Foldform Inventor Charles Lewton-Brain to Give Away Jewelers' Secrets at NY Summer Event

He's been called the red-headed whiz kid, a high-energy problem solver, and is the inventor of the foldforming art process that has swept worldwide. He is coming back to New York August 3-6, 2012 for an annual intimate event, and you are invited.
May 30, 2012 - PRLog -- For the fifth year, the Center for Metal Arts in downstate New York will host Canadian master goldsmith and celebrity artist Charles Lewton-Brain at an annual conference on foldforming, ‬the process he invented.  "Moving the Edge:‬‪ Further Explorations in Foldforming" is a look at how foldforming has evolved since its invention less than thirty years ago.

The Fifth Annual Lewton-Brain Conference is August 3-6, 2012, at the Center for Metal Arts just one hour north of New York City. The workshops are open to jewelers, sculptors, artisans in the metal arts, and the public. The event offers an opportunity to engage with this lively and inventive artist educator in an intimate group setting.

Foldforming is a synthesis of  the Japanese art of origami with forging and other metalsmithing  techniques, working with copper or other metal sheet. The resulting forms are organic, and lead to seemingly unlimited variations  of  volume, texture, and form. The foldform process has spread globally among jewelers, with students coming from as far away as Hong Kong and Australia to study with Lewton-Brain in Calgary, Canada.  With its affinity for expressive hollow form construction, the potential of  foldforming has just begun to be appreciated at a larger scale for fine crafts and sculpture.

"As amazing as it may seem, nobody ever worked with metal this way in the more-than-10,000-year history of the craft," wrote master jeweler and educator Alan Revere in his series on jewelry innovators. Lewton-Brain's work has been recognized by the British Museum Research Lab, by a 1991 Rolex award, and this spring he was the recipient of the prestigious Governor General Award for his contribution to Canadian arts.

In the August 3-6 conference at the Center for Metal Arts, Lewton-Brain will demonstrate  the families of folds, and many variations: T-folds, cross folds, pleated folds, woven folds, sheared and formed star folds, chased wedge t-folds, Plunkett folds, and more. Lewton-Brain brings a lot of jewelry and fine craft experience, from making to marketing, and participants are encouraged to bring questions, a sketchpad, and a camera, to document techniques for their own work.

The four-day event will feature breakout sessions for attendees to spend time in the studio practicing their own foldforms, hands-on with torch and tooling, based on Lewton-Brain's demonstrations of process and technique. Lewton-Brain, who is celebrated for his generosity in sharing information and ideas, will be accessible in this intimate venue for questions and discussion. As always, at this annual conference, the interest and involvement of the audience are an integral part of the information-sharing that makes this event so unique, inspiring, and sometimes life-changing.

This year, the Center  for Metal Arts has launched an inaugural Lewton-Brain Foldform Award, to recognize the many artists who continue to explore the limits of foldforming. The competition is open to entries worldwide, with a Call for Entries that can be viewed on the Center for Metal Arts website. The competition closes on June 30, 2012, and three winners will be announced the final day of the conference.  

The continued exploration of foldforming as an art form, and its adaptation by artists worldwide, is a tribute to Lewton-Brain's view of open source technology. Long before the birth of the Creative Commons, Lewton-Brain committed himself to building a shared body of knowledge among metalsmiths. "I made a decision a long time ago, particularly with fold-forming, that I wanted to give it away, so it could be used by as many people as possible," he said.  "The secrecy shrouding so many techniques is evidence of small minds trying to protect small properties." In that spirit, Lewton-Brain was instrumental in founding the wildly successful Ganoksin jewelry and fine metalsmithing website with millions of page downloads of information, gratis, at

Lewton-Brain only gives a few workshops a year outside of his teaching post at the Alberta College of Art and Design. The workshop at the Center for Metal Arts in Florida, NY. is accessible by public transportation from New York City,  as well as three major airports.  Located in the black dirt farming village of Florida, in New York's Hudson Valley, the Center for Metal Arts brings students from both coasts to workshops on metal arts topics from sculpture to hot forge work..

The Center for Metal Arts offers easy online registration at, and also welcomes phone registration or inquiries about the event. More information, including room and ride share options, is available on the Center for Metal Arts facebook page.
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Tags:Charles Lewton-brain, Foldforming, Center For Metal Arts, Jewelry Workshop, Copper Craft
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