Visiting Seven: Metalsmith Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky

Photo courtesy of Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky

Recently, sculptor Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky visited Seven for a guided tour of our shop.  When Grace arrived, we noticed that she had an unusual accessory: a backpack made of steel.

Our interest piqued, we took the opportunity to learn about Grace’s process in creating this trompe-l’œil sculpture.  Grace fabricated her hollow steel backpack using 20 and 18 gauge mild sheet.  After hand-forging round stock into a swage, the ‘zippers’ were plug-welded onto the backpack.  Assembly was achieved through a combination of TIG and Gas welding.  Grace worked with Elizabeth Brim, a Blacksmith who has developed a method of inflating metal like a balloon while it is red hot.  This technique, combined with subsequent forming and alteration, achieved the look of a worn steel backpack.

As a metalsmith and maker, Grace’s work ranges in size from jewelry scale to larger sculptural objects. She works with ferrous and non-ferrous metals in addition to other materials such as wood, fabric and enamel.  According to Grace one of her goals in her work is to alter our visual expectations and in doing so, “to comment on the notion that the value assigned to materials is directly tied to whether people or objects are kept or given away.”

It’s great when visitors to Seven can enlighten us, and that is one of the many reasons we enthusiastically encourage customers and anyone interested in observing our designers, engineers, craftspeople, and service professionals in action to get in touch with us and schedule a visit to our Watertown headquarters.

Thanks so much to Grace for sharing her work and philosophy with us!.

0 thoughts on “Visiting Seven: Metalsmith Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky

  • Karen Melnychuck says:


    I am starting a sculpture course with high school kids and would love to share this great article with them. I would like to request permission to print a copy for our bulletin board.

    Thank you for your consideration and the fun story!


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