Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid
Betty Helen Longhi
I am fascinated by the qualities of light, color and reflection that are possible in metal and the sense of preciousness and celebration these surfaces impart. Forming and forging the metal are my preferred ways of working as these methods best allow me to make the fluid lines I prefer. There is great satisfaction in producing a flowing graceful form from a hard flat sheet of metal or a stiff straight piece of wire.
My goal as a teacher is to transfer my excitement about this process to my students. Each workshop is a new beginning, an opportunity not only to open the minds of my students but also to gain new insights for myself. Since I am teaching process, not product, this is an ever-evolving procedure. With each demonstration I rethink the process - how to better explain it - how to open it up to go in any direction. As students have no preconceived ideas their experimentation will frequently generate new directions or trigger new ideas. Thus a dialogue is started through which both they and I can grow.
Betty Helen Longhi is a nationally recognized metalsmith who has worked extensively with forming metal for jewelry and sculpture. She attended University of Wisconsin and Cranbrook Academy of Art and has studied with Heikki Seppa. Ms. Longhi has given numerous workshops both in the United States and Canada including: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Parsons School of Design, Arrowmont, Peters Valley Craft Center and Penland School. She has been a guest artist at the Rochester Institute of Technology - School for American Crafts, University of Wisconsin and Maryland Institute of Art. Additionally, she has written a number of articles and reviews for Metalsmith magazine and has lectured on shell forming for the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
See images of Betty’s metalwork and workshop listings at http://fluidformsinmetal.com
Whether using hand-made mallets and stakes, or the latest hydraulic press tools, Cynthia’s focus is on exploring the fluidity with which metal can be moved, formed, and joined. Her metalwork has strong ties to nature----partly due to daily walks through the woods behind her home--- though the forms are original. Cynthia enjoys working in a variety of scales, from rings to teapots and Judaica to Synagogue Art.
Cynthia Eid's sculptural jewelry and hollowware is primarily made in Argentium Sterling formed through the creative use of hammers and/or a hydraulic press. Cynthia has been on the development teams of Bonny Doon and Knew Concepts, enjoying the process of working together to make tools that help jewelers and metalsmiths. The Knew Concept saws came about because of Cynthia’s vision; when using the Knew Precision Saw to cut dies, she fell in love with the blade tensioning system. After three years of her prodding, Lee Marshall decided to try the design as a jewelers saw, and Knew Concepts was born.
Excited about working in sterling silver without the problem of firescale, Cynthia has been working with, and learning about Argentium Silver since 1999. After meeting Peter Johns (inventor of Argentium Silver) in 2003, Eid has participated in some of AS’s development. Argentium International, Ltd recognizes her as a Pioneer.
Cynthia Eid's metalwork has won awards for creativity and design, and has been featured in many publications, and exhibited internationally. Cynthia earned her Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewellery Design from Indiana University in 1980 and has a B.S. in Art Education Currently an independent metalsmith and educator, she is a Jeweler and Silversmith based in Massachusetts USA.
Cynthia teaches weekly classes at Metalwerx, and has taught workshops in the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, and Australia.
See images of Cynthia’s metalwork and workshop listings www.cynthiaeid.com
Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid in 2003, when they began collaborating on the book
The Process of Writing This Book
We are each grateful to the other for their role in writing this book. Our esthetics and work ethics are similar enough that we found working together very satisfying, yet we each have complementary skills that make this a better book. Because of her scientific mind, and through teaching, Betty had analyzed and broken down the techniques into steps pretty thoroughly in her mind. Cindy had a more thorough silversmithing background, but had been hammering shell forms in a more intuitive manner. Cindy’s writing, photographic, and computer skills helped balance the teamwork. We had expected to divide the work, and edit each other’s writing, but found that we preferred to shoot the photographs for an exercise, and then write together. We spent a week together working intensively whenever we could----about every other month. We worked hard, but always took time for walks with dogs, good food, and laughs. Between in-person work sessions, we communicated via email, telephone, Google Docs, and Skype screen sharing.