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November 5th - James Thurman - Metal Spinning

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Photos of the Car Turning Open Shop  7/21/2018

   James Thurman is an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas’ College of Visual Arts & Design, where he is faculty in both 3D Foundations and Metalsmithing/Jewelry.  He received his MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, his BFA in Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University, and his machinist certification from MTSI.   In 2012 and 2016, he was a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in Istanbul, Turkey. A highly active studio artist for nearly twenty years, his work has been included in hundreds of national and international curated and juried exhibitions as well as ten solo exhibitions in the past ten years.  He is also well-known for Thurmanite, a recycled paper and bio-resin composite material that he developed and trademarked.
   James has been incorporating handspun metal components in his jewelry and tableware for over twenty years.  Most pieces are one-of-a-kind designs that utilize uncommon spinning techniques like deliberate rippling, compression, and use of pre-perforated metal. Recently, he has been using increasing amounts of pewter in his metalwork.


   Metalspinning is a process of forming metal vessels from flat disks and can be easily done on a woodlathe with only a few additional tools (a specialized tool rest, a handheld spinning tool, and wooden forms to hold the metal in place). A variety of metals can be spun but pewter is an excellent metal for metalspinning because it does not harden while being formed. This demonstration will cover the tools necessary to begin metalspinning and basic techniques used to create a variety of spun metal forms.