Metal BFA

Yingqi Zhao
Leah Bella Zinder
Xin Ruan
Ana Sofia Navarro
Yuqi Yao

Philosophy

The Metal Program in the School of Art + Design is a comprehensive and professional program of study that encourages and supports aesthetic and conceptual development, technical experimentation and research, personal expression, and technical competency. The program acknowledges and celebrates the diverse and inclusive nature of the field of contemporary metalwork and supports investigations of jewelry, hollowware, objects, and small sculpture. The program simultaneously addresses traditional and new approaches to art making. Traditional approaches include, but are not limited to, raising, casting, enameling, electroforming, fabrication, anodizing, tool making, chasing and repoussé, and granulation. New approaches include, but are not limited to, 3D technologies, resin, porcelain, papermaking, felting, and alternative materials.

The Metal Program is designed for students who are inquisitive, motivated, and self-disciplined. The moderate sized program promotes a vigorous exchange of ideas while providing an intimate, supportive, and nurturing environment that enables continuous faculty and student interaction. The faculty in Metal encourages diversity and respects individual artistic directions while providing challenges necessary for growth. The Metal Program prepares students for future distinctive and professional achievement in the field of contemporary jewelry and metalwork.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the Metal Program in the top 10 of metal programs in the United States.

BFA Curriculum in Metal

The first year Foundation Program in the School of Art and Design provides the first year student with an introduction to visual literacy, skill development, time management discipline, developing a critical dialogue, and understanding of historical precedent.

Second year sophomore majors in the Metal Program enroll in ARTS 230 Jewelry/Metals I and ARTS 231 Jewelry/Metals II. The purpose and goals of these course are to provide the student the opportunity to:

  • Begin to explore metal as a medium of personal aesthetic expression.
  • Begin to develop skills and a technical competency in working with metal.
  • Begin to introduce creative and technical experimentation.
  • Begin to cultivate commitment and professionalism.
  • Begin to expand awareness of historical and contemporary movements in metal.
  • Begin to explore metal's relationship to other art forms.

Projects are assignment driven with an emphasis on technical competency.

Third year junior majors in the Metal Program enroll in ARTS 330 Jewelry/Metals III and ARTS 331 Jewelry/Metals IV.
Fourth year senior majors in the Metal Program enroll in ARTS 430 Jewelry/Metals V and Jewelry/Metals VI.
The purpose and goals of these course are to provide the student the opportunity to:

  • Further explore metal as a medium of personal aesthetic expression.
  • Further develop skills and a technical competency in working with metal.
  • Further expand on creative and technical experimentation.
  • Further cultivate commitment and professionalism.
  • Further expand awareness of historical and contemporary movements in metal
  • Further explore metal's relationship to other art forms.

Projects are assignment driven with an equal emphasis on technical competency and conceptual strategies.

ARTS 430 Jewelry/Metals V projects are assignment driven with an emphasis on conceptual strategies over technical competency. ARTS 431 Jewelry/Metals VI is the capstone course for the major and provides the student the opportunity to produce a thesis body of work and professional portfolio.

Simultaneously, third year junior majors and fourth year senior majors enroll in ARTS 332 Metal Technology, ARTS 333 Enameling, and ARTS 334 Metalsmithing.

ARTS 332 Metal Technology provides the student the opportunity to:

  • Research a material or process of personal interest.
  • Experiment with the intent to discover something new.
  • Develop new skills and a technical competency in working with metal or alternative materials.
  • Cultivate commitment and professionalism.
  • Expand technical awareness.

An intensive summer workshop program taken at a recognized crafts center (i.e. Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts) or a summer internship fulfills the requirement.

ARTS 333 Enameling provides the student the opportunity to:

  • Explore enamel as a medium of personal aesthetic expression.
  • Develop skills and a technical competency in working with enamel.
  • Experience creative and technical experimentation.
  • Cultivate commitment and professionalism.
  • Expand awareness of historical and contemporary movements in enamel.
  • Explore enamel's relationship to other art forms.

ARTS 334 Metalsmithing provides the student the opportunity to:

  • Explore metalsmithing as a medium of personal aesthetic expression.
  • Develop metalsmithing skills and a technical competency in working with metal through traditional forming processes (sinking, angle raising, crimping, stretching, seaming and snarling, cold forging, tube and spiculum forming, planishing, surface embellishment, and patination).
  • Experience creative and technical experimentation.
  • Cultivate commitment and professionalism.
  • Expand awareness of historical and contemporary movements in metalsmithing.
  • Explore the relationship of metalsmithing to other art forms.

metal studio 960

BFA Metal majors are provided 24 hour access to the Metal Studio. Each major is provided with a private bench in a shared studio. Metal majors are encouraged to attend the annual conference and meeting of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art Exposition in Chicago. Each semester the Metal Program organizes fieldtrips to art expositions, museums and craft centers and to lectures at other universities. Metal majors are encouraged to enter competitive exhibitions and are required to exhibit work in the annual metal exhibition in the Link Gallery. A critic is hosted each spring to critique junior and senior level work. Metal majors participate in technical workshops and attend lectures hosted by the Metal Program each semester. Metal majors are encouraged to participate in the annual jewelry sale in the Link Gallery. This provides the student with practical experience. Metal majors attend lectures in Art + Design and on the University of Illinois campus. The Metal Program hosts long-term international visiting faculty when possible. Metal majors work closely with MFA candidates in the program. Metal majors are encouraged to enroll in summer workshops at recognized craft centers and/or are encouraged to pursue summer internships. Metal majors are instrumental in helping to design the annual metal exhibition in the Link Gallery as this provides practical experience.

Thesis

A BFA major in the Metal Program is required to have a thesis body of work consisting of five exhibition works and a public exhibition of those works, a portfolio consisting of twenty images of creative work, image list, artist statement, resume, biographical statement, cover letter, printed exhibition announcement or printed promotional piece, soft or hard cover iPhoto or MyPublisher book.

Meet Crafts faculty