The UAF Metalsmithing program offers BFA and MFA degrees in Metalsmithing. The undergraduate studio courses in jewelry making and metal fabrication are offered at three skill levels. Beginning students learn to manipulate flat nonferrous sheet and wire; Intermediate students learn toolmaking, casting, and cold connections; Advanced students learn to manipulate metal with hammers, heat, chemicals, and other tools. Students learn critical thinking in designing functional/non-functional objects and through problem-solving during the project’s completion. Students are encouraged to develop their aesthetics and technical skills through experimentation in design and use of materials.
Beginning students learn to pierce, saw, file, sand, solder, buff and polish non-ferrous metal. They learn to construct a bezel and set a cabochon, cut and polish cabochons, and fabricate a cylindrical container. Intermediate students add to their skill set by making their own steel tools or stamps, as well as learning how to cast using cuttlefish, sand casting, and lost wax casting. Intermediates also learn cold connection techniques and the fabrication of a angular container. Advanced students design projects based on learning new skills: forging, raising and sinking, enameling, reticulation, fusing, foldforming, advanced stone setting techniques, die forming, fusing mokume gane, and exploring alternate materials such as concrete, anodized titanium, and acrylic resin.