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Bob Winston

Winston went to University of California, Berkeley for his Bachelor degree in art with a minor in history. He earned his M.A. in 1943 art, again with a minor in art history. He taught evening classes at Berkeley High School in 1937 and 1938. Winston worked as a Coppersmith Supervisor at Moore Dry Dock. In 1942 he found a teaching job as an Assistant Professor of Craft at California College of Arts and Crafts from 1942 to 1956. The jewelry classes he taught were; 1) basic and advanced fabrication technique and a new course; 2) lost wax casting as related to jewelry and small sculpture.

The lost wax casting course created much interest as a technique, but was more important to the crafts, since it was the first time to be included in the curriculum of an institution of higher learning (1944). The emphasis of the course was towards developing designs that were possible only with the lost wax casting technique.

In 1959 Winston left CACC. He moved from Berkeley to Scottsdale, Arizona to continue his career as a full-time designer/craftsman. However, Winston says, "once a teacher, always a teacher". So for the next twelve years Winston worked with jewelry and sculpture and taught in the Extended Education Department in one of Arizona's three universities. Included in this period was writing and publishing a textbook on the lost wax casting technique, "Cast Away". Winston is noted as a pioneer of lost wax casting in jewelry field -- as recently as 1945 the process was seldom used in jewelry making in United States. He came to develop and use this process through experimentation while teaching at CACC. Winston discovered that the technique had obvious advantages over other techniques. It allowed him more freedom in the creation of organic forms. Casting was not new technique. It was used in ancient Egypt, but the technique did not progress much beyond the use of stone, sand, clay, plaster and cuttlebone molds.

He experimented with various waxes, mostly those used by dentists. Winston learned to refine each piece in detail in wax before casting. He also experimented with casting stones in place.