Posted on October 28, 2015 by School of Art
“I have considered myself a metalsmith since 1980,” says Andy Cooperman. “It was in the late ’70’s, as an English major in college in Upstate NY, that I first encountered the field outside of the jewelry and hollowware that I had seen in stores. There was a classroom in the art building (I spent a lot of time in that building) that seemed to contain some sort of focused excitement for the hunched over figures working inside. There was fire and small, strangely specific tools. The ringing of hammers made me pull open the door and walk inside.
What a shocker it was to see that metal could be sawn, formed and, especially, forged– in a relatively non-industrial place. And when I saw that it could be approached in ways that made it seem unlike metal– that small, almost animate things could be made with it–I had to get my hands into it. With a second major in Studio Art, I built a small back bedroom studio, spent some time exploring the very similar field of dental crown and bridge manufacture and worked at the bench in several jewelry stores. In 1984, I followed my wife Kim to Seattle, Washington. We have been here ever since.
Seattle is a special place for jewelers and metalsmiths. We have a very strong community of makers who are eager to share what they know and what they think. And we all seem to like each other. Almost makes the winter gloom bearable.”