Design For Silver and Bronze

Course Description

This class aims to provide a synthesis of design and technique in metalworking.  Students will complete three projects using both lost wax casting techniques, as well as basic fabrication techniques. Each student will make a belt (leather work and buckle), a pierced project or ring, and a piece created in collaboration with guest Navajo and Hopi silversmiths.

Sara and Amanda have been teaching ME298: Silversmithing in Design at Stanford for 17 years, they are full-time designers at RedStart Design, LLC and also Lecturers in Design in the Mechanical Engineering Department. 

Meet the Instructor(s)

Amanda Sather


Mandy is a Midwest native and second-generation artist. After earning two degrees from Stanford (a BA in Art History and an MA in Religious Studies) and a period of designing jewelry and teaching metalworking in Florence, Italy, Mandy returned to Stanford for a Design MFA that would allow her to pursue her growing love of teaching.

She always envisioned for herself the life of the lone creative — until she met her cofounders.

Now, Mandy and Sara see their collaborative relationship as an important reason they're able to work so well with their clients. They approach the work without ego from a problem-solving perspective and use a dialog of back-and-forth critique to arrive at the perfect solution and fine-tune the design. This practice primes them to thrive on the same kind of feedback and energy from clients.

As a designer, Mandy is intuitive and fluid. She sketches and carves by hand, relying on her eye and instinct. Her techniques create pieces that are sculptural and flowing, and which often have gentle variations and unexpected turns that infuse the metal and stones with life.

Sara Shaughnessy


Growing up, she dedicated thousands of hours outside of school to the study and practice of art, particularly watercolor and acrylic painting. She shifted focus in college, simultaneously earning a BA in Biology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

She arrived at Stanford for grad school with an NSF grant and a plan to pursue smart products, biomechanics, and MEMS. True to form, she managed to squeeze in an elective course in metalworking — in the very lab where Mandy worked.

Sara's adventurous, entrepreneurial nature helped spark the creation of RedStart Design, and her affinity for new ideas and techniques compliments RedStart's unique niche of designing from scratch with their clients.

Aesthetically, Sara is drawn to pattern, precision, and ordered complexity. She starts with sketches but quickly takes the process digital to create designs with flawless curves and exact angles. Perhaps informed by her earlier nano-scale work, she finds deep satisfaction in "making tiny things perfect."