The Bench
Southwest Makers Symposium

Santa Fe, New Mexico
July 26-28, 2019

Registration: $130 (extended through 7/20/19)
Registration with enamel pin: $155
Student Registration:




Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown, co-founders of the Smitten Forum residency project, collaborate with form & concept gallery on this dynamic symposium and group exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Unfolding on the final weekend of July 2019, the event series will unite over 70 makers who have participated in Smitten Forum, along with an international creative community that surrounds them.

The Bench: Southwest Makers Symposium features lectures, demonstrations, and workshops by prominent names in the field of jewelry and metalsmithing. Six Years Smitten, a cumulative exhibition at form & concept that opens in conjunction with The Bench, spotlights new work by past participants of Smitten Forum. In celebration of this momentous weekend, Sandy Parr has designed an enamel pin that is available with registration (click here to register with added pin purchase) or as a separate purchase (click here to purchase a pin without registering).

Image (top right): Enamel pin design by Sandy Parr, available for $25.


The Schedule

Thursday, July 25
Location: form & concept

Friday, July 26
Location: form & concept

Saturday, July 27 | Symposium
Warehouse 21

  • The Bench: Southwest Makers Symposium (Day 1): 9:30 am – 6 pm

Sunday, July 28 | Symposium
Location: Various

  • The Bench: Southwest Makers Symposium (Day 2): Warehouse 21, 10 am – 6 pm
  • The Bench VIP Closing Celebration: form & concept, 6 – 8 pm

Monday, July 29
form & concept

Tuesday, July 30
form & concept

The Workshops

Registration pages for The Bench workshops are now live! Learn more and register at the links below.

Pre-Symposium Workshops

From RAW to Refined — Documenting 2D and 3D artwork with a DSLR.
Instructor: Kristina Smith
Dates: Thursday, July 25 – Friday, July 26, 9 am – 4 pm
Max Capacity: 14
Price: $250

This intensive 2-day workshop will cover the fundamentals of photographic documentation using a DSLR camera for both 2D and 3D media. The workshop will also go over file preparation, image processing using Adobe Photoshop and output, as well as basic lighting techniques (natural and added light).

Participants will gain an understanding of terminology, lighting and processing tips and tricks, and storage methods through demonstrations, lectures, and hands on activities.

This workshop is ideal for all art makers interested in learning the basics of how to effectively document their work. Please note that students are expected to bring a laptop, DSLR camera and other materials (full list at the link below).

Click here to learn more & register.

Soft Circuit Dolls — Create an interactive doll using conductive threads & fabrics.

Instructor: Nicole Jacquard
Date: Friday, July 26, 9 am – 12 pm
Max Capacity: 15
Price: $85 (registration + materials fee)

Come experience the satisfying feeling of creating an electric circuit using conductive threads and fabric that will put a sparkle in someone’s eyes.

Click here to learn more & register.

Post-Symposium Workshops

Sustainable Belt Buckles — From recycled materials & found objects.

Instructor: Bryan Petersen
Dates: Monday, July 29 – Tuesday, July 30, 10 am – 4 pm (both days)
Max Capacity: 15
Price: $220 (registration + materials fee)

Learn how to make a unisex piece of jewelry that looks good while holding your pants up!

Custom findings appropriate for recycled material buckles will be provided allowing us to incorporate found and recycled materials, such as reflective aluminum street signs, tin cans, bottle caps, license plates, and found nick knacks. Cold connections such as handmade wire rivets (flush, domed head, blind, or tube style,) machine fasteners (micro-fasteners) will also be utilized to join these diverse materials.

Beginning through advanced levels are welcome. Please note that students are expected to bring a jewelers saw and blades, several different pliers, needle files, and other materials (full list at the link below).

Click here to learn more & register.

Business Coaching for Makers
Instructor: Heidi Lowe
Date: Monday, July 29, 9 am – 1 pm
Max Capacity: 15
Price: $150

Creators can sometimes take on the mindset perspective of lack, of having some form of deficit. In reality, we can shift our mindset and cultivate abundance. In Abundance for Creatives, we will look at our goals and dreams for the future. We will consider where we are, what is working, and what needs improvement. We will cover mind reframing techniques, including meditation and visualization, as well as logistics so that you can put into motion the things you want to attract. Abundance for Creatives will provide tools for you to have the most successful year to date.

Click here to learn more & register.

The Speakers

Robert Ebendorf

Land of Enchantment

Robert Ebendorf and Andrew Connors co-headline this opening keynote. Ebendorf will discuss how the railway introduced to many, the richness of the crafts in the South West. It will also explore the the American Indians’ work in basket weaving, metalsmithing and pottery.

Sponsored by The Enamel Arts Foundation.

Andrew Connors
American Jewelry from New Mexico

The keynote continues with a talk by Andrew Connors, Director of Albuquerque Museum and Curator of the 2018 exhibition American Jewelry from New Mexico. Building on Robert Ebendorf’s talk, Connors will discuss his research related to the exhibition. The slide illustrated talk will provide an overview to the history of jewelry and adornment in New Mexico.

Sponsored by Marty Kaplan.

Kristin Beeler
Jewelry as a Mnemonic Object

From tying a string around your finger to family heirlooms, jewelry and memory interlock with meaning. The foundation of this talk is an overview of the relationship between jewelry and memory. Kristin will introduce her ongoing body of work Archive of Rag and Bone, related research and touch on her collaboration with the Materializing Memories Research Programme.

This lecture will focus on jewelry’s role as a memory object and how jewelry serves to thicken the memory event.  A range of threads explores the complex relationship between memory, jewelry objects and the domain of intimate recollection.  Through contemporary and historical examples, assumptions about jewelry, memory and the interaction between the two will be investigated.

Jack da Silva
Moving Metal with Your Mind (and a hammer): With Anticlastic and Jack da Silva

Jack da Silva will explore forming metal using anticlastic/synclastic techniques. The forms possible provide a wide range for creating decorative, personal, narrative, wearable pieces, hand-held or tabletop functional and sculptural objects. Hand grip, arm/body posture and pattern development will also be discussed.

Ben Dory
In Flux- Rethinking Granulation

Ben Dory will present and demonstrate techniques he has found for traditional granulation through in-depth research. There will discussion of the flux/gluing/eutectic mechanism in which a large air of mystery still prevails. The process of granulation can be as introductory as learning to solder, rivet, etc. Ben’s goal is to change the perception of granulation away from its highly specialized connotations and make it more accessible to metalsmiths, especially those new to the field. 

Rebekah Frank
Jumping the Gap: A Discussion of arts education, navigating the marketplace, and developing relationships

An artist’s life is an adventurous one. How to make your own opportunities and create your individual adventures by thinking outside the box. Whether you make jewelry or other art forms, there is no “right” way to make your life. Rebekah will share some insights from her unorthodox path from artisan blacksmith to jewelry artist to arts administrator.

Don Friedlich
Things That Make My Heart Beat Faster

Don Friedlich will be speaking about his one of a kind and production jewelry, as well as his professional life and inspirations, ranging from the landscape of the American Southwest, to the sculpture of Isamu Noguchi and James Turrell, to the Zen gardens of Japan. 

His latest glass jewelry, from the Lumina Series, focuses on the fact that jewelry is viewed in motion and exploits this movement in such a manner that the brooches appear to dramatically in shift color when viewed at different angles. Others shift in color intensity. From some angles they appear almost like internally lit neon tubes while from other angles the color is quite muted or disappears entirely. They are in part inspired by the effect of sunlight that is reflected by the moon and at times, diffused by cloud cover or fog.

Nicole Jacquard
Scotland: Adventures in Gin, Jute and the Highlands 

Trying to make work overseas while being distracted by; the landscape, history and heavy water…. Nicole will discuss her recent Fulbright to Scotland conducting research at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, and the work that is still surfacing from the fellowship.

Masako Onodera
Alluring Decay

Objects exist for decades, centuries, or even millennia. Their functions transform over time from utilitarian to symbolic, from direct use by their owners to a ritualized, indirect use. They are loaded with stories of their functions and the traces of hands that have touched them.  Their quiet, flexible but robust presence is attractive. In her presentation, Masako will focus on examples of objects marked by the wear and tear of use and analyze how these objects inspire her as an artist.

Rachel Shimpock
$1.00 to Add Extra Cheese

Throughout the duration of the Symposium, Rachel will be our MC. With her wit and charm, Rachel will entertain and excite while introducing our other speakers and sharing pertinent information. She will also have several “shorts” throughout the programming; sharing insights of our field and her experiences.

co-sponsored by JEWELRY Edition and The Enamel Arts Foundation.

Anika Smulovitz
Delicate Regard

From keys, chocolate, lips, collars and hair, to doves, movement, ritual, and hope, this presentation will share Anika’s inspiration and creative drive from her BFA project (1997) to the present.  Looking back at 20+ years of searching – she still have no answers and many more questions.  With each body of work Anika continues to pose questions through material choices, hammering, soldering, forming and sanding.

The Artists

Six Years Smitten Exhibition Artists

Michael Dale Bernard, Nisa Blackmon, Sara Brown, Jim Charles, Kat Cole, Bob Ebendorf, Christopher A. Hentz, Mi-Sook Hur, Nicole Jacquard, Andrew Kuebeck, Zachery Lechtenberg, Barbara McFadyen, Barbara Minor, Mary Hallam Pearse, Marissa Saneholtz, Marlene True, Laura Wood, Autumn Brown, Liz Clark, Ben Dory, Shingo Furukawa, Arthur Hash, Anya Kivarkis, Galatea Kontos, Tim Lazure, Tara Locklear, Kathryn Osgood, April Wood, Ken Bova, Motoko Furuhashi, Deb Karash, Sharon Massey, Masako Onodera, Kerianne Quick, Jane Ritchie, Demitra Thomloudis, Ellen Wieske, Martha Banyas, Andy Cooperman, Nicole DesChamps-Benke, Maria Eife, Jeff Georgantes, Julia Heineccius, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Heidi Lowe, Beverly Penn, Rachel Shimpock, Katja Toporski, Leia Zumbro, Melissa Cameron, Cappy Counard, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Sarah Perkins, Bryan Petersen, Anika Smulovitz, Kristin Beeler, Marilyn da Silva, Jack da Silva, Abigail Heuss, Tova Lund, Dawn Nakanishi, Heather Nuber, Kris Patzlaff, Jan Smith, Kristina Smith, Rachelle Thiewes, Myung Urso

The Experience

Register now and you will receive a forthcoming registration packet including:

  • Access to all lectures and demonstrations for The Bench symposium (July 26-28). Pre and Post-Symposium Workshops require separate registration.
  • A finalized schedule for The Bench and Six Years Smitten.
  • An official The Bench travel guide for Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Access to discounts for The Bench partner hotels in Santa Fe (see below).
  • Email updates on The Bench and Six Years Smitten.

The Bench has partnered with Hotel Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sage Inn to offer special rates for symposium participants. If you’re on a budget, consider making a reservation at Motel 6 Santa Fe Plaza- Downtown. All three hotels are within walking distance of form & concept gallery and other venues for The Bench and Six Years Smitten. Look below for details on securing special rates at Hotel Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sage Inn. Hotel discounts depend on availability, so book early!

  • Hotel Santa Fe: Make your reservation by phone, and mention ‘Six Years Smitten’ to receive a special rate.
  • Santa Fe Sage Inn: Make your reservation by phone, and mention ‘Zane Bennett Contemporary Art’ to receive a special rate.
  • Motel 6 Santa Fe Plaza- Downtown: There are no special rates available, but this option is great if you’re on a budget!

The Fine Print

This page represents a general overview of The Bench: Southwest Makers Symposium and Six Years Smitten, and is subject to change. Additional details are forthcoming, including specific locations for The Bench events. Registration includes access to all lectures and demonstrations, but pre and post-symposium workshops require separate registration (see “Workshops” section above). Six Years Smitten and related events will take place at form & concept gallery, 435 S. Guadalupe St., in the Santa Fe Railyard. Registration fee does not cover travel expenses such as airfare, lodging, or meals. Hotel discounts depend on availability, so book early!




sponsored by
Rio Grande- The Bench Symposium Sponsor- Smitten Forum- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico