Coursework in the Metals Department creates an atmosphere for students to freely explore concepts through the creation of jewelry and sculptural objects.  The program progresses through traditional metalsmithing techniques such as fabrication, casting, enameling, patination, and forming, while also encouraging the exploration of non-traditional approaches to jewelry/object-making through the experimentation of material, scale, and presentation.  The emphasis provides students an introduction to the history and traditions of metalsmithing while they learn contemporary techniques and practices.  Students completing the emphasis possess an overall understanding of the discipline of metals, work with faculty to establish a personal direction based on their studio research and practice, and have the demonstrated confidence to talk about their work in a professional context.


Metals students will:

  • Exhibit competency in fundamental metalsmithing/jewelry-making skills: fabrication and construction, layout, silver-soldering, riveting, sawing, piercing, surface embellishment, basic forming and forging, surface finishing, and patinas.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and safety in the use of tools, techniques, and processes including their roles in the production of work from concept to finished object.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for both contemporary and historical works in the art jewelry and metalsmithing field.  
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate and work through concepts as it relates to design fundamentals, material properties, their technical competencies, personal style, and time constraints.

All emphases provide the following outcomes:

  • Understand basic design principles, particularly as related to their chosen emphasis.
  • Understand the place in which the emphasis exists within the history of art, design, and culture.
  • The ability to use materials, equipment, and library resources related to their study.
  • The ability to work competently within the studio environment, with knowledge of practices to ensure their safety.
  • The ability to demonstrate functional knowledge of basic business practices specific to their chosen emphasis.
  • Completion of a final project that demonstrates facility in the emphasis.




Jillian Sortore - Chair, Metals
Jillian holds an MFA with Metalsmithing emphasis from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and a BFA in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University. Recent exhibitions include Adorned Spaces; Society of North American Goldsmiths conference, New Orleans, LA; Melange, Clamplight Gallery, San Antonio; and Craft Texas, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX.  

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 Jillian Sortore - Chair, Metals

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