Creative Surface Development

Course Description

About this course

Tired of the same old surfaces? Want a chance to develop some new ones? Here’s your chance.

Next to form, the surface of an object may be what most defines it and gives it depth and character. But it seems that we so often come to rely on a handful of basic textures rather than developing our own creative surfaces.The goal of this fun and fast-paced 4-day class is to fix that, to uncover new ways to consider surface. Through play (it’s not a dirty word) and experimentation, we’ll develop a series of sample “flash cards”, each accompanied by detailed notes about just how the surface was produced, so that it can be replicated for future application. Then, using some of the surfaces discovered, participants will build a brooch or pendant. A simple but elegant brooch finding system will be demonstrated.

This class focuses on heat-generated surfaces as well as rolled, hammered and abraded finishes. Discussion topics include using natural surfaces as source material and how and when to apply surface texture during the construction of a piece.  Bring a sense of play, an open mind and a sharp pencil--there are sure to be lots of tips and tricks.

Meet the Instructor

Andrew Cooperman

Since 1984, metalsmith Andy Cooperman has lived and worked in Seattle where he builds jewelry and small objects for museum exhibitions, galleries and private clients.

His work has been featured in many publications, including Penland Book of Jewelry and the new book Humor in Craft and is held in private and public collections that include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Central College in Pella Iowa and the Tacoma Art Museum.

Andy teaches and lectures nationally and taught in the metals program at the University of Washington 2006 - 2008. His work has been shown recently in Esoterica: Through the Looking Glass, a Tributaries solo exhibition at The National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis and in Radical Alchemy in the Courthouse Galleries, Portsmouth, Virginia. Andy was honored to be selected as the 2011-2012 Eric Yake Kenagy Visiting Artist at Goshen College, Goshen Indiana which included an exhibition of his work, Disparate Elements at the Goshen College Hershberger Art Gallery.

Materials & Tools 

There is a $45 materials fee for this course, which is payable upon registration and includes enough copper for 24 surface texture samples, and burs, bits, wheels and gizmos for creating textures.

Students should bring 

We will be exploring a variety of surfaces including those generated by the heat of a torch. These fused textures may be produced by partial melting of a particular alloy or by fusing several alloys together. 

  • METAL: NOTE: exact measurements are not crucial. 
    • Sterling sheet to fuse to - approx. 3" x 3" 16ga- 22 ga— (16ga is great to make filings from-see below) 
    • Sterling to make filings from - a thick piece of sheet or clean (no solder). We can also make an ingot from clean sterling scrap and roll into sheet. 
    • Sterling wire - 12-14ga can be fun to fuse with. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have it. 
    • Gold: only if you have some and wish to experiment… Some gold karats and alloys can be torch textured, especially some 14k rose. You may wish to try this, although every alloy is different. We can melt clean (no solder) scrap of a particular alloy into an ingot and roll sheet or you can bring a small piece of sheet if you like, 18-22 ga. 
    • Brass sheet (if you like brass)
  • For alloying: 
    • clean (no solder) copper scrap, approx. 1 0z. 
    • FINE (999) silver, approx: ½ Oz (could be fine silver coin, bezel scrap, shot, etc)
  • 2/0 & 6/0 Sawblades
  • Sketchpad and pencil 
  • Dust mask 
  • Safety Glasses 
  • Participants should bring patterns (fabrics, papers, mesh, etc.) that could possibly be used for rolling against metal. Any favorite burs or an old “beater” hammer can be utilized in producing surfaces. 
  • Also, bring a surface that intrigues you-wood, stone, plastic, organic, metal—anything!

Other Stuff - These are all tools that available at Metalwerx for shared use, but if you have your own to use you are more than welcome bring:

  • Favorite hand tools that you like to use such as: 
    • pliers 
    • sawframe 
    • files 
    • handvices, etc. 
    • Small riveting or goldsmith’s hammer 
    • Any burs, buffs, abrasives, etc. that you might have 
    • Drill bits: 1mm (18ga) 8mm (20ga) 
    • Magnifiers (loupes/optivisors)—if you need them 
    • Finishing materials, such as Sandpapers (emery (fine or medium), 220 grit, and 400 grit)
    • Measuring devices (if you have or use them) 
    • MM gauge or Degree guage 



Materials Cost



Andrew Cooperman


July 11 -14, 2019


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


4 days

Intermediate and above
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