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portrait of Seppa

Heikki Seppa

Seppa was born in Finland in 1927. His metalsmithing training began at the age of fourteen in the tradition of early educational concentration in Finland. He studied at the Goldsmiths School of Helsinki and Center School for Industrial Arts for four years. After his education Seppa worked for industry for another four years. He later received his Master Silversmith certificate. One year after reaching Master status he went to continue his studies in Denmark under Goerg Jensen for one year.

Seppa experienced a housing shortage at the end of World War II. He and his wife then decided to immigrate to Canada in 1951. When he reached Canada there was not a demand for a silversmith so he worked in other fields for nine years. In 1960 he enrolled in the graduate metalsmithing program at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Seppa studied at Cranbrook for one year and from there went to his first teaching position at Louisville Art Center in Kentucky. There he taught craft classes for the art center and also taught at the University of Louisvelle. He then moved to accept a teaching position at Washington University, St. Louis, Misourri. Seppa is noted for two contributions to the metalsmithing field. One is the preservation of the reticulation technique. The second and most recognized is his development of "shell structures". He also developed a vocabulary for these new forms. One term which is most familiar is the spiculum.

Seppa conducted numerous seminars nationwide. He received several awards including a diploma for Meritous Lifetime Work from the Society of Precious Metal Producers of his native Finland.