Gale Schadewald is best known for her acid-etched copper jewelry. With its emphasis on intricate details and nature inspired themes, her work has been described as wearable art.
“Jewelry design is not limited to just personal style, it can bring out the beauty of emotion. I love it when my pieces connect with people on a deeper, more personal level.” Interested in spreading a sense of joy, love and reminiscence, Gale’s jewelry helps connect people to their favorite memories, animals, hobbies, etc.
The functional art she creates is handcrafted in Fort Collins, Colorado. To make the wearable art, Gale first designs the image in Illustrator. She then uses a special transfer technique to apply the design onto the metal. The metal then goes into acid which eats into the metal around the design but leaves the design itself intact. After the etching process is complete Gale hand files and sands the edges of the metal. She uses a torch to anneal the cuff (so it is soft enough to bend) and she hammers it into shape using a mandrel.
Some pieces are colored with different hues of patina that represent aged metal. “People want to be surrounded by beauty. I think part of that ‘surrounding’ is wearing beauty as well.” Each GaleForce Design piece is versatile in its fashion; you can dress it up or wear it casual. It is a great compliment for most outfits.
Gale is a Graphic Designer as well as a Metalsmith. Prior to Metalsmithing she was a wildland firefighter for six seasons. Two fire seasons were on an engine crew with the MN DNR and for four seasons she was stationed in Monument, CO on a Helitack crew. There she became a Helirappeller and rappelled out of helicopters as a quick mode of transportation to wildfires. After six years of firefighting Gale transitioned into graphic design and metalsmithing.