Stephen Walker
  Workshop,  lecture and teaching schedule

August 7 - 11 2009 Workshop, Celtic Jewelry Rediscovered; design and cast chip carving, Peters Valley , Layton, NJ.  Students will learn the basics of Celtic design as applied to jewelry and fine metalwork. The course will include several techniques for executing Celtic design in metal. For the first time ever Stephen Walker will teach the practical method of making molds for cast chip carving that he has rediscovered through his study of medieval masterpieces. The chip carving technique differs greatly in its actual method from the well known wood carving technique of the same name. This skill may be adapted to sculpture and other cast materials as well as fine jewelry and students with differing sets of skills and goals are encouraged to attend.

June 28, 2007 Lecture, Mold making for cast chip carving in early medieval jewelry. Conference of Irish Medievalists, St. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland.

August 18 - 22, 2006 Workshop, Mokume and Mixed Metals Techniques. Peters Valley , Layton, NJ

August 26, 2006 Lecture, Weaving the Endless Knot; Celtic art as an emblem of heritage Abstract
Us and Them: perceptions, depictions and descriptions of Celts
The University of Melbourne, Australia, Thursday 24 August to Saturday 26 August 2006 

Us and Them Conference
www.history.unimelb.edu.au/irish/usandthem

Contact: s_walker14806(at)yahoo.com  http://www.celtarts.com

Stephen Walker
1 Main Street, Andover NY 14806
Ph: 607-478-8567 Fax 607-478-8564

Available to lead workshops or lecture on the following topics:

Hands-on workshops:

    Mixed metal techniques include married metals, mokume-gane and roller inlay. The pallet of colors offered by different metals such as colored golds, or nonferrous metals such as silver, copper and nickel alloys offeres exciting graphic possibilities. Learn to combine metals by the soldered "marriage of metals" technique, roller inlay and by the use of mokume-gane. Mokume-gane is in itself an advanced technique that may be offered as a stand-alone workshop. Depending on the time available and level of the students, mokume may also be treated as a demonstration within a broader workshop on mixed metals technique or as a material to be acquired by purchase with the course emphasis on its use rather than manufacture.

    Mold making for lost wax casting. The quality of rubber molds for affect both the quality and efficiency of the production and finishing of multiples made by lost wax casting. Even if a designer-craftsman does not do their own casting, they may find it very useful to remain in control of the mold making part of the process. Learn to control parting lines and sprue locations and avoid badly made molds that compromise quality and cost time.

    Celtic Design There are several competing methods of creating traditional Celtic designs. Learn the basics of knotwork, spiral and zoomorphic designs, with the emphasis on  creating original work within an authentic tradition.

Lecture Topics:

    Workshop efficiency in the small shop. The work ethic of the Arts and Crafts Movement sends a very confusing message to the hand craftsman about what is and is not a desirable level of technology in the workshop. Explore time saving options that can save you time, money and improve quality at the same time you protect your hands from unnecessary wear and tear. Emphasis on jigs and fixtures, work batch size, workspace efficiency, employee management and shop safety. 

    Mail order marketing of crafts. Catalog and internet marketing can be a profitable alternative to retail shows or wholesale. But it is not for everyone. Learn the basics about advertising, mailing list management, shipping and credit card payment. This talk is designed for the beginner to avoid disastrous mistakes born of not understanding how mail-order marketing really works.

    The Modern History of Celtic Art, the Celtic Revival since 1850. The current Renaissance in Celtic Art is an echo of a similar movement that happened in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Learn how the Celtic artists of today draw from roots in the cultural, religious and social movements of  the past 150 years.

    Early Medieval Chip-carving. The method of creating molds for cast "chip-carving" or kerbschnitt work went out of use in Northwestern Europe about a thousand years ago. Through observation and study of historical objects such as the Tara Brooch, the Ardagh Chalice and similar treasures from the early medieval Insular tradition, I have reconstructed the technique. Through experiments with both traditional and modern materials the technique has been demonstrated to be not only of historical interest, but also of practical use to modern craftsmen.

  Weaving the Endless Knot; Celtic art as an emblem of heritage, 
Conference Paper,
The University of Melbourne, Thursday 24 August to Saturday 26 August 2006 Us and Them Conference www.history.unimelb.edu.au/irish/usandthem

Abstract:

Celtic art and design is not only an historical curiosity, but also a living tradition, which by its very style makes a conscious connection with the distant past. Among the powerful myths that have been handed down to us about Celtic art and design are beliefs about primal native originality of motif and style, nearly supernatural skill of the creators and mysterious symbolic meaning. The 19th century Celtic Revival firmly established the artistic style as emblematic of national or cultural heritage. This revival itself was a reflection of two earlier revivals of this archaic tradition that used the art to connect to glories of the past and exhibit evidence of a proud heritage.

 Often contrary to facts as understood by archeologists and scholars, we can trace a modern folklore of what Celtic art is all about from nationalist ideas like those promoted by the 19th century Irish artist Henry O’Neill.  By the later 20th century, Celtic design, as well as these ideas, had spread and evolved to mean various things to a diverse audience that includes tourists, Diaspora Celts, Neopagans and native citizens as expressions of patriotic, religious and cultural sentiments.