Episode #67 – Charles Lewton Brain “If you make the same mistake three times, it’s a technique”

Charles Lewton Brain is an internationally known artist and master goldsmith, an author of 7 books and numerous magazine articles, owner of his own publishing company, BrainPress, College teacher and head of the Jewelry Metals Program at Alberta College of Art and Design, a co-founder of the Ganoskin Project which since 1987 has grown to be the largest educational website in the world for jewelers, and the innovative inventor of the fold forming technique.  His education started with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, then a Master of Fine Arts from SUNY of New Paltz, NY then he continued his education in Europe, Germany and Great Britain.

Charles Lewton BrainT fold bracelet by Charles Lewton BrainFolded bowl Charles Lewton Brain

What We Talked About

  • Charles is currently teaching at an Art College and he tells his students to think of different ways a project can be re-used to aid in being efficient.
  • He still writes for a variety of publications, currently the Sante Fe Symposium Conference has asked him to write a chapter in their annual book they publish.
  • Charles talks about the time he spent in a German art school, which is where he came up with the fold forming technique. Many revered jewelers also attended this same school such as Alan Revere, Charon Kransen, and Harold O’Conner.
  • The first exposure of Charles demonstrating the fold forming technique was in 1985 at the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference in Toronto, Canada.
  • The first exposure that blacksmiths had to fold forming was when Charles demonstrated at the 1987 ABANA Conference in Alfred, NY. Tom Joyce was assisting Charles with fold forming steel on the power hammer.
  • His roommate at this 1987 conference was Daryl Meier, who was a skilled bladesmith that was well known in the bladesmith world, the jewelry world and the blacksmith world. They both noticed that in the blacksmith world there was no hierarchy of skilled to beginner, everyone would talk to everyone.
  • Charles recommends artists schedule an hour a week of playtime in the shop with no particular goal in mind, from this ideas are born.
  • Pay attention to your mistakes instead of rejecting them, he says “If you make the same mistake three times, it’s a technique”.

 

Guest Links

His website – http://www.brainpress.com/

The Ganoskin Project website – http://www.ganoksin.com/

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Conference ABANA Conf Poster

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About the author

Victoria Patti -

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2 comments

Charles Lewton – Brain was my first pod cast experience and I will return to the site. Thanks it was fantastic hearing his thoughts. It is a technique I use and teach myself here at Yavapai College in Prescott AZ. I am excited about meeting Charles this summer.

Victoria Patti / Reply

Thanks Chris! I hope you get to work with Charles in one of his workshops at ABANA. See you there!

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