Member Meetings

General CMAG member meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month (excluding December) in Room 30 at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway Portland 97219. Doors open at 6:45pm, meetings begin at 7:00pm, and adjourn by 9:15pm. Meetings are open to CMAG members and their guests.

Our meetings start with a discussion of guild business followed by a short break with refreshments. The CMAG Library is open before the meeting and during the break so that members can check out books, videos or magazines.

The second half of our meeting features a demo, slide show, panel discussion or other metals related program. If you’d like to present at an upcoming meeting, contact our Program Director, Sharon Smith at

Board Meetings

Board meetings are generally held prior to the General Meeting at 5:30 pm in Room 30 at the MAC (same room as the regular meeting). Members are encouraged to attend and contribute.

Upcoming Programs

January 15, 2019: Exciting changes to Spring Show/Gathering of the Guilds and a Walk-through of our new website and members directory

Past Programs in 2018

December, 2018:  No meeting – Holiday Party Instead

November 20, 2018: Tim Thomas – The Optics of Bling

Introduction to Gemstone Optics,” or the “Optics of Bling,” will cover the basic elements of gemstone optical performance. Colored gems absorb light at various wavelengths to produce the color we see, or disperse it to produce the flashes observed in faceted diamonds. The type of light, such as indoor or outdoor lighting, as well as how the stone was cut can make a substantial difference in the beauty of the gemstone. The presentation will cover gemstone sample orientation for spectroscopic purposes, spectroscopy of gemstone materials, leading to how we calculate what the expected color will be based on the standard observer CIE L*a*b* procedure. Knowing the color, the approximate optical path in the gem, and the absorption cross-section for the color centers in a gem, it is possible to approximate the chemical concentration of the color centers. Also discussed are total internal reflection, pleochroism, birefringence, and dispersion…along with pretty example photos.

September – No Meeting – Guild Picnic Instead

August 21, 2018: Swap Meet!

You should come prepared to buy, sell, or trade anything you think your fellow metal artists might enjoy. New and used tools, books you no longer want or have duplicates of, sheet metal you bought for that project you never did, beads and gemstones – you name it, if metalsmiths use it, you can bring it.

We will set up tables on which you can display your items, though if you have anything too large to bring, you can send a photo in for the newsletter (and put it up on the CMAG Facebook page yourself), plus bring the photo in for your table.

July 17, 2018 – Properties of Alloys – Jason Chandler

Jason Chandler, Owner/Teacher of Portland Jewelry Academy lectures on how to predict an alloy’s characteristics by understanding how gold, silver, copper, nickel and palladium interact with each other.

June 19, 2018: Growing the Guild – CMAG’s Future

We’re working on an “Envisioning the Future of CMAG” exercise as we get to the start of a new membership year (July 1st). The Board has already met for an initial brainstorming workshop and has some short and longer term ideas for growing the Guild. We want to learn which of them excite you and get help from you putting together a plan to put these and more, into action.

May 15, 2018: Computer Storage, Security, and More – Nate Allen

You’ve probably given a lot of thought to how to secure your jewelry from thieves, but do you also have a plan to protect yourself from hackers? You probably wouldn’t leave your jewelry unattended in your car after a craft show, risking theft. Do you use strong passwords for your bank account? Do you ever patch your computer? Do you back up your accounting files?

Join CMAG’s First Gentleman (Mandy’s husband and computer security professional), Nate Allen, for a different sort of program at the May membership meeting. While Nate doesn’t know much about making jewelry, he does know about securing information on computers and the Internet. He will offer computer security tips and tricks that anyone can use to protect their private information, finances, and reputation online – even those of you that might be more comfortable sitting in front of a work bench, rather than a computer desk. Nate will set aside time for your questions, too.

April 17, 2018: Japanese Metalsmithing Techniques of Nunome Inlay and Gilding. Presented by Momoko Okada

Nunome means “woven cloth texture.” Using special chisels and a hammer to create a cross-cut pattern on the surface of base metal, we then apply metal foil to the pattern. This technique was used on sword fittings in Japan, and more recently to decorate vases or incense burners.
Gilding Technique: This will cover the application process and making of metal flakes for a variety of Japanese colored silver leaf to add wonderful colors to finished metal jewelry!

March 20, 2018: Considerations when selling your work via craft shows. Presented by Rachel Morris

Rachel will cover numerous considerations when selling your work via craft shows. We will begin with a discussion/hands-on exercise geared towards clarifying your target market. We’ll then use that as a jumping off point, to show how work style and target market impact some of your booth set-up, presentation style, and selling approaches. In addition to discussing your ideal types of shows, we’ll touch on marketing approaches when doing an event, appropriate inventory, business policies you may want to firm up in advance, and a host of other related topics.

February – Snowed out

January 16, 2018: Photographing your work – Bob Woods & Sharon Smith

Past Programs in 2017


February 21, 2017: Design Challenge voting

March 21, 2017: Production Casting for Jewelers/ Artists
presented by Valerie Graham from Tiny Desk Designs

Have you ever wondered if your pieces were right for casting? How to even go about finding a casting shop to work with or how production casting can help you increase your speed and efficiency? What should you consider to make your castings more successful?
Valerie from Tiny Desk Designs will be answering these questions and giving you some helpful information on how to get the best castings you can, either casting on your own, or working with a caster.

April 18, 2017: The History of Jet presented by David Van Horste

David V. Horste of DVHdesigns will talk about the history of jet, a kind of gem-grade lignite coal. He’ll cover it’s use as ornament from ancient times, through it’s use in the 19th century as traditional mourning jewelry in the Anglosphere, it’s decline due to simulants, his current work in jet making 21st century mourning beads, the metaphysical attributes of the material, as well as the other stories that this 60 million old mineraloid has to tell.

May 16, 2017: What’s your favorite finishing technique?

This month’s program will be a group effort with all members invited to share a metal finishing technique and/or tool. We have some people signed-up already but the more the merrier. Just bring a sample of your finish and simple (about 10 minute) demonstration or explanation of how you did it. Don’t worry if we get duplicate topics because there’s more than one way to polish a cat, as it were.

June 20, 2017: SNAG Conference review presented by Mandy Allen

The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) is a national organization which “advances jewelry and metalsmithing by inspiring creativity, encouraging education, and fostering community”. Earlier this month Mandy Allen attended the annual SNAG conference, which was held in New Orleans. Hear about the speakers, the exhibitions, and the fun. Also, learn about CMAG’s possible role in next year’s conference which will be held right here in Portland.

July 18, 2017: Annual Swap Meet

Time to buy, sell and trade tools, supplies, books, anything you think a metal artist might be interested in. If you have items to sell, bring them to the meeting. Lots of CMAGgers will be there ready to shop! There’s always some really cool stuff for sale at this meeting. Don’t miss out!

August 15, 2017: Metalwork through the Bronze Age, presented by Bill Dawson.

September 24, 2017: Annual Potluck.

October 17, 2017: The Art of Carving a Wax Model.

Don’t be intimidated by wax carving. It is a tactile and satisfying way to create. It allows for a design to evolve as you go.
Mary Wong will demonstrate the art of hand carving a symmetrical wax ring and a free form pendant.
Invaluable tips and tricks will be discussed. Join in the fun!

November 21, 2017: Move It! Fun with Mechanisms

Add new dimensions to your work with movement- literally! Metalsmith Sharon Smith will demonstrate the basics of fabricating your own pivots, hinges, and other basic mechanisms. This demo will cover the technical specifics of how to make a strong hinge, the best tools to use, and even how to fabricate some tools of your own.

Past Programs in 2016

March 2016: Emily Start – Cold-Working Metal

CMAG Member Emily Smart of Emily Perhaps demonstrating how she uses cold- work techniques in her metalwork. See Emily’s work at

August 2016: Swap Meet!

Have extra tools around the studio that you’re not using? Looking for more tools? (Are metalsmiths ever not looking for new tools?) August annual swap meet! Buy! Sell! Trade!

September 18, 2016: Member Picnic at the Rice Museum

**NOTE** This meeting is not on our usual second Tuesday and is not at the MAC. Instead, we’ll be gathering at the Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro. Bring your family and a dish to pass and spend the day with CMAG at the beautiful Rice Museum!

Past Programs in 2015

January 2015: Doug George – Oregon Opals

Doug George from Gems of the Northwest will give a presentation on Oregon Opals. Doug also runs Cascade Gems with his wife, Colleen. Their website is at

February 2015: Deb Steele – Keum Boo Techniques for Enhancing Your Silver Jewelry

This ancient process bonds 24k gold to silver using heat and burnishing for a permanent fusion. Deb works primarily with Precious Metal Clay, but the Keum Boo technique is relevant for anyone who wants to add gold accents to their work with silver. See Deb’s work at her website at

March 2015: “The Stones Cry Out: The Art of Gemstone Nomenclature”

CMAG member and lapidary artist David Vance Horste will be giving a slide show and talk on “The Stones Cry Out: The Art of Gemstone Nomenclature.” He’ll talk about how stones get their names, how the names change, and why it’s good to know the incorrect names.

April 2015: Sharon Smith- Better Metals Through Chemistry: Etching

CMAG member Sharon Smith discussed different methods of etching different metals– including non-toxic methods &proper safety procedures when using chemicals. See Sharon’s work at

June 2015: Chasing and Repousse with Michele Lukowski

Long-time CMAG member Michele Lukowski will demonstrate the art of chasing and repousse, a method of creating intricate raised designs in sheet metal through use of pitch and a variety of small tools. See Michele’s work including her chasing and repousse pieces at

November 2015: Tai Vautier

Tai Vautier will be discussing and showing the various different reticulation textured that can be achieved using heat and varying alloys of silver.

Past Programs in 2014

January 2014:

Tom Handley – Sapphires, Yogo Mine and Humorous Digressions. Back by popular demand, Tom Handley, owner of Handley’s Rock Shop and Jewelers Supply in Vancouver, WA and Portland talked about Sapphire production worldwide and quite a bit about the history of the Yogo Mine in Montana. His web site is

February 2014:

Shannon O’Neil, CMAG member and Head of Background Puppets for Laika Studios brought in some actual movie stars of the puppet variety. She will give a behind the scenes look at stop frame animation puppets with examples from Laika Studios, the creators of the Coroline and Paranorman movies. The studio website is

March 2014: Bill Dawson, CMAG member, tool maker, jeweler and ancient metals expert, gave a presentation on the overall process used in making Ribbon Torcs, which are the oldest known anticlastic form in the history of metalwork. Then he will explore the archeological evidence for the details of the process of creating these enigmatic helical objects. This talk will include many slides of artifacts, as well as sketches and field notes from his most recent trip to the National Museum of Ireland. See his work at

April 2014:

Martha Banyas, the world renowned enamelist who lives in Portland gave a talk on enameling for us. She will give the very comprehensive keynote address she gave at the Enamelist Conference two years ago, that is a soup-to-nuts of her art and work.See her work at

May 2014:

Stewart Jones, former CMAG President and owner of Indigo Gallery in Joseph, Oregon presented a talk on the circa 1860 Rose Engraving Machine he displays and uses in his gallery showroom. This is the kind of machine used by Faberge and other jewelers over 100 years ago to create amazing patterns, often as background behind transparent enamels. Go to Stewart’s website, for more information on this old and beautiful machine and how Stewart is using it in his work today.