Program Overview: Jewelry/Metal Arts at CCA
The Jewelry/Metal Arts Program at California College of the Arts is one of the oldest and most recognized in the field. Founded in 1912, we celebrated our 100-year anniversary with events including a major exhibition funded in part by SNAG. We also hosted an exciting group of internationally known visiting artists throughout the year.
The program builds on a foundation of traditional and contemporary metalsmithing techniques, emphasizing skilled craftsmanship, conceptual rigor, design, aesthetics, and familiarity with the medium's history. It is also our mission to engage students and challenge them to discover their artistic voice and encourage personal expression through the creation of jewelry, functional objects, and sculpture.
Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of processes and materials through courses taught by nationally and internationally renowned faculty. Also, visiting artists are invited to critique in class and give public lectures during the semester.
The Jewelry/Metal Arts Program is proud to announce that two of our graduates, Michael Esteban and Hilary Sanders, were awarded Windgate Fellowships for 2013. These fellowships are given to 10 graduating seniors selected from craft-based programs from across the country. Two other graduates, Alexis Myre and Rachael Nyhus, also received the award in 2010.
The Jewelry/Metal Arts faculty includes Marilyn da Silva, chair, Curtis H. Arima, Deborah Lozier, David Cole, Jo-Ann Donivan, and Nick Dong. Our full-time studio manager is Tony Esola.
The main classroom has professional jeweler’s benches with flex-shafts for each student. Demonstrations in fabrication, stone setting, and carving are done in this room, where many hand tools and some machinery are located.
The hammer room has an array of stakes, hammers, and forming tools for students to manipulate sheet metal and wire into complex forms, using the ancient practices of raising and forging. The casting equipment and larger torches in this room allow students to transform their wax creations into pieces of silver, bronze, or gold. The hydraulic press easily creates smooth concave or convex forms. Surface development is explored in this room with a sand blaster, polishing machine, and etching station.
“The Streich Zone” is the program's multifunctional room. Class lectures, critiques, and many guest artist talks are held here. It also contains the kilns used for enameling, or fusing powdered glass to create color and images on the surface of metal.
In addition to the three main studios, dedicated rooms for seniors and graduate students are also provided. These upper-level students have their own bench space and storage to help further their studio practice and to facilitate the development of their thesis work.
The Jewelry/Metal Arts Program has a full-time studio manager, who keeps the studio in top shape, continually updating equipment and providing students with technical support and enforcing all safety guidelines and policies.
Marilyn da Silva, chair
Marilyn da Silva’s work is based on telling stories through imagery and representational elements. Her trademark surface treatment of gesso and colored pencil creates a rich palette for her sculpture and wearable pieces. Her work has been displayed nationally and internationally and she is represented in public and private collections. She was invited to be “Master Metalsmith 1999” by the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2007, she was selected as a Fellow of the American Craft Council.
Marilyn da Silva is professor and program chair of the Jewelry/Metal Arts Department at California College of the Arts in Oakland, where she has been since 1987. Before moving to California, she taught from 1978–1987 at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She earned her MFA in jewelry design andmetalsmithing at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and her BS in art education at Bowling Green State University.
Curtis H. Arima, adjunct professor
Curtis H. Arima has been teaching at California College of the Arts for 10 years. He works with BFA students of all level, as well as MFA students. He produces jewelry and sculpture in his Berkeley studio. His work has been exhibited across the country and abroad including SOFA NY and Chicago, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, and Vennel Gallery in Scotland. Awards and nominations include Best of Show for the Innovations in Contemporary Craft exhibition in Richmond,California, and nominations for instructor of the year for the Niche awards. His publications include Metalsmith magazine, Sculpture magazine, and the Lark 500 series of books. He received his BFA from CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts) and an MFA inmetalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
David Cole, adjunct professor
Work by David Cole (BA, Dartmouth College; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art) ranges in scale from fine jewelry to large public art sculptures. He is fascinated by mechanisms and industrial technology and has built a studio filled with machine tools, specialty devices, and obscure, technical literature that he uses to create an evolving body of work. He teaches a history of jewelry/metal arts course in addition to ones about production, art and technology, and marketing fine crafts. Current projects include architectural details for Stanford University and commissions for Bend, Oregon, Boise, Idaho, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Deborah Lozier, adjunct professor
Deborah Lozier received her BFA in crafts from Arizona State University, magna cum laude, 1984. She is an adjunct professor at CCA, teaching Color on Metal since 1994. Lozier is noted for her innovative use of enamel on fabricated copper forms, extending the materials and techniques beyond their roles of tradition. Whether the work is jewelry intended to be worn or a sculptural object for display, she brings to each piece a suggestion of ritual and past use. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum of California, as well as in many private collections.
Jo-Ann Donivan, instructor
I have been a working metalsmith/jeweler for over 34 years. During this time I have been a member of several metals organizations, including the Metal Arts Guild, the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and the American Craft Council. I am classically trained in silver, gold, and platinum. I teach a class at California College of the Arts, as a senior lecturer in the Metals/Jewelry Department for casting. I bring my knowledge and expertise into the classroom. Students gain the understanding and skills needed to do this type of metalsmithing there.
Nick Dong, instructor
I am a conceptual metalsmith, mixed-media sculptor, and socio-commodity engineer with the intention of creating works in order to ignite an experiential moment. We know there are multiple ways to receive information. I create mixed-media fields to change the relationship of the viewer’s apperception. Art is not an object nor a picture; art is the unique impact created by that object or picture. Participatory conceptualism is antithetical to passive visual experience. My work partakes of both aspects to achieve the unique impact and constructs the particular sentiment or antipathy.
Tony Esola, studio manager
Tony Esola aims to express himself through the enjoyment of creating something that is visually and symbolically inviting to others. He is fueled by the desire to construct, no matter the medium, and draw from the images and properties of childhood curiosities as a foundation to his work.
Esola received his BFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts from CCAC in 2000. He has been the studio manager of the Jewelry/Metal Arts department at CCA since 2005. His work has been nationally and internationally shown, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He has also been published in books such as 500 Wedding Rings.
RECENT GRADUATES: If you recently received a degree--BA, BFA, MA, or MFA--from this university, everything you need to know to upload your graduate portfolio can be found at this link.