Monday, May 16, 2016

Professional Foldforming Techniques | Charles Lewton-Brain's Craftsy Class Giveaway

By on Monday, May 16, 2016 44 Comments

Canadian Charles Lewton-Brain, is a rare modern day metal smith and artist. He is the inventor of foldforming - a totally new metal technique which he developed in the 1980's. It is the first major innovation in thousands of years of metal working history.  He credits his invention to invaluable advice by his German instructor and that was to spend time playing with his materials.  In doing so, he succeeded in coming up with something new.  He said,  "Tradition interferes with going to new places." Repeating what you were taught to do will not lead to innovation.

Internationally renowned, Charles is also the author of several publications - he owns his own publishing press, Brain Press.  Foldforming is one of his most famous books.

He is the head of the Jewelry Metals Program at the Alberta College of Art and Design.  He earned his Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College and went on to do his Masters at SUNY of New Platz, NY and also trained abroad.

He has been teaching his unique foldforming techniques to thousands over the last few decades through his books, videos and at workshops.  He also teaches on Craftsy : Professional Foldforming Techniques

Watch the class preview here. The class lasts just under 2 hours. As with all Craftsy classes, the format is such students can watch the class when and where they want and as many times as necessary to learn a technique. You will be able to ask Charles any question.

Although Charles teaches with copper, his techniques are not limited to this metal. Having said that, the beauty of colorized copper after torching is evident in his samples.

Lesson 1
His first lesson is fascinating to watch as he explains what fold forming is. There are just 4 basic steps - folding the metal sheet, forging it, annealing to soften the metal (it gets hard with the hammering) and then unfolding it.

Only basic tools are needed such as forging hammers and anvil. He ensures the metal stays malleable with the torch firing so that he could frequently bend the metal with just his hands.  No wonder his techniques have been described as a unique combination of origami and metal work.

Indeed Charles makes the analogy with any clay work or even pastry.  What you shape with clay is possible with metal if you understand how metal moves.  That is the real essence of his class.

Lesson 2
He teaches how to make line folds which is one of the key foundations of foldforming. There are literally hundreds of variations.  He demonstrates a number of them.  The tight line fold is such that it does indeed look like a wire has been soldered onto the metal!!

Tight Line Fold
He goes on to show how forging in different ways after folding will yield curves and flares.

His techniques are very efficient and fast.  His class is focused on just the method but he did demonstrate one particular jewelry design, the foldformed cuff below :

Lesson 3
This is all about 3D foldforming where  cutting into the shapes results in infinite possibilities.  He also talks about how you can weave narrow strips of metal.


Lesson 4
Second major category of foldforming are the T- folds which are accomplished with the help of a vice.  The top bar of the T can be flattened or left in a pillow form or tube.  He demonstrates how to "chase on air" where he forges wonderful textures and shapes on this bar.  One tip he showed with doing T folds is a wedge variation which can produce metal cones!!

Lesson 5
He moves on to advanced foldforming with more chasing on air examples.

Cross Folds
Lesson 6
Paper sculpture artists use scoring and folding techniques to create 3D designs.  You can do the same with metal!!  Charles shares how you can score with just the hammer and anvil, use his wire scoring technique or with separating discs and a flex shaft.

Lesson 7 
This is all about design and experimentation. The use of paper models to explore future design possibilities is inspiring!

Craftsy does not have any such distinction but this foldforming class is truly a master class.  Charles is a gifted teacher. It is not hard to understand why he has legions of fans as he inspires his students to explore and develop their own unique designs based on foldforming.

This class not only enables you to make jewelry but also use the techniques to make larger sculptures. Highly recommended.

The first prize winner of the giveaway will win free access to Charles Lewton-Brain's Professional Foldforming Techniques class.    There will also be 4 runner-up prizes of 50% off discounts for his class.  Winners can use these links at any time convenient.

If you want a chance to be one of those winners,  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, May 23, 2016. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Wire JewelryTips  -Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Truly Charles is my metals hero!

  2. I have been trying to do this. Would love to win

  3. Foldforming is my favorite technique for metal work, would love to learn it.

  4. Thanks for the article - I have his book; now his video is on my wish list! Telling all my metal bending friends!

  5. I'm so wanting to learn this technique. Would love to win this.

  6. Just tweeted about this.

  7. I have been working with form folding for over 3 years now and have been fascinated by it. I just explored the T form for air chasing but I would love to learn more from this class. Thanks for the giveaway

  8. His work is so fantastic!! Thanks Pearl for the opportunity. I follow your blog, twitter, FB.

  9. Pearl, His work is amazing. I am a subscriber and I pinned this here

  10. I would be thrilled to win this class: metal shaping was my first introduction to original jewelry creation.
    Having the opportunity to refresh my skills with Master Charles Lewton would be an unforgettable experience!
    Thank you,

  11. Wow!!! Another technique to learn about!! There just is not enough time in this life!!

    I follow you on Bloglovin, and just liked your FB page!


  12. He is truly and artist!!! Practice, practice, practice. Would love to win this.

  13. I see finished foldformed work and would love to learn how to do it!

  14. Sounds fascinating, Pearl thanks for the intro

  15. I've done some playing around with my materials and it's truly a blast! A good way to get out your frustrations, lol. I didn't know he invented the foldforming technique, though. I'd love to win this..any part of it. Thanks for the chance to.

  16. To think....I was accepted into the program at ACAD waaaay back when...I could have been learning from the master himself! Ugh! Maybe the Jewelry God's will be smiling on me and grant me a second chance! I've been dying to try this but am a bit nervous. This would be such an amazing opportunity!

  17. My next step in jewelry making is working with a torch and copper. I need this class to begin!
    Thank you for the opportunity to learn from this gifted teacher.

  18. Was just looking at his book last night, this is defiantly something to try!!

  19. This class looks very interesting. I have done some foldforming before, but it is some time ago, and I love that with a new teacher, you get a new angle to the process.I do a lot in copper already, so wonderful to win.

  20. Oh man! Canadian and in Alberta?!! I didn't know - but I'm bustin' with pride. Who hasn't heard of Charles and his amazing techniques!! And I certainly perked up even more when I read his origins and his location. Makes me want to drive down to Calgary and see if I can see him and his work.

    I've done some fold forming in a metalsmith class I took in Red Deer but it didn't turn out anything like what Charles does. Still - there's definitely something rather zen-like when you bash away at metal. Not only is the bashing very calming (sounds odd but so true) but the results when you fold out your piece hits you down deep and gives you an incredible joy at what you accomplish. I'd certainly like to be able to have control over what I'm producing and that would take this course for that to happen and of course lots of practice!

    Now what do I have to offer to Lady Luck - my first born perhaps? (do you actually have to have a first born to offer one up?)

  21. I would love to win. His work is so cool!

  22. that looks amazing and I want to learn more about doing this

  23. Art Jewellery !

  24. I must try this technique! I wonder if it works only with copper.

    1. No. You can use the techniques with other metals. But copper is a good metal to practice on due to its lower cost.

  25. I own this class and it is great good luck to all you who might win it!

  26. This is so wonderful. Just reading the description is giving me the chills! Thank you for the give away.


  27. I have the Foldforming book, and I am fascinated with this technique. I would love to be the lucky winner of this class in any shape or form (no pun intended, hahaha). I am like a sponge when it comes to learning artistic techniques. Never can learn too much!
    ***Thank you for the opportunity to win such a fabulous prize!

  28. beautiful work! Would love the opportunity to take this class...fingers crossed!

  29. I would love to win this class!

    Contact me at kat513(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. Hi Pearl,

    This would be fabulous to win. Thanks for the chance.

    victoria_farrell at

  31. I've tried fold forming and haven't had much luck. I think this class, taking it slowly, would be of immense help. My other caftsy classes are excellent and have increased skill levels. So I'm certain this class will too. Sure hope I win.

  32. I'd love to learn this technique, just tweeted again about the post and class.

  33. This technique is great, and the simplest forms can be done at home with the use of simple tools - I did it. I read articles at the Ganoksin Project, watched videos, and taught myself simple foldforming. Now I am ready for more advanced techniques.

  34. I have been interested in fold forming for some time and wanted to learn... This would be a great chance.. I would love to win..

    I am a blog subscriber too..

  35. Did some fold forming with Eva Sherman and loved it. I would love to learn from the inventor and master.

  36. This sounds like such a great class. Would love to learn how to do this. Just tweeted again.

  37. This class looks so great. Tweeted again.

  38. Keeping my fingers crossed. Tweeted again.

  39. I only do bead and wire work myself, but I have friend who works with copper and silver, and she has given me some beautiful jewelry. I would love to win this class to gift it to her. Thanks for the gorgeous post!

  40. So love the idea of this class. And finally have enough internet at home I could actually watch it at home. Yay.
    Pinned to Pinterest

  41. This is beyond cool. Would love to win because I need all the help I can get.

  42. I had no Idea that metal could be formed so eceptionally! WOW!! This is a great inspiration!