Meet the Metal Arts Academy Team
MAA was born out of a desire to train and educate in the art of fine jewelry fabrication, design and the metal arts. Our goal is to provide students with the skills and guidance needed to venture into the world of metal sculpture, to begin a career as a bench jeweler or to just enjoy continuous learning and working with their hands, all while bringing forth their creative ideas. At MAA, we take pride in the knowledge that our instructors bring to each student. Attention to detail and the finished product is as important to each piece as the design and the materials. Students learn the basics of jewelry making through repetition which facilitates perfecting skills and strengthening technique. Our jewelry program includes fabrication, design, stone setting, wax carving, casting, carving, chasing and piercing. The jewelry curriculum includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The metal arts curriculum includes chasing and repousse, sculpting, raising, tool embellishment and coppersmithing. We are proud to offer students the opportunity to learn a skilled trade in the time honored craft of handmade jewelry and the metal arts. We are eager to teach the next generation of craftsmen and women who honor their field with knowledge, skill and passion.
Michael R. Kosinski
Michael began at the age of 16 at the Institute of Jewelry Training. Eager to continue to develop his skills, he apprenticed with VanCraeynest, Inc. in San Francisco for 6 years. It was here where he learned the fine art of jewelry making based on old world techniques such as forging, toolmaking, carving and chasing. As an apprentice he was given the gift of time and repetition in learning new skills. This is the basis of his early career and it shows throughout his work. Michael went out on his own in 1999 and formed Michael R. Kosinski, Fine Jewelry Design / Manufacture. Several years ago he began sharing his knowledge with students and discovered a passion for teaching. Michael is the co-founder of Metal Arts Academy.
I am a freehand raising and chasing artist. This means using hand tools to forge and chisel metal over pitch (rosin) to create sculpture. I have a particular focus in exploring the natural boundaries of what a single unbroken piece of material can create. I’ve been forging sheet metals since 2005, my gateway into metal art was making steel armour for full contact sports which allowed me to pay my way through college. In 2011 it was traditional armouring techniques that introduced me to a much larger world of raising and chasing. Expanding my practice to incorporate “pitch” in 2013 radically and permanently changed the access to my work for the better. My works mission statement has grown to apply these recognizably ancient human powered techniques to revitalize the relationship homo sapien has with raw materials. Traditions are only as healthy as the people who keep them alive, and that is the journey I want to share.
Keith is trained in Waldorf education for both elementary grades and high school as well as trained in the practical art of therapeutic education from the UK. Keith is a self-taught coppersmith and blacksmith specializing in 1500 BC blacksmithing. Keith has taught blacksmithing in Japan and across the United States. Keith works with students around the country teaching woodworking and Waldorf crafts and he teaches young adults with autism transferable skills through crafts. His love of learning shows in his many skills which he shares with his students. He is also a self-taught beekeeper, the first and currently the only Demeter certified Biodynamic beekeeper in the US.
Amber Lidskin is a local jewelry fabricator, designer and artist in the Sacramento Valley. Her artistic inclinations have been with her since she was in her late teens and early 20s. Jewelry fabrication started as a side summer job while off from college, and the interest has never left her. At their initial meeting, Amber and Michael Kosinski, co-founder of MAA, found a common goal, they both wanted to teach people how to make hand fabricated jewelry and help them create something beautiful and interesting. Ambers side of jewelry making has a different aspect of fabrication and can enhance the skill set of anyone looking at metal arts as an avocation or as a professional jeweler.