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A brief history of my metal life

I first started out in lapidary (stone cutting-opals no less!) and
scrimshaw when i was 14 years old sitting in on the seniors (grade
12) jewellery class at redwood highschool. My interest in
Goldsmithing grew as I was taught Lost Wax casting, gold lamination
and stone setting. My true love at the time, however was painting and
super animation on the commadore 64! In '83 I started working for HZH
Designs in Sausalito, creating earrings, keychains, and bags. These
were extreme 80’s kitsch- clear vinyl filled with coloured liquids,
plastic bugs, and people, then heat sealed. The earrings we designed
were made from HO scale models of people- we would ammend the people
in various ways making them more ‘San Francisco’ friendly and heat up
ear posts and stick them on. They sold like hot cakes! After
highschool I worked with Tabra Tunoa Designs - silversmithing earring
components, anodizing titanium, embossing metals, and soldering the
designs together. When I wasn’t working for Tabra I was going to
school studying graphic design/desktop publishing on the new- Apple
computers!!- it was 1984 at the San Francisco Art Academy (now
university) and studying jewellery fabrication at The College of
Marin. I dropped out of Art School and opened my own design business.
When I wasn’t creating ad campaigns for various corporate clients, I
was putting together jewellery lines for small boutiques throughout
the San Francisco Bay Area. One line was created for -the Outback
Clothing Company- which eventually became known as Banana Republic in
Mill Valley.

Several years later I moved to Taos, New Mexico. New Mexico is known
as ‘The land of enchantment’, and for good reason. It is beyond
beautiful-surreal there. The desert landscapes, mesas, purple and
red earth with sage brush and chamisa growing every where- pinon
trees, cotton woods, the Rio Grande, and the Sangre de Christos. In
my 13 years of living in New Mexico- I lived in Santa Fe off of Old
Santa Fe trail, later in a studio off of 2nd street, near the
Cloudcliff, and the last place I lived in Santa Fe was in a
beautiful old adobe on Canyon Road. In between my years in Santa Fe
attending The Santa Fe Metalsmithing school, I lived in Taos, New
Mexico, Dixon and Vadito (9000 feet above sea level). Taos, and
Santa Fe are at 7500 feet. The highest peak in New Mexico is in Taos
at 13,161 feet/4,012 m.

While in Taos I studied Goldsmithing at the Taos Art Institute with
Harold O’Connor- this man changed my views of metal, working with
it, and what ‘jewellery’ could be. Back in Santa Fe I apprenticed
with and assisted Silversmiths and Goldsmiths, such as Melanie De
Luca, Mona Van Riper, Doug Magnus, James Reid, Olin West, etc.
Working with and learning from these highly skilled metalsmiths
taught me a wealth of tricks and techniques that are usually not
covered in most college courses. At the Santa Fe Metalsmithing
School I studied with Philip Poirier- who has a vast knowledge of
tools and how to use them beyond their ‘normal’ use, as well as
creating Japanese alloys, and making and using dies with the
BonnieDoon Hydraulic Press.

In Taos and Santa Fe I became known for my ‘small sculptures’, and
was named (for my jewellery) one of Taos’ next generation of artists
by the Harwood Museum. My work was exhibited and sold throughout the
US, I was juried and invited to exhibit in various galleries, as
well as the ACC shows- Chicago and Baltimore.

All of that happened a long time ago- but I continue to study and
learn new techniques to incorporate into my work and instruction. I
don’t believe in ‘keeping secrets’ and I strive to pass along as
much as I can to people that sign up for my jewellery
courses. I am a strong believer in “…anything is possible…” and
that one learns by doing. I feel strongly that the work created by
beginning students with little or no previous experience that can be
viewed on this website is a testimony of my ability to transfer the
knowledge that I have gained. My classes are structured but not
hindered by formality or pre-requisite abilities; I provide an
environment in which individual creativity is nurtured and small
ideas can flourish to great work in an exceptionally short period of

Tosca Hidalgo y Teran

b. 1966, San Francisco, California. Lived in Taos, NM + Santa Fe for
approximately 13 years before making Toronto her current home.

Where there is a work of art, there is no madness; and yet madness
is contemporary with the work of art, since it inaugurates the time
of its truth.

Tosca Hidalgo y Teran has been working with metal and computers for
over 20 years. Her work explores this synthesis in retelling stories
from memory via her own representational language. Tosca pursues her
art and metal work, glass-blowing, flame working, casting and fusing
at nanopod, her hybrid studio in Toronto, where she also teaches
jewelry-making workshops.