Artist In The Making: Through The Fire

Katie Hayden leads a tour past anvils, torches, and a centrifuge to reveal just how grueling it is to earn a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design at IU.

  • Katie at her desk

    Image 1 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Katie's workbench is adjacent to a window behind the facade of the Fine Arts Building.

  • Blue Enamel

    Image 2 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Katie creates colored enamel backings for one of the cameos.

  • Out of the bath

    Image 3 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Once the enamels have been fired, they are dunked in a bath.

  • Into the KIln

    Image 4 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    The kiln has been heated to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit in order to fire Katie's enamel cameos.

  • Suiting Up

    Image 5 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Katie dons heat-resistant gloves and safety glasses before working with the kiln.

  • On the Trivet

    Image 6 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Katie places the cameos wrapped with photo-decals on a wire-mesh trivet in preparation for firing them.

  • Hammer Cabinet

    Image 7 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    A well-stocked spike and hammer cabinet.

  • Big Classroom 2

    Image 8 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    A bustling workstation in the undergraduate metalsmithing program.

  • Big Classroom

    Image 9 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Students work in the large classroom of the Metalsmithing shop.

  • Soldering Station

    Image 10 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    A student uses an acetylene torch to heat a piece of metal.

  • Hammer Room, wide view

    Image 11 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    In the Metalsmithing Hammer Room, tree stumps mounted with vise grips and anvils provide a sylvan work setting.

  • Hammer Room

    Image 12 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    In the hammer room, tree stumps mounted with vise grips provide work stations.

  • At work

    Image 13 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    Katie draws from diverse sources of inspiration as she creates her jewelry designs in the studio.

  • Toward Showalter Fountain

    Image 14 of 14

    Photo: Yael Ksander

    The metals shop is located in several second-story rooms tucked behind the facade of the Fine Arts Building. A limestone owl perches on a ledge over Showalter Plaza.

Artworks’ Artist in the Making series documents emerging artists.

In September we first got to know Katie Hayden, an art student recently admitted to the BFA program in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. In our first conversation, Hayden explained how arduous the program is—from the courses required even before applying to the hours of labor that go into completing a simple chain.

This time, Hayden takes us to the heart of the program, to show just how much work goes into becoming a metalsmith…and just what those sounds that you’re hearing in your art history class might be.

Yaël Ksander

Raised in Alexandria, Virginia, Yael holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature. She joined WFIU in 2000, where she hosts music and talk programs, and produces features on artists, writers, musicians and other creative people for Artworks. Yael co-hosts A Moment of Science and writes essays for A Moment of Indiana History. She enjoys getting to know WFIU listeners--from those who submit commentaries for Speak Your Mind to those who provide the comments she reads on Saturday mornings.

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