Charles Lewton-Brain

Master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain trained, studied and worked in Germany, Canada and the United States to learn the skills he uses. His work is concerned with Process and with Beauty as well as function. Much of it uses a 'printmaking' approach to working metal, that is that the work is done in separate steps in groups building towards the finished piece. His work and writing on the results of his technical research has been published internationally. In 1991 with his partner Dee Fontans he started a resource centre and workshop school in downtown Calgary called the Lewton-Brain/Fontans Centre for Jewelry Studies which brings in innovative exhibitions and educates metalsmiths.In 1994 Brain Press was established which documents, publishes and markets the results of his research activities.

A distinguished Fellow of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain he has lectured and taught in England, the United States, Canada and Australia. He regularly teaches workshops in the results of his research projects across North America. He developed 'fold forming', a series of techniques new to the metalsmithing field which allow rapid development of three dimensional surfaces and structures using simple equipment. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise chose a project of his on the further development of fold forming for inclusion in a book on innovative developments in science and invention in the world, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise 1991 Edition. In 1994 he founded Brain Press to publish 'Cheap Thrills in the Tool Shop', a book of inexpensive tool options and bench tricks for goldsmiths.

He has lived in Calgary since 1986 and currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art and Design as well as writing articles, exhibiting, consulting and making work for sale.

Brain Press publishes the results of Charles Lewton-Brain's research in the form of books and videos, usually on metal working and goldsmithing. Brain Press concentrates on specialized, excellent information relating to metalsmithing and jewelry making. "We are committed to quality information for self education and the development of our field." Brain Press also sell specialized, excellent books by others.

Exerpts and More: Brain Press works collaboratively with The Ganoksin Project. We have over 500 pages of text and graphics on jewelry and art business subjects to download free. Many of the articles are extracts from Brain Press publications.

Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches for Jewelers and Goldsmiths by Charles Lewton-Brain

This book analyzes hinges and hinge-like mechanisms in a manner never done before in a single volume. We feel it will be a classic. Along with history, generics, classes of hinges, guiding principles, sections include: design, tube making, hinge pins (force-fit, riveted, upset, tapered, cotter type, tubing, square, threaded, stud), hinge types (basic, thick-walled, locket, bracelet, box, block, cold-rolled, tab, cast and milled), lubrication, catch systems, hidden, alternative, cast hinges and solving design problems. Good index and table of contents. 112 pages, over 200 line drawings.

(Professional discount if you ask here= $31.45)
You can buy a PDF file of this book for $25.00.
ISBN 0-9698510-3-0

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Cheap Thrills in the Tool Shop by Charles Lewton-Brain

This is a loose, eclectic collection of short cuts, bench tricks and alternative equipment options for goldsmiths. Cheap tool making, conversions and unexpected sources for tools are all described. Sections include shop machines, tools, setting tools, soldering and more. Lots of drawings, lists and reviews of sources round out the book. A good table of contents and index make finding information easy. 80 pages. 82 line drawings.

(Professional discount if you ask here= $31.45)
You can buy a PDF file of this book for $25.00.
ISBN 0-9698510-6

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Small Scale Photography Video and Text Book by Charles Lewton-Brain

This text and video lecture combo gives excellent lessons on how to set up a home or studio photo booth to take professional-quality photographs and slides of your jewelry or small objects such as ceramics, glass and so on. Taking your own quality images saves money and time. The system (not counting the cost of camera and tripod) costs less than $60.00 to set up. How to build a drop shadow photo booth, film types, lighting, miniature spotlighting, composition, backgrounds, surface understanding and image creation are covered. PR techniques are taught and sources are listed. The ideas shared in this set can save you hundreds of dollars in professional photographic fees and time. Approximately 80 minutes of classroom lecture video: the idea is to get the information into your mind in two different ways thus deepening your learning.. 90 pages, lots of clear diagrams and drawings.

(Professional discount = $53.95)
The book can be bought by itself for $34.95. The PDF Version of the book alone is $28.00.
ISNB 0-9698510-2-2

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The Jewelry Workshop Safety Report by Charles Lewton-Brain

Essential for jewelers, professionals, schools, small studios, factories, students. This book reviews issues of studio safety and discusses strategies for recognizing risks in the jewelry workshop, and for reducing hazards by using substitution of materials or processes. The premise is that any reduction in risk improves safety conditions for the goldsmith and artist. It is written in a easily readable, warm style with plenty of examples and safety anecdotes backed by extensive citations and references. A workshop tour gives you a new approach to learning about safety issues and proce dures, with safety and health concerns listed by the jewelry procedures and tools used, and a good index, all designed to help you find the information you want rapidly and easily. Chosen as a required course text by New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), The New Approach School (Virginia) and the Paris Texas Jewelry Training Program. All three also chose the Brepohl book as mandatory for their students.

222 pages,
$34.95 US.
(Professional discount = $31.45)
The PDF Version of the book is $28.00.
ISBN 0-9698510-4-9

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Fold-Forming CDROM by Charles Lewton-Brain

This is a compilation of all the fold-forms known as of 2004. Well over a thousand images organized by type and section. Each thumbnail enlarges as you mouse over it providing a 'magnification' function before clicking on a larger image. Has a number of the core step by step sequences for making fold-forms. Includes examples of Line folds, T-folds, Cross Folds, Rolled folds, Woven folds, Hydraulic press folds, Scored and bent folds, Shear and forged, Folds derived from Paper models, Pleated folds, Variations and Combination folds. The fold-forming paper from 1990 is included for printout.

This will be published in late 2005. Invest in the project before publication for a price break, $42.00 including shipping. After publication it will be $59.95.

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Forming Using Metal Characteristics: Fold Forming by Charles Lewton-Brain

Fold forming is a system of sheet metal forming which emphasizes forming using the metals characteristics. Forms are derived from the natural plasticity, ductility and elasticity of the metal. The system is internationally recognized as a new approach to working metal. It is extremely efficient and rapid. Tools are simple: fingers, hands, anvil hammers, mallets, and rolling mills. The paper has a theoretical introduction and step-by-step recipes for quickly working sheet metal.

49 pages, over 70 B/W line drawings.

The PDF Version of the paper is $12.00.

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Fold Forming Video by Charles Lewton-Brain

This early half-hour video serves to introduce fold forming as a system. Made in 1985 (and rather basic), it covers the fundamental folds of the system, some 8 or so folds. Let's put it this way, Charles had a lot more hair when it was made. Includes a short set of notes on developments since 1985. $23.50. PAL format is available upon request.

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Shareware Book by Charles Lewton-Brain

This wide-ranging, truly eclectic paper is chock full of suppliers, sources, technical information, patinas, stonesetting tips, bench tools and thoughts about metalsmithing. 189 pages. Lots of diagrams. Cerlox bound. This book is also used as a handout for Brain Press workshops.

ISBN 0-9698510-1-4

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Patinas for Small Studios by Charles Lewton-Brain

Describes safer, easier patination methods for metals involving easily obtainable and even kitchen chemicals to produce blues, greens, browns, blacks, grays and reddish tones on metals. Cupric nitrate patination, which gives a wide ranges of controllable green, blue, black and brown color options on a number of metals, is extensively discussed. Paint types which emulate patinas are mentioned. Application methods and options for pattern and surface control are described. 34 pages, 5 colour pictures.

The PDF Version of the paper is $12.00.

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Gold Surface Applications: A Technology Review by Charles Lewton-Brain

This paper documents the results of a research project for the Society of North American Goldsmiths. It describes fusion applications (gold painting), doublée, Keum-boo, depletion gilding (tumbaga, guanin), inlay and overlay procedures and it discusses fire gilding. Control factors for free compositional choice are defined and demonstrated. That is, the information is treated as a way of creating patterns and pictures with gold and other materials. 27 pages. B/W diagrams, one color picture.

The PDF Version of the paper is $12.00.

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Gold Surface Applications Under Enamels by Charles Lewton-Brain

This paper describes methods of creating surface designs using gold alloys on copper to provide patterned surfaces for use under transparent enamels. Includes gold fusion surface applications, fusion overlay, incised overlay and inlay techniques as well as the use of resists for gold application, doublÈe (fusion laminates) and keum-boo. Together these form a system for surface design that offers a broad palette of marks and control sufficient to allow great surface detail and accurate translation from drawing to finished work as well as painterly approaches. A version of this paper was published in the magazine Glass on Metal in the spring of 1998. 18 pages, B/W diagrams.

The PDF Version of the paper is $12.00.

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Depletion Gilding by Charles Lewton-Brain

A historical and technical introduction to gold surface enrichment. This academic paper describes the approaches that goldsmiths have used historically in various cultures to remove base metals from gold alloys for refining or "coloring the gold": depletion gilding. There is an extensive listing of recipes from numerous historical and contemporary sources to foster contrast and comparison and deepen readers understanding of the subject. It is intended for information only and is not a "how to" for depletion gilding. Many of the procedures described are hazardous and not to be done without a chemical fume hood and similar stringent precautions. 20 pages.


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Build Your Own Draw Bench Instructions by Charles Lewton-Brain

by Charles Lewton-Brain. Instructions and plans explain how to build a good draw bench for about thirty dollars. Step by Steps and alternative methods of drawing.This draw bench is good for drawing wire and tube. 27 pages.

The PDF Version of the paper is $12.00.

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Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing by Erhard Brepohl.

Translated by Lewton-Brain, edited by McCreight. This book is Fantastic!! At last in English! It is the best book in the world on goldsmithing. European countries use it as a standard reference. It has everything, from metallurgy of precious metals to how to build catches and linkage units. This book has all the science (phase diagrams, formulas, chemistry of flux, etc) and all the hand skills too. The largest and best collection of catches and findings diagrams anywhere, clear and easy to understand. The ultimate resource book. It has literally everything in more detail than any other book. It is oriented to the professional, to industry, trade, goldsmithing rather than academic or art/craft. If you are interested in goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewelry making this is a 'Must Have' book. The working professional’s version of Oppi Untracht’s book.

536 pages, 277 B/W photos, 319 drawings, 114 charts, 8"x10" hardcover, weighs 1.7 kilos.

ISBN 0-9615984-9-2

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How to buy books
Just contact us by phone, mail, fax or email us.
Phone: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053

In North America shipping and handling is $5.00 to $8.00 per item to a maximum of $15.00. We mail the books to you at the surface rate. Surface in North America can take 14-21 days. Air mail is no longer available to the US and faster delivery now costs about $20.00 per item.

Orders outside North America will vary a great deal in shipping costs. Surface may take eight weeks or more but is much less expensive. A single book is often about $11.00 by surface. Air mail can be more than $23.00 per item, it depends upon the country. To find your total tell us which books you would like and we will let you know what the total due is. Several items sent in one package will save money. Brain Press videos are available in PAL format for overseas, many are available in DVD format. All prices are in U.S funds.

If you wish to pay by credit card directly please telephone us or fax us with the number. Brain Press is located in the Mountain Time Zone in Canada, North America.

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Phone: 403-263-3955
Fax: 403-283-9053
Email: [email protected]