Society of North American Goldsmiths Launches Metalsmith Tech

Society of North American Goldsmiths Launches Metalsmith Tech

The new magazine demystifies how to "make it" as a metalworker.

Glimpse inside Metalsmith Tech
Courtesy of SNAG

This spring, the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) released the first issue of Metalsmith Tech. The new publication comes twice a year with a subscription to Metalsmith magazine, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020. Emily Zilber, SNAG’s new editor shared some of her goals for Metalsmith Tech.

What prompted you to start a new publication?
The dream for Metalsmith Tech was really built before I joined the staff of SNAG. It was [created] in response to listening to the magazine readers who were really looking for some new and different kinds of information that they didn’t necessarily see in the pages of Metalsmith, but that were exciting to them as artists, as makers.

We made a shift from five issues a year to four issues of Metalsmith and two issues of Metalsmith Tech. We essentially just shifted focus, so that we can provide something about the whole spectrum of the field. In Metalsmith Tech, you’re going to see material that has a similarly thoughtful and critical approach [to Metalsmith], but it’s going to take on some of the topics that aren’t as well suited to Metalsmith pages, that deal with questions of how-to.

How does Metalsmith Tech help further accessibility in the field craft?
When we started talking about making Metalsmith Tech there was [little] information for people who were thinking about how to make a career in the field, how to think about expanding your practice to include things other than your benchwork or pricing. When you take that expansive vision of how-to, that starts a much more interesting conversation, a much more nuanced conversation, and a conversation that I don’t see happening nearly as much as I think it needs to. I wanted Tech to be a place where we could centralize some of those conversations and have them openly.

Tell us about your transition from being a curator to an editor.
I think there’s much more in common between curatorial and editorial work than a lot of people seem to think. I’m still organizing objects and developing narrative, I’m just doing it on the page instead of in a space. The real thing that you’re missing, of course, is the connection with objects on a day-to-day basis, but you see it in different ways. Those of us who are in this field are always going to find access to the objects we love.

SNAG has some exciting anniversaries coming up. What are you looking forward to with those?
We’re really excited about the conferences coming up. There are not that many organizations that have the longevity and the strength [to last 50 years]. We’re very lucky that several folks from the first conference are still with us to share their stories, but it also provides a nice moment for looking forward as well, saying “What do we want for the next 50 years?” And we’ll be doing the same with Metalsmith. We’re going to be celebrating as much as we possibly can.

The second issue of Metalsmith Tech will be published concurrently with issue 38.4 of Metalsmith this fall, and Zilber wants to hear from you as Metalsmith Tech develops its shape