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A fist with rings.

Tiff Massey, Power


Registration is Open!

Sign up now for the 22nd Annual Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium, on Saturday, October 14, 2017.

Register here:!event/2017/10/14/northwest-jewelry-metals-symposium

This year’s speakers include: Montreal-based jeweler, author, world traveler, and Toolbox Initiative co-creator Matthieu Cheminée; New Orleans based modernist sculptor, and post-industrial, 21st century blacksmith Rachel David; self-taught engineer, inventor, and kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson; San Francisco Bay Area art jeweler, curator, and Shibumi Gallery owner April Higashi; and Detroit based interdisciplinary sculptor and jewelry artist Tiff Massey.

This once a year gathering of makers and speakers from different corners of the Pacific Northwest and the globe is an eagerly awaited tradition for metalsmiths, artists, and jewelers of all stripes. Everyone is warmly invited to attend – registration is open to members and non-members alike. Registration TBA.

We return this year to Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hill, for old favorites and new faces: explore a selection of exceptional and hard-to-find metals and jewelry related titles at Charon Kransen’s Book Sale; and uncover unexpected treasures in the Symposium’s Silent Auctions—an opportunity to bid on unique metals, design, and jewelry related items donated by local artists and metalsmiths. The fun and conversation continues into the evening at the post-Symposium after-party at Rhein Haus

Get your Metal on! There’s more to see and experience during the Symposium Weekend:

Friday, October 13:

  • Steel Mill Tour (Spots are limited).

Sunday, October 15:

  • 1pm-3pm Breakout session: “Designing Kinetic Sculptures: A Conversation with Arthur Ganson”  at Equinox Studios – RSVP Here
  • 3pm-5pm Reception for Contained at KOBO at Higo – Join us for light refreshments and an Artist Talk for this year’s SMG exhibition at KOBO at Higo.
  • 5pm-8pm Open House at Equinox Studios – Equinox Studios was founded in 2006 as an enclave of Artists and Artisans in a World War II-era factory building in Georgetown, Seattle.  Demo and Q&A by Symposium presenter Matthieu Cheminée at 5:30pm, in Firelight Forge studio. 

Stay tuned: Follow the SMG website, newsletter, and Facebook page for more on this year’s speakers and events.

Donate: Donations to the Silent Auction support the Seattle Metals Guild and its education and community based programming. Thank you to all who have contributed to previous auctions through their donations and bids. If you have objects, tools, materials, books, lesson offerings, or other contributions for the 2017 Silent Auctions, donate here:

Join in: Become part of a like-minded community of artists and metalsmiths working together to make the Symposium a success. Interested in joining in? Contact Abby Frank at symposium@


Symposium Speakers:

Cuff bracelet with gemstones.

Matthieu Cheminee, Stampclastic Bracelet

Matthieu Cheminée: A Journey with West African Jewelers

“In Africa, when an old man dies it is like a library burned down.”

-Amadou Hampathe Bâ

Jeweler and author Matthieu Cheminée will present on the life, techniques, and tools of West African jewelers. He will discuss the work he is engaged in to honor and preserve their knowledge and know-how, including the making of his book, Legacy: Jewelry Techniques of West Africa, and the work of Toolbox Initiative which he co-founded Tim McCreight in 2014, a non-profit organization assisting jewelers with limited resources through the collective strength and connections of the metalworking community.



Small iron table with drawer

Rachel David, Small Table With Drawer

Rachel David: The Intersection of Art and Responsibility

“Art is not a mirror to reflect society. Art is a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

New Orleans based blacksmith Rachel David will discuss studio practice, processes, product quality and patron context, and will consider their effects and implications on the world: “Contemporary metalworking is at the intersection of art and responsibility. Our practices, however consumptive, include making products and, as importantly, making the tools to complete our various processes. That holistic power over process and product is our power to affect change and condemn complacency, in art, society, and our effects on the world around us.”


A mannequin hand writing "faster" on a paper pad.

Arthur Ganson, Faster, © C.Hegner

Arthur Ganson: Gestural Engineering

Artist, inventor, self-taught engineer, and kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson will address all aspects of his personal working process- from initial inspiration and early ideation to the final manifestation of the sculptures. He will talk about disparate influences, the engineering challenges and problem solving that occur along the way, and the beautifully organic manner in which all of this happens.


Egg-shapped enamel brooch with gold and diamonds.

April-Higashi, Untitled Brooch

April Higashi: A Considered Life

April Higashi has been working as a contemporary art jeweler, curator and gallery owner in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. In 2005, she founded Shibumi Gallery, a three level live-work space where she exhibits her work and showcases the talents of a wide community of jewelers and makers. She will speak on her live-work space and the journey of building a career and family life around personal creativity.


Metal bricks arranged on a wall

Tiff Massey, I Got Bricks

Tiff Massey: What Up Doe

Tiff Massey is an interdisciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan.  She will discuss and reflect on the ideas highlighted throughout her career – the iconic material culture of 1980’s hip-hop, observances of class and race, and African standards of economic vitality – exploring the journey to her current interdisciplinary practice of creating, that ranges from wearable to large-scale sculpture, design, installation and music.




For information about previous years….

Symposium 2016, click here:

Symposium 2015, click here:

Symposium 2014, click here: