Welcome to the studios at Ildanach. We’re located on the Fox Ryde acreage, nested in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Finished in 2004, the studios are a timber frame, strawbale and natural earth plaster earth-friendly facility.
We believe in an exploration into Awen, the creative soul.
Allow the Materials their Voice, the Artist, their Creativity, the Wearer, their Expression.
From blasting a flat bedrock foundation to the R50-value natural thermal mass of the earthplaster and strawbale walls, the studio building provides a comfortable, inspirational, creative space. With plenty of sunlight and high ceilings, the artists at Ildanach are happy to call this studio “home”.
ARTIST BIOS: Meet the Artists at Ildanach.
Curtis Rowland: Lēd Artist, Master Metalsmith, CoFounder
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Artisans at the Studios led by husband and wife team, Curtis & Sheron, strive to create contemporary works which are mindful of the beauty in the world around them. Their creative philosophies combine a desire to express, rather than cover, the human form—emphasizing natural beauty rather than over-polished, sterile objects. The resulting artworks made with recycled and reclaimed metals take on an organic, earthy sophistication giving the materials a voice in the artwork they become and the wearer their own expression.
As much as I believe in Artwork being inherently unique, I also believe the Artist cannot create in a vacuum based solely on contemporary philosophies. We not only learn from our natural environment, we draw from the past as well and dream the “what ifs” of the future. I have quested into my cultural heritage to discover anew the artistry and techniques of my ancestors. And in so doing, have sought to maintain their sense of wonder for those things which are more than a simple culmination of earth and fire. My advice to future generations? Respect the Earth from which you take your materials, explore with no boundaries, steel yourself against mass production and fight to the death to maintain Awen, your creative soul. The journey is well worth it.
Sheron Buchele Rowland: Fiber Artist, Master Dyer, Metalsmith, CoFounder
Born in the middle of the last century and raised by restless parents, Sheron never learned to put down roots. On the western edge of the continent at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, she earned a Bachelor in Arts. She studied how to think, to study and received an education. Drifting, experiencing, living for a time; Sheron chose to go back to school. At Iowa State University, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Safety, a degree that didn’t exist at that time, so she created it for herself. She gathered skills avidly in this lifetime. To do/to make brought her life into focus. Now she lives with her husband, a mutt, chickens, and horse in the unyielding foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. She is a fiber artist. She is a metalsmith. Her joy is the interplay of her naturally dyed fibers with the earthy recycled copper that create her artworks. But at the center of her work, it’s all about the plants she loves. She finally feels like she has roots.
Wendy Neathery-Wise: Project Enforcer, Production Artist
After leaving a career as a clinical research coordinator for an orthopedic practice, Wendy Neathery-Wise came to Ildanach Studios to fill in for a staff vacation and stayed. While using her mad organizational skills to help chart Ildanach’s long-term path, she discovered she had embarked on her own creative journey. “My family were all medical people; my mother and grandmother are nurses, and my grandfather was a pediatrician for the Indian Health Service. So my focus in college was on cellular biology and microbiology.” Her new direction has freed her to dig deeper into metalsmithing and woodworking, a hobbies she has pursued for about a decade.
To create something other than a document, it’s almost proof of my existence, whether it’s a place to hang keys in my house, or an extra set of shelves in the kitchen, or a necklace for a friend to give away. … Wood is one of the oldest and most-used substances. We burn it for heat; we build houses out of it; we make furniture out of it; we use it to dye fabric. … It smells so life-affirming when you cut into it.”
With working with both wood and metal, Wendy connects with historic tools, skills and methods she finds worth preserving and celebrating. “Being kind of a history wonk, I want to learn those skills and pass them on.”
Wendy also finds that these skills embody a kind of patience and esteem for quality that, sadly, have become rare in modern life. “People still want to learn to do stuff by hand, because that’s better for us and better for our souls. That’s why part of Ildanach’s goal is to use older methods to make a quality product, to make wearable art that has a story.”
When she isn’t keeping Ildanach’s artists focused and on track, building a bench using hand-cut dovetails or reading Christopher Schwarz or other books from Lost Art Press, she enjoys movies — “the older the better” — and hanging out with her wife, Leanne. And “it definitely helps to nurture my souls to be able to come here and help make art, even if it’s just polishing bracelet cuffs”.
While not a guarantee, throughout history many cultures have realized the beneficial aspects of copper. Recent research and scientific studies have proven that chelated copper (naturally occurring copper salts combined with skin oils & acids, causing green skin) is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is thought this absorption of the copper may help relieve symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and other connective tissue ailments. Research further shows this presence of copper increases blood circulation as well as aiding beneficial enzymes as they rebuild healthy body tissue.
COPPER IS AN ESSENTIAL MICRO-NUTRIENT
In protein metabolism and healing processes, copper aids in the formation of myelin sheaths surrounding nerve fibers and bundles and helps the body oxidize vitamin C to form elastin in muscle fibers. It is also important in proper bone formation and maintenance.
Historical and modern medical texts, from the three thousand year old Eber Papyrus scroll to the Sorenson¹ studies of the 1990’s suggest a relief of symptoms associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle/joint pain. More recently, copper has been shown to be an antioxidant, helps in collagen support to keep skin supple and soft and is necessary in the formation of red blood cells and energy production in the body.
HANDCRAFTING RESPONSIBLY SINCE 1985
Curtis, Lēd Artist for Ildanach Studios, has been handcrafting wearable metal artworks since 1985. His dedication, along with Sheron’s, co-owner and fellow artist, determined the mission statement for the Ildanach Studios’ business model.
With the exception of the Fair Trade Beads used in Ildanach Studios’ neckwear and earwear, 100% of their work is handcrafted in the U.S. They are honored to be American artists and urge your support for the rediscovery of handcrafted artistry in the USA. By supporting local Artists you are supporting their materials suppliers, galleries and local economy. This helps bring jobs back to America.
ANCESTRAL SPIRIT, NATURAL MATERIALS, CONTEMPORARY DESIGN
The artists at Ildanach are an award-winning design team who make their designs by hand – whether you call it low tech, slow tech or traditionally handcrafted, you’ll find the Studios’ name apropos. Ildanach (pronounced ill-DA-nock) is from the Gaelic language group and on the secular level means “all craftsman”. Their specialty is rediscovering ancient metalsmithing techniques through a process called Forensic Metalsmithing. Using these historical handcrafting techniques as a strong source, they are able to create works of art both contemporary and museum-quality.
COLORADO MADE: Supporting the local economy
We are honored to be a part of the State of Colorado’s re-branding project, *byColorado*.
Ildanach Studios is a registered byColorado “Colorado Made” business. Pssst, and if you see the addition of a “Colorado Handcrafted” registration, you heard it here first.
Please click here for more information on the Colorado Made brand.
Our business model is responsible and green. From business practices in the office to local, regional and international marketing, from the materials we use to the handcrafting methods we choose, the environment and our customers health is important to us. From the ground up our studio facility is green, our processes are green and our artworks made for you are green.
We work locally to redefine how local electricians, plumbers and roofing specialists dispose of scrap, unused and old metals. We educate young metalsmiths through our internship program with local colleges and universities in how to be responsible artists. And we act locally, state-wide and nationally to lend our voice in efforts to treat the world around us with respect.
Besides an exploration in Artistry, Responsible Handcrafting means a focus on natural materials, eco-friendly business practices, fair trade, made in the USA and zero-tolerance for conflict materials.
When you buy from Ildanach, you are supporting these efforts and we thank you. As a Patron of Ildanach, your expression of Self creates synergy with our work.
PLEASE RECYCLE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-USE, REDUCE AND REANIMATE
(okay, maybe not the last one…)
FAIR TRADE: The world economy
In keeping with our responsible handcrafting philosophy, the beads we use are made by fellow artists around the world. From the Tibetan handmade beads to copper spacers made by the Hill Tribes, we assure through legal means that all the beads we use are Fair Trade. Each artist has a say in what they make, they are paid a fair wage, their working environment is healthy and safe and they are of a legal age compliant with Fair Trade regulations.
While we believe in buying local, it is also important to support a network of artisans around the world dedicated to preserving and evolving the Arts.
NO ART, NO PEACE…CREATE ART, CREATE PEACE
CARE & CLEANING: With an Earthy, Organic Style, Natural is better…
Care and cleaning of your Ildanach artworks is easy. In fact, for the active lifestyle, we recommend simply showering in your jewelry – sound funny? Copper doesn’t tarnish as quickly as silver and the organic patinas for which we are known can be kept bright and shiny with simple, soapy water. And don’t forget to dry off your jewelry after your shower – buffing it with the towel helps, too!
If you feel your jewelry needs a brighter touch-up, silver polishes work well on copper, too. We recommend the Sunshine Cloth, as it is the least toxic of the silver polishes we’ve found.
When storing your wearable artworks, we recommend you do so without paper products present. The acidity of paper can tarnish metal faster. “Silver Cloth”, found at many fabric stores, has tiny microfibers of silver inbeded in the cloth which attracts the molecules responsible for tarnishing and help reduce the tarnishing rate – a 6″ square or bag made from the Silver Cloth kept in your jewelry box works great.
IN THE NEWS
Please click here for Ildanach Studios in the news.
Please click here for the iconography, meanings and stories behind Ildanach Studios’ artworks.
ILDANACH AFTER DARK: Black Label Reserved
As a Patron of Ildanach Studios, you are cordially invited to *Ildanach After Dark*. We have reserved the best of the best under our *Black Label* just for our Patrons, Gallery Owners and Friends. Please click here for one of a kind artworks from the Artists at Ildanach.
INTERNSHIPS, WORKSHOPS, CLASSES & CLASSICAL TRAINING
Internships are available per semester. Ildanach Studios provides Real World training and work experience as a part of our normal production schedule, therefore some prior training and/or coursework in metalsmithing is required. Ildanach Studios works with the College, School or University and therefore credit may be available.
Workshops are held on a fairly regular basis at the Studios on a wide variety of artistic mediums and endeavors. Fiber Arts, Metalsmithing, Natural Dying, Sustainable Living, Successful Art Business Modeling and Forensic Metalsmithing just to name a few. Workshops are typically an evening or full day and sometimes multi-day events.
Classes are also available and will be added to the Events Schedule as they occur. Classes are typically spread over several evenings, a full day or weekend and sometimes weekly over several months.
Classical Training follows the traditional guild system. Students begin as Apprentices, work through Journeyman status and have the possibility of obtaining status as a Master of their art. While corresponding to scholarly or university training where the focus is *learning*, the focus of classical training is *doing*.
For more information of upcoming workshops and classes, please sign up below.
For information on Internships or Classical Training, please Click here to Email