SSL Certificate

Marlene True

The Art of Tin Jewelry Making

Course Description
Working with repurposed materials, such as tin cans and found objects, presents special challenges, and in this class we will learn to address issues associated with them. First is design: how do you bring different materials together to create a unified piece of jewelry? I will take participants step by step through my own personal design process and work with each person individually and as a group in design development. Connecting one element to another is something we will give special attention to, because well thought out connections help to create a harmony in your work. This is an area where personal creativity can distinguish and set your work apart. In the course of the workshop participants will also learn the techniques of forming, low temp soldering, simple hinge making, and image transfer using repurposed tin cans.

Artist's Biography
Marlene True is a Metalsmith, and with the eye of the magpie, an obsessive collector of colorful tin cans and other ephemera. Marlene earned her MFA at East Carolina University and her BFA at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

She maintains her studio and is the Executive Director for Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC. She has taught workshops and lectured at colleges, universities, and art schools both in the US and abroad including Pocosin Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Her work is in many publications and various collections throughout the US, most recently the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and The Racine Museum of Art in Racine, Wisconsin.

Marlene is a member of The Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Artist's Statement
My jewelry presents an ongoing passion, curiosity, and exploration in material transformation. I fabricate with steel from old tin cans, toys, and signs and also use them as a source for color, images, and text. These utilitarian objects have their own histories that speak to the passage of time seen through fading paint, scratches, and rust. Acting as a bridge to memory, these objects with their faded colors and imperfect surfaces are reminiscent of home, of old and worn farm equipment, of work of the hand, the garden, and its keepers. Meshing repurposed materials with an undercurrent of past and present is an act of redemption for both memory and material in the process of making.

Artist's Website

Supply List:
10-15 Tin cans – preferably those with colorful labels painted on the surface by the manufacturer (can be found at Antique stores, thrift stores, or on Ebay - - search on vintage tin cans and you will find lots of options)
Found objects – shells, rusty washers, photographs, personal mementos, old broken jewelry, stones or anything you find interesting.
* six dozen 6/0 saw blades (source: Rio Grande ( Item #110302)
* three dozen 4/0 saw blades (source: Rio Grande Item #110304)
* 220, 400, 600 sandpaper – various grits for finishing
* A personal tool kit with these essentials: jeweler’s saw, needle files & hand files, center punch, steel bench block, notebook/sketchbook, safety glasses, small hand towel, chasing hammer or riveting hammer, chain nose pliers (2). Please bring any of your favorite tools that you like to work with.
* Rubber Cement
* 6” steel ruler
Optional items:
20 or 22ga copper or sterling silver sheet (this item is optional and not necessary, but if you would like to incorporate it in your jewelry, please bring your own copper or silver; Rio Grande is a source for this)
Tin snips (optional) (source: Rio Grande Item #111236)
Starrett Dividers or like item (source Rio Grande Item #116171)
* Items marked with an asterisk* are available for purchase in the Shakerag store.
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