We're thrilled to provide you with a great team of jewelry metalsmithing instructors! Read our bios below to learn more. Questions? Contact us anytime, we'd love to hear from you!
Classes: Intro to Metals and soon-to-be-announced specialty classes.
Liz honed her skills while earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in small metals and sculpture. Inspired by the world around her, she continued her education with a Masters in Cultural Studies. Liz’s extensive experience in metal work includes welding, blacksmithing, and a career in sculpture conservation. Her teaching background ranges from first grade art classes to private jewelry lessons and has spanned over a decade.
Liz is the owner and creator behind Covert Metals, a one-woman metal working studio located in Denver, Colorado that has roots reaching from New York to Texas. Covert Metals emphasizes unique one-of-a-kind design that melds contemporary styling with hand-forged detailing.
Some of Liz’s favorite things are printed books and sci-fi in all forms. When she’s not at the bench she’s outside hiking, running, or cycling. Liz also loves food in all forms and flavors, and especially likes to cook. Her work is a reflection of all the things she enjoys wrapped up in the importance of quality over quantity.
Jen Lesea-Ames, Director of FUN (and owner) of Silver Peak Studio
Classes: Stone Setting 101 and 201, Fusing Sterling Silver, Shopify 101, Mailchimp 101, private business coaching.
A former exercise physiologist and triathlete, Jen retired from her fitness career after receiving a diagnosis of hip dysplasia and decided to go full-time with her jewelry business in 2014. Wanting more of a challenge after stringing beads for three years, she studied metalsmithing at the Denver School of Metal Arts (now called Denver Jewelry Studio).
A rock-hound since childhood, when Jen learned how to incorporate stones into her jewelry designs, it was a complete game-changer for her. She now is a full-time jewelry designer and metalsmith, and has over 30 stores carrying her work across the country. She is currently pursuing her Graduate Gemologist certificate at GIA.
Her fun and friendly nature is apparent in her teaching style, and she best connects with those who share the joy in learning new skills in metalsmithing.
As the creative visionary behind Silver Peak Studio, it is her intention to provide a safe, clean, professional and FUN environment where students can grow in metalsmithing and in business.
A few of Jen's favorite things: cats, pizza, and outdoor adventures.
Classes: Advanced (Troubleshooting) Soldering, Split Shank Statement Ring, Spinner Rings, Bangles
Sara McGraw graduated from The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Lakewood, Colorado in 2012 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture. Since then she has explored working in various mediums including painting, film and photography, electronics, drawing, and ceramics before choosing to work mainly in the jewelry and metalsmithing field.
She has learned her craft through the combination of individual exploration and attending workshops through local Colorado studios and metalsmithing associations. Her primary medium is vitreous enamel but she is constantly growing and evolving as a metalsmith and is not averse to incorporating new metalsmithing techniques into her enamel work. Sara has been fortunate enough to take workshops from nationally renowned metalsmiths, jewelers and enamelists including: Ken Bova, Eric Burris, Harlan Butt, Andy Cooperman, Patsy Croft, Linda Darty, Joanna Gollberg, Anne Havel, Amayak Stephanyan, and Carol Webb.
Sara began instructing students in 2015 and is currently works as a full-time, freelance instructor and metalsmith. She has worked as an instructor for the Denver Jewelry Studio since 2018 and taught a Cloisonné workshop for the Jewelry Club at Arapahoe Community College in February 2020. Sara previously worked as an Office Administrator and Instructor at the Denver School of Metal Arts and was the Shop Support Administrator for Hyde Park Jewelers.
A few of Sara's favorite things: coffee, peanut butter and jelly, and her dogs
Classes: Keum-Boo "Attached Gold", Heat Zone Method (Advanced Soldering), Textures in Metal, Advanced Keum-Boo
Michele’s first dip into metalsmithing started with a high school class. She then picked it back up after getting her BFA at Florida State University. She’s been a full time jeweler for 11 years, (Sidhe Designs), and has been teaching art since 1998 and metalsmithing since 2012. Her specialty classes are enjoyed by students of all levels.
Her deep love and appreciation for everything outdoors and love for people inspire her to create jewelry focused on nature and the human experience.
A few of Michele's favorite things: rock climbing, unlikely animal friendship videos, and chai tea on her back deck on a summer morning.
Classes: Marriage of Metals, Advanced Sawing Techniques, Cold Connections (Riveting), Classic Chainmaking
He began his teaching career in Japan in 1985, and eventually transitioned from teaching English as a foreign language to teaching high school art in 2001, when he became a high school art teacher for Las Cruces Public Schools. While in Las Cruces, he also started teaching adult jewelry classes in the continuing education program for Dona Ana Community College.
Since moving to Colorado in 2016, he has taught jewelry making at Boulder School of Metals and Lifelong Learning.
A few of Chris' favorite things: Skiing, pizza, and dogs.