[Exhibit] Apprentice Commencement Show

Our “Apprentice Commencement Show” will commence this Friday. I am
promoting it with radio commercials, FaceBook and news releases to
our local papers. There will be a wine and snack reception at my
studio starting at 4:30 Friday if any Orchidian cares to stop in and
say hello. The news release follows:

For immediate release
September 12, 2011
Information contact Stephen Walker 607-478-8567

Apprentice Metalsmiths Celebrate Advancement with Exhibit

Two area women have taken a traditional career path by spending the
last four years as full time apprentices at Walker Metalsmiths in
Andover. Although this method of learning a career is as old as
craft itself, apprenticeship has become a relative rarity. Most
jewelers in recent generations are now trained through art colleges
or trade schools. Jennifer Acomb of Dansville had taken several part
time art courses at Genesseo to follow up on an interest in crafts
that was fostered in 4-H. Craftsmanship became her career after
visiting Stephen Walker’s workshop during the 2007 Allegany Artisans
Studio Tour. In addition to working on the production of Walker
Metalsmiths’ Celtic design jewelry in silver and gold; she also
pursues her own design interests frequently using bird and other
natural motifs.

Lyndsay Himes Burr is a 2007 art school graduate of Alfred
University. After taking a summer course in small scale metal
sculpture, she began to appreciate the potential of jewelry as an
art form. She joined Walker Metalsmiths in early 2008 to learn the
techniques of casting and fabrication. Her own designs are often
very open and light and frequently use the repetition of shapes to
create textures and patterns. The terms “art” and “mystery” are
traditional words from the indenture contracts that were drawn up
between master craftsmen and the parents of their minor apprentices
in the days when apprenticeship was a form of bonded service. “Art”
meant the skill of the craft and “mystery” was the special knowledge
and trade secrets that the master promised to teach the apprentice so
that they could expect to have a successful career in their trade.
Although Walker Metalsmiths specializes in the Celtic design
tradition, that has its beginning in medieval Ireland and Scotland,
they do not limit themselves to ancient techniques. Most of their
castings are done using a centrifugal force machine invented for
dentists in the early 20th century. Much of their most delicate work
is assembled using a laser welder under a microscope.

Both Jennifer and Lyndsay have supplemented their on-the-job training
with several intensive week long courses at the New Approach School
for Jewelers in Virginia Beach. There they studied and practiced
stone setting, wax carving, hand engraving and computer assisted

Commencement Open house

Under the traditional system, when an apprenticeship ended, the
apprentice was given their “freedom” since they were no longer
legally bonded to the master. Jennifer and Lyndsay will have an
exhibition featuring their work at Walker Metalsmiths beginning with
a reception on Friday September 16, where the public is invited to
view their work and celebrate the successful completion of their
apprenticeship and acknowledge their status as trained and practiced
professional goldsmiths.

While both women plan to continue in their current employment at
Walker Metalsmiths, they both are also marketing their own designs
through sales on Etsy and by exhibiting at the Allegany Artisans
Studio Tour. During the Studio Tour, which is on the week end of
October 15 & 16 they both will be showing together at Lyndsay’s home
on Maple Street in Wellsville.

Lyndsay’s work can be seen at

Jennifer’s work is at JennyTremain - Etsy

Stephen Walker

Andover, NY