Specializing in mixing gold with other metals and everyday objects to create richly detailed, unexpected pieces of jewelry, Andy Cooperman works out of a studio in Seattle, where he shares a creative community with like-minded metalsmiths and jewelers.
“I enjoy working with different tones of gold and how they contrast with darker tones of other materials, such as plastics and other substances,” Andy says. “I like to use compositions of 18K gold, sterling, bronze, cremains and watch crystals, which have been used in commissioned projects such as ‘Reliquary Neckpiece.’ I also like that gold can be spot heated, which allows me to superheat a portion and break out that semi-molten area, leaving the rest relatively intact.”
In addition to creating jewelry and lecturing around the country on his craft, Andy teaches seminars and workshops, helping students develop problem-solving skills that enhance their creativity. His work is on permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Gold is “a beautiful material aesthetically,” Andy says. “I use 18K yellow, several 14K whites and 14K rose primarily. Gold is a pretty forgiving material. It is really sweet to forge and weld. It recycles nicely, and I reuse scrap all the time, melting and pouring new ingots from which I make rod, wire, and sheet.”
Andy hand-fabricates nearly every element in his pieces, rarely relying on casting or other manufacturing processes. He often combines gold with sterling, bronze, diamonds and other gemstones, such as opal.
You can see more of Andy’s work at www.andycooperman.com.