Talking with Charles Lewton Brain
Talking with Mr. Charles Lewton-Brain was a major treat! After devouring his book, FoldForming, I was excited to talk one-on-one.
Here is what Alan Revere, master goldsmith and award-winning jewelry designer, has to say about Charles:
“He is one of the most knowledgeable, most celebrated and most accessible metalsmiths in North America. Above all, his most significant contribution has been to invent a way of working metal that never existed before: fold-forming.”
I find Mr. Lewton-Brain incredibly articulate and generous with sharing his knowledge and genius. His words expose truth about the act of creating, with soulful worth, no matter what your medium.
Master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain trained, studied and worked in Germany, Canada and the United States to learn the skills he uses. His work is concerned with Process and Beauty as well as function. He thinks of decision making in metal as drawing, working with the same sensibilities of mark and commitment as when working with pen and ink. Many pieces use a 'printmaking' approach to working metal, that is that the work is done in separate steps in groups and layers building towards the finished piece. Process and the tensions between nature and structure are part of his concerns. His work and writing on the results of his technical research have been published internationally. In 1994 Brain Press was established which documents, publishes and markets the results of his research activities. He has worked on the Cage Series of work extensively since 2001. Images of some Cage work is here Slide Show. He traveled to Thailand to visit Dr. Hanuman Aspler, his colleague, in the spring of 2008. This journey contributed to a major exhibition and catalog (River Trip) and rekindled his interest in chasing. Over 700 images from the journey are here. He also published two major books in 2008, Foldforming with Brynmorgen Press, and The Jeweler's Bench Book with MJSA Press.
A distinguished Fellow of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain he has lectured and taught in England, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia. He is a consultant on the jewelry field, and has written expert witness reports regarding health and safety in US legal cases. He developed 'fold-forming', a series of techniques new to the metalsmithing field which allow rapid development of three dimensional surfaces and structures using simple equipment.