AR 371/372 IndependentAR_371_372_Independent_Study.html
AR 319 MetalsmithingAR_319_Metalsmithing.html
AR 320 Jewelry & Metals IIAR_320_J%26MII.html
AR 219 Jewelry & Metals IAR_219_J%26MI.html
AR 320 Student WorkAR_320_Student_Work.html
AR 320 Syllabus
AR 320 Sample AssignmentsAR_320_Sample_Assignments.html



COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Jewelry & Metals II is a four (4) credit, advanced level studio art course designed to build upon skills and concepts introduced in AR 219; Jewelry & Metals I.  The primary focus of Jewelry & Metals II is casting (both lost wax and sand/foundry methods).  Through information presented in lectures and demonstrations, students will develop a comprehensive working knowledge of traditional principles and practice.  This knowledge will be tested and affirmed by concise hands-on exercises.  Major assignments are designed to stimulate individual inventiveness, challenge aesthetic complacency, and encourage a substantial demonstration of technical skill and creative acumen. 

COURSE STRUCTURE:  Classes meet formally six (6) hours per week in Saisselin 207 (the Jewelry & Metals studio). Hands-on studio activities will frame approximately three-quarters of scheduled class time, the balance being comprised of lectures, group critiques, and technical demonstrations.  Supplemental gallery talks, “slide” presentations, and visiting artist workshops may also be scheduled as resources and interest permits.  Group critiques (approximately 5 per semester) are an essential component of this course; attendance and participation at critiques is compulsory.  Quizzes on safety and related technical information may be given as deemed appropriate.

ASSIGNMENTS:  The highly specialized nature of casting demands that exercises be sequentially coherent and precisely delineated with respect to objectives and parameters.  For this reason, each exercise will be bound to a strict timetable for developing wax models, investing, casting, and completing work.  The more comprehensive nature of major assignments will offer somewhat greater latitude, but will carry greater risk for students who procrastinate. 

Varying principles and theories of composition are examined through each assignment and exercise presented.  The prospectus for each assignment will outline the objectives, timeframe, and technical parameters to be addressed.  All assignments are designed to integrate technical skill-building with design theory (aesthetics) and creative problem-solving; encouraging students to uncover unique , personally derived solutions within the framework of traditional precedents and practices.

    A selection of sample assignments is provided at the end of this syllabus.

EVALUATION AND GRADING:  All assignments are evaluated on the basis of quality

Quality may be evidenced in many forms;  intellectual insight, aesthetic sensibility, and technical acumen are particularly important quality-yardsticks for a studio artist.  The quality of engagement (that is, effort) is best evidenced by work which reflects high levels of initiative, perseverance, and an applied understanding of the techniques and concepts presented in the course.

The Skidmore College Catalogue states that “grades are assigned on the following basis”:

Distinguished work = A+, A

Superior work = A-, B+, B

Satisfactory work = B-, C+, C

Passing, poor-quality work = C-, D+, D

Failure, no credit earned = F

Attendance and participation are MANDATORY!  Late arrivals, inadequate preparation and lack of participation (especially during critiques) will incur grade penalties; negatively effecting a student’s final grade for the course. 

As a rule students will be forgiven two absences* during the semester.  Each additional absence may lower the final grade as much as one full letter.  Students are solely responsible for all work missed during an absence.   In circumstances where essential safety information has been missed, a student MUST arrange a special meeting with their instructor before proceeding.  Note:  A "late attendance" or “early departure” will be regarded as an "absence" when any portion of a significant activity (i.e. demonstration or critique) is missed.  For more information on the attendance policy see Jewelry and Metalsmithing Studio Policies.

*In circumstances where a serious health impairment or family crisis leads to a prolonged absence, students should contact their instructor (as soon as practical) to discuss the nature of the problem and possible options for completing coursework.

Late work will be penalized one full letter grade for each class period beyond the due date.  No work will be accepted beyond the third scheduled class period after the due date.  Work will be recorded as late when it is not completely finished before the beginning of class on the day it is due.

Plagiarism (and other unethical practices) will not, under any circumstances, be tolerated.  Students are expected to embrace the very highest standards of Academic Integrity (see the Skidmore Honor Code).


INTRODUCTION OF TECHNIQUES AND CONCEPTS:  The majority of technical demonstrations will occur during the first eight weeks of the term.  As these demonstrations are essential and cannot easily be repeated, students who fail to attend class meetings will be at a significant disadvantage.  For reasons of safety the policy of mandatory attendance is unconditional!  Following most lecture/demonstrations students will explore the processes presented through a series of short, individual "test-pieces".  During the course of the semester the following lecture/demonstrations will be presented* :

*Additional technical demonstrations may be presented as student inquiry and interest dictates.

STUDIO SAFETY AND CONDUCT:  Safe and responsible studio work practices are essential to, and inseparable from, all other components of this course.  Students must familiarize themselves with all policies pertinent to studio safety and conduct.  Studio efficiency, effectiveness and harmony are a shared responsibility.  Students are expected to read and follow all Department and Studio Safety Guidelines.  These are posted and available to all students.  ALL demonstrations will include relevant safety information.  Students who have not attended these demonstrations or are otherwise apprehensive about a process must speak with their instructor before attempting to use the tools or equipment in question.   

READINGS AND RESEARCH:  Students are not required to purchase a textbook for this (or any) Jewelry & Metals course.  All essential information (technical and theoretical) will be introduced through lectures, presentations, and demonstrations.  Because of this, students are required to compile a “sourcebook” (combined Sketchbook/Notebook) throughout the semester.  This sourcebook should include detailed lecture and demonstration notes (with illustrations when appropriate), sketches and ideation drawings, and other relevant information.  These sourcebooks may be collected for review without advanced notice.

An extensive library of books and periodicals is available in the Jewelry& Metals studio (compliments of your instructor).  Please keep these volumes clean, organized, and available to all.  Do NOT borrow them for personal use or remove them from the studio without the expressed permission of your instructor.  Additionally, a wealth of books and journals on metalsmithing, craft media and the decorative arts are available in The Scribner Library.

Recommended Reading:


  1. The Complete Metalsmith - Timothy McCreight

  2. Professional Goldsmithing - Alan Revere

Historical / Cultural:

  1. Poetry of The Physical - Edward Lucie-Smith

  2. A Theory of Craft-Function and Aesthetic Expression - Howard Risotti, Kenneth Trapp

  3. Treatises on Goldsmithing and Sculpture - Benvenuto Cellini

Aesthetic / Design Theory:

  1. The Art of Jewelry Design - Elizabeth Olver

  2. Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition - Kimberley Elam


  1. Metalsmith – Quarterly, Journal of the Society of North American Goldsmiths

  2. American Craft – Bi-monthly, Journal of the American Craft Council




  1. “Casting Kit” (a pre-assembled cache of basic tools and supplies available at the Skidmore Shop);

  2. “Abrasives Kit” (a pre-assembled selection of abrasive wheels, felt bobs, muslin buffs, etc.; available at the Skidmore Shop);

  3. Steno-type pad (graph paper recommended);

  4. Exacto knife (#11 blade);

  5.   Safety Glasses;

  6. Permanent fine-point marker (e.g. Sharpie Extra Fine Point);

  7. Steel Ruler (6” or 12” with inch and metric scales);

  8. Masking tape;

  9. Drawing pencils;

  10. Two (2) padlocks;

  11. Sketchbook/Notebook (recommended: three-ring binder containing drawing paper, graph paper, etc.; allowing you to keep all notes, handouts, and working drawings in a single sourcebook). 

Highly Recommended: templates, bow compass, dividers (and similar drafting/layout tools).

Note: recommended sources for metal, including sterling silver, will be discussed in class. 


AR 320 Syllabi

Jewelry & Metals II

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AR 320   Jewelry  &  Metals  II




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