Aspiring metalsmith exhibits work

By Keli Geers, [email protected]

Last week, the Zeber-Martell Gallery in downtown Akron exhibited the work of University of Akron senior Jaclyn Hale. Hale, who is pursuing a bachelor’s in metalsmithing at the Myers School of Art, spent over a year preparing for the exhibition, which she titled “Dénouement.”

The exhibit featured a collection of Hale’s jewelry, which is a mix of one-of-a-kind pieces and production sets, the latter of which she makes to sell.  

Each piece in the exhibition required 50-150 hours to complete, in addition to writing an artist’s statement, welding custom displays, and public relations work and marketing, all of which Hale did herself.

“It’s a super intense process and is what all [bachelor of fine arts] candidates are simultaneously looking forward to and stressing over their entire time in the program,” Hale said.

Dénouement is a French word that means the climax of a series of events. But in French, the verb form also means to untie or to unknot. Both of these definitions serve as central themes carried throughout the exhibition, being woven into every piece of jewelry featured.

“This body of work all revolves around threads, weaves, knots, braids, embroidery, and the like,” Hale said. “I aim to draw attention to the amount of detail and work involved in fibrous materials and processes, by making them in metal. So I kind of break down the layering of those techniques and make them my own, in a new way, in metal, and that is how I am ‘unknotting’ them.”

Dénouement showcased an array of metalworking techniques, some of which Hale had never previously attempted, including braiding together flattened pieces of metal, weaving surgical steel into three-dimensional forms, manipulating copper woven mesh to imitate fabric, and experimenting with a process called electroforming.

“I find that I only set out to make a piece if there is the challenge of not knowing if I can actually do it,” said Hale.

After graduation, Hale hopes to expand her jewelry business and continue building her portfolio. She plans on applying for domestic and international residencies and internships, and, in a few years, pursuing a master’s degree in metalsmithing. Ultimately, she plans on becoming a professional studio artist with hopes of one day owning her own studio.

Hale has an online fundraising campaign that is designed to raise money for tools needed to continuing her work after she graduates at Those who are interested in donating or selling used tools are also encouraged to contact her. She can be reached on her website,