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Oral history interview with Heikki Seppä

Interviewee:
Seppä, Heikki  Search this
Interviewer:
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Extent:
76 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 May 6
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Heikki Seppä conducted 2001 May 6, by Lloyd Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Seppä speaks of his early childhood in Finland and being placed in a children's home (twice) in the Karelian Isthmus; his mother's move to Canada; his parents' divorce; his educational background including his course of study at the goldsmith school in 1940 and 1941, at age 14, and his lack of role models; the postwar growth of the metal industry; his participation in an exchange program with Denmark; his athletic accomplishments, especially kayaking; his service in the Finnish Army; his employment in Helsinki; producing objects for Georg Jensen; the state of Nordic decorative arts in the 1950s; his marriage and move to British Columbia; working with refrigeration systems; obtaining Canadian and American citizenship; teaching metalsmithing in a community center; winning prizes for metal pieces in Canadian national exhibitions; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; introducing reticulation to Cranbrook; and his Cranbrook classmates Stanley Lechtzin, L. Brent Kington, Leslie Motch, and teachers Richard Thomas and Alma Eicherman. Seppä describes in detail the history of and process for producing a reticulated surface; he refers to crimping and spraying metal; teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1965 to 1992; the origin of his spiculum and shell forms; his books, "Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths" (Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1978) and "From Silversmith's Workshop" (1996 or 1998); commissions; his gradual withdrawal from juried and competitive exhibitions; his use and limitations of preliminary drawings; the silversmith as a maker of expressive objects; and repairs he made to silver pieces made by metalworkers who did not understand silver. He discusses a difficult period marked by his early retirement in 1992, his wife's death in 1993, and declining commissions.
He talks about becoming reacquainted with metalsmith Laurie Lyall in 1997 and moving to Bainbridge Island, where he now lives with Lyall. SNAG (the Society of North American Goldsmiths), its founders, membership, and five-year dormancy are discussed as is the organization's revitalization. Seppä speaks about stylistic influences; technique and style; his work-related travel; and his admiration for Jack da Silva's sculpture. He comments on the homogenization of the arts; the difference between jewelers and metalsmiths trained in art schools and vocational schools; the distinction between art and craft; the desire of craftsmen to be called artists; the function of critical writing and the lack thereof; Metalsmith magazine; Bruce Metcalf as critic; his commissioned ecclesiastical pieces, including a triangular chalice for an Episcopal church in St. Louis; metalsmiths and manufacturing companies; Fabergé-trained metalsmiths; reticulation at Fabergé's shop; enamel and enamelers at Fabergé; and gemology. Seppä also speaks about his future pursuits and artistic contributions; silver as an expressive medium; and silver as a material for utilitarian objects. He recalls Eero Saarinen, Aline Saarinen, Loja Saarinen, Nellie Peterson, Alma Eicherman, Robert Ebendorf, Michael Good, David Jaworski, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Heikki Seppä (1927-) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Bainbridge Island, Washington. Lloyd Herman (1936-) is a former director of the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery and from Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 51 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Silversmiths  Search this
Topic:
Jewelers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work -- Technique  Search this
Metal-workers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.seppa01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seppa01

Fabergé imperial eggs and other fantasies / by Hermione Waterfield and Christopher Forbes ; illustrated with works from the Forbes magazine Collection, New York, [color photography, H. Peter Curran, black and white photography, Robert Forbes, original ill., B. Robert Shapiro]

Author:
Waterfield, Hermione  Search this
Forbes, Christopher  Search this
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920 Catalogs  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
143 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1980
[1980] c1978
Topic:
Easter eggs--Catalogs  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Call number:
NK7417.F12 W32 1980
NK7417.F12W32 1980
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_132299

Fine objects by Carl Fabergé : Russian silver, Niello enamels, icons, porcelain

Title:
Fine objects by Carl Fabergé, Russian works of art
Beaux objets d'art par Carl Fabergé : argenterie, niellés emaux, icônes et procelaines russes
Author:
Christie's International Group  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920 Catalogs  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
104 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
1982
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Call number:
NK7398.F32 A4 1982
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_487756

Fabergé : the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Author:
Queen's Gallery (London, England)  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Alexandra Queen, consort of Edward VII, King of Great Britain 1844-1925 Art collections  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Queen's Gallery (London, England)  Search this
Physical description:
80 p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
England
London
Date:
1995
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Call number:
NK7198.F115 Q3 1995
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_485385

Fabergé in America / Géza von Habsburg ; with contributions by David Park Curry ... [et al.]

Author:
Habsburg, Géza von  Search this
Curry, David Park  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
366 p. : ill. (some col.), ports. ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Russia
United States
Date:
1996
20th century
Topic:
Jewelry--History  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Art objects--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
NK5698.F3 H313f 1996
NK7198.F112 H3 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_504419

Carl Fabergé : goldsmith to the Tsar / [exhibition director and catalogue editor, Elsebeth Welander-Berggren ; architect, Henrik Widenheim]

Author:
Welander-Berggren, Elsebeth 1945-  Search this
Widenheim, Henrik  Search this
Nationalmuseum (Sweden)  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
239 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Russia
Date:
1997
1997]
20th century
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Jewelry--History  Search this
Call number:
NK7198.F115 C3 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_537171

Fabergé and the Russian master goldsmiths / edited by Gerard Hill ; with introductions by Gerard Hill, G.G. Smorodinova, and B.L. Ulyanova

Author:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Hill, Gerard  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
320 p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 34 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1989
C1989
Topic:
Jewelry  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Call number:
NK7398.F32A4 1989X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_401816

Fabergé : the imperial eggs / with essays by Christopher Forbes, Johann Georg Prinz von Hohenzollern, and Irina Rodimtseva

Title:
Fabergé, the imperial eggs
Author:
Brezzo, Steven L  Search this
Forbes, Christopher  Search this
Hohenzollern, Johann Georg Prinz von  Search this
Rodimtseva, Irina Aleksandrovna  Search this
San Diego Museum of Art  Search this
Gosudarstvennaia Oruzheĭnaia palata (Russia)  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Fabergé (Firm) (OCoLC)fst00536646  Search this
Faberge (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
119 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1989
©1989
Topic:
Easter eggs  Search this
Crown jewels  Search this
Goldwork  Search this
Jewelry  Search this
Call number:
NK7398.F33 A4 1989
NK7398.F33A4 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_417302

Masterpieces of Fabergé : the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection / by John Webster Keefe

Author:
New Orleans Museum of Art  Search this
Keefe, John Webster  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Grey, Matilda Geddings Art collections  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
New Orleans Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 160 p. : col. ill., 1 port. ; 31 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Louisiana
Date:
1993
Topic:
Jewelry  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Jewelry--Private collections  Search this
Art objects--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
NK7398.F32 A4 1993
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_448740

Oral history interview with Heikki Seppä, 2001 May 6

Interviewee:
Seppä, Heikki, 1927-  Search this
Interviewer:
Herman, Lloyd E., 1936-  Search this
Subject:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Jewelers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work -- Technique  Search this
Metal-workers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12958
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227015
AAA_collcode_seppa01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227015
Online Media:

Fabergé : imperial craftsman and his world / Géza von Habsburg ; with contributions by Alexander Von Solodkoff, Robert Bianchi

Author:
Habsburg, Géza von  Search this
Solodkoff, A. von  Search this
Bianchi, Robert Steven 1943-  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Nicholas II Emperor of Russia 1868-1918 Art patronage  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
416 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 32 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Russia
Date:
2000
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Goldwork  Search this
Silverwork  Search this
Enamel and enameling  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_966059

Fabergé rediscovered / Wilfried Zeisler

Host institution:
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Author:
Zeisler, Wilfried  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Post, Marjorie Merriweather Art collections  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Physical description:
224 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
Russia
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
2018
Topic:
Jewelry  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Art objects--Private collections  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1095271

The world of Fabergé / [author of introductory article and compiler of catalogue T.N. Muntian]

Author:
Muntian, Tatʹiana  Search this
Gosudarstvennyĭ istoriko-kulʹturnyĭ muzeĭ-zapovednik "Moskovskiĭ Kremlʹ."  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Gosudarstvennyĭ istoriko-kulʹturnyĭ muzeĭ-zapovednik "Moskovskiĭ Kremlʹ"  Search this
Physical description:
224 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Moscow
Date:
2000
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Call number:
NK7417.F12 A4 2000
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_836366

The world of Fabergé : Russian gems and jewels

Author:
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Houston Museum of Natural Science  Search this
Rossiĭskaia akademiia nauk  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
62 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Russia
Date:
1994
Topic:
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Art objects--Private collections  Search this
Jewelry  Search this
Call number:
NK5698.F3 W67 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_777511

Fabergé : then and now / Géza von Habsburg

Author:
Habsburg, Géza von  Search this
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
102 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2004
C2004
Topic:
Fabergé eggs  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Call number:
NK5698.F3 H4 2005
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_793765

Fabergé eggs : a retrospective encyclopedia / Will Lowes, Christel Ludewig McCanless

Author:
Lowes, Will 1947-  Search this
McCanless, Christel Ludewig  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 286 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.), 1 port. ; 29 cm
Type:
Encyclopedias
Catalogs
Date:
2001
Topic:
Fabergé eggs  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_676360

Golden years of Fabergé : drawings and objects from the Wigström workshop / Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm ... [et al.] ; foreword by A. Kenneth Snowman ; preface by Peter L. Schaffer ; editorial director, Emmanuel Duchamp

Author:
Tillander-Godenhielm, Ulla  Search this
A La Vieille Russie (Firm)  Search this
Subject:
Wigström, Henrik Immanuel 1862-1923 Themes, motives  Search this
Fabergé (Firm) History  Search this
Physical description:
175 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
2000
Topic:
Artists' preparatory studies  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_598605

The art of Fabergé / John Booth

Author:
Booth, John 1936-  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Physical description:
191 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 34 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1990
Topic:
Easter eggs  Search this
Goldwork  Search this
Jewelry  Search this
Call number:
NK7398.F32 B72 1990
NK7398.F32B72 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_400727

Fabergé at Hillwood / [photography by Roy D.R. Betteley ... [et al.]

Author:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Betteley, Roy D. R  Search this
Hillwood Museum (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Hillwood Museum (Washington, D.C.) Art collections Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
58 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1983
C1983
Topic:
Art objects, Russian--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
NK7198.F115 A42 1983
NK7198.F115A42 1983
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_418881

Fabergé and his works : an annotated bibliography of the first century of his art / Christel Ludewig McCanless

Author:
McCanless, Christel Ludewig  Search this
Subject:
Fabergé, Peter Carl 1846-1920 Bibliography  Search this
Fabergé (Firm) Bibliography  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 408 p. : port., plates, geneal. chart ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Russia (Federation)
Date:
1994
Topic:
Jewelry--Bibliography  Search this
Art objects, Russian--Bibliography  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_457545

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