In a message dated 96-06-17 11:32:06 EDT, you write:
I am looking for high quality, metalsmithing graduate programs in the
midwest or east coast. Do any of you have any suggestions? Thank
One of the most historically outstandind programs is the one run by Stanley
Lechtzin at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. It’s also quite unique
these days as at the moment most of the graduate students have concentrated
their studies in the area of CAD/CAM technologies, rather than more
traditional hand working methods (though those technologies and the
facilities for them are certainly quite available.) They have an
exceptionally well equipped shop, and a large undergraduate program as well,
particularly suited to those aiming eventually at a teaching career.
The graduate program at Cranbrook Academy of Art, near Detroit, is also a
historically very important one, though most of that history is from when the
late Richard Thomas was in charge of it. At that time much of the focus was
on traditional holloware. Currently, Gary Griffin teaches there, and perhaps
due to his own strong personal orientation to metal sculpture, the program
now tends to focus on nonfunctional sculptural concerns much more than on the
traditional ones. It’s also rather unusual in that there is no undergraduate
program at Cranbrook at all. That leads to a smaller, more intimate student
body, sharing one of the most uniquely beautiful campuses in the country.
Last I checked, it was a very free form program as well, predominantly a
single pass/fail grading system. But this might have changed in the last 15
The University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale has had a fine reputation
for some time, especially with those interested in working with iron, due to
the influence of Brent Kington, who’s taught there. I don’t currently know
much more about it, or whether he’s still actively teaching.
State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, has a strong graduate
metals program worth checking out.
Rhode Island School of Design is also a prominant program, though for my
money, it’s way too costly for what they offer. Lots of reputation, perhaps,
but I’m not sure it lives up to unusually high tuition fees.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison has long had a fine metals program
under Fred Fenster and Elanor Moty. But at the current time, they are in the
middle of changing to a different studio, and Elanor is on extended leave of
absense until they manage to resolve problems with ventilation in the studio
(the reason for the change) It may still be worth a visit though. Madison
is a very nice town.
The graduate program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is smaller
than some, but Ann Arbor and the school are both top rate, and Hiroko and
Gene Pijianowski are both fine teachers.
There are plenty more graduate programs you might want to consider, but these
are the ones that first come to my mind. Obviously, there are many I know
nothing about, and some may be very fine programs as well. I might suggest
that before you make a final selection, you come back to the internet, on
this list, on rec.crafts.jewelry ; rec.crafts.metalworking ; and through
the artmetal listserve for advice. Between those sources, you should be able
to find plenty of discussion about almost any school you are interested in.
And feel free to E-mail me directly with any questions you think I might
know the answer to. I might be able to more precisely direct you to answers
about specific schools.
Hope this helps.