters Charles Lewton-Brain, Michael Good and David Huang, finding moving metal using their methods most enjoyable to her aesthetic sense.

Another facet of Gingers’ metal journey is her passion for teaching. Having been fortunate to learn from many masters has not only given her many great skills but the example of wonderfully giving educators. She has taught workshops all over the midwest, and currently teaches annually in Oxford, Ohio at Miami University's CraftSummer Program, and in Maine where she biannually teaches workshops and TA’s for master goldsmith Michael Good in his studio.

Creatively she still enjoys the fine intricate contemporary work she does with her gemstone creations as much as the larger more sculptural pieces she is experimenting with as she develops the anticlastic, raising and forging she is learning.