David M Bowman Studio - patinaed metalwork

Berkeley, California
| 154 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

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Announcement    We are a father and son business with seventy-five years of combined experience in metalwork. Our website,, shows our range of work, from Jewelry and table accessories to tables and one-of-a-kind abstract wallpieces, all in patinaed brass and copper. Everything is designed and made by the two of us alone.


Last updated on Jun 25, 2021

We are a father and son business with seventy-five years of combined experience in metalwork. Our website,, shows our range of work, from Jewelry and table accessories to tables and one-of-a-kind abstract wallpieces, all in patinaed brass and copper. Everything is designed and made by the two of us alone.


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David and Reed Bowman

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David and Reed Bowman


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About dmbstudio

Sales 154
On Etsy since 2006

We are a father and son studio, self-taught metalworkers, mostly working in patinaed brass and copper.

David M Bowman Studio consists of two people: David Mills Bowman and his son, Reed Christopher Bowman with over 75 years of metalworking experience between us.

David began working in metal in 1971, near the time Reed was born; he first made silver jewelry, later moved on to brass belt buckles, then to larger pieces in patinaed brass. Over the years David has worked alone or with different assistants, but he has worked exclusively with Reed since the mid-1990s.

We are both largely self-taught. David first learned some techniques of jewelry production in night school, after deciding his aerospace engineering degree would lead him too much into the military-industrial complex. After that, he continued his education in metalwork on his own, learning by doing. Reed learned from David and has extended the studio's repertoire in several directions, all by empirical education.

We produce most of our work together, in consultation or collaboration. We enjoy working at a wide variety of scales, from jewelry, to table accessories, to tables, to wall art. In general we resist repeating ourselves, though over the years we have found many designs that have stuck, and that we are willing to keep making.

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  • David and Reed Bowman


Shop policies

Last updated on April 30, 2022
We are David and Reed Bowman, a father and son studio. We have worked together for many years creating artwork, vases, candlesticks, tables, and jewelry in patinaed brass and copper. All of our work is designed and created by the two of us alone. Our work is all fabricated from sheet and rod. We do not work from kits or prefab parts (except earwires), and do not cast pieces, but shape everything by folding, hammering, soldering and brazing. We mix our patinas from scratch. Our jewelry is created a few pieces at a time, to achieve constant variation in color, size, and shape. No two pieces will be alike. What we show on Etsy is a tiny fraction of what we make.

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We accept payment via Credit Cards through etsy or directly, via check or money order, or via PayPal. We charge 9.5% sales tax on items sent to California addresses.

Address for payments by check or money order:
David M Bowman Studio
PO Box 738
Berkeley, CA 94710


Jewelry and Christmas ornaments are generally sent by USPS. Larger items are sent by UPS. Contact us by convo or at shop [!at] if you need something shipped by a faster method or if you want items shipped outside the US.

Additional policies and FAQs


Q: What is foldforming?
A: Foldforming is a fairly new term for a collection of techniques, some new, most old, which involve folding sheets of a highly malleable and ductile metal such as copper (or brass, silver, or gold), hammering them, and unfolding them, then repeating this process, using the natural properties of the metal to create three-dimensional shapes in the metal that can be as surprising as they are beautiful. We have been experimenting with foldforming techniques for a few years, and using them in our jewelry and to some extent in our larger artwork.

Q: Are the pieces painted? Enameled? What is a patina?
A: Patinas are formed by chemical reactions on the surface of a metal. Most of our patinas are traditional sculptural patinas, created by brushing on thin solutions of chemicals while heating the metals. Reds and some browns come from just heating copper in different conditions. The saturated blue patina we call 'antique blue' incorporates ultramarine blue pigment into one of our standard patinas, but other than that we do not use pigments. Nor are the colors paints or baked-on glass enamels.

Q: Are the colors permanent? Will they tarnish/rust/corrode?
A: The patinas in general represent a fully reacted state of the metal. Most of the colors will change very little on their surfaces. Furthermore, the surfaces are all sealed, with wax in the case of vases and sculptures, or with acrylic sealant or lacquer in the case of jewelry. These coatings will slow down wear on the patina, but a piece of jewelry worn every day will eventually get some wear through the patina, and it will develop its own 'lived-in' look. Some of the red colors may darken more quickly with handling than other colors; we are not certain why this happens with some pieces and not others.

Q: How do I get a bracelet that fits?
A: This is always difficult, especially at a distance. Everyone's wrist is a different size and shape. If you are interested in a particular style of bracelet, but the one shown on Etsy doesn't seem to be your size, convo us or e-mail us at shop [!at] with a measurement around your wrist (use a flexible dressmaker's tape measure or wrap a piece of paper around your wrist, mark it, and measure that flat), as well as an approximation of the width and height of your wrist. We can (usually) make a similar bracelet in a size that will come closer. If it turns out the bracelet does not fit you, send it back and we will refund your money (except shipping costs) or make another one for you to try. Of course, if you're near Berkeley or Oakland, you can also come see us and try things on. Just drop us a line.

Q: Will copper turn my skin green?
A: Probably. If you wear a bracelet regularly, you will wear through its sealant, and the acids on your skin will react with the copper, and leave a green color on your skin where the bracelet sits. How fast this happens, and the intensity of the effect, depend on your personal chemistry. It will wash and wear off in a few days at most when not wearing the copper. As far as anyone knows, for nearly everyone there is no harm from wearing copper in contact with your skin.

Q: Your earwires are listed as 'gold-filled'. What does that mean?
A: Gold-filled is a somewhat confusing term. What it means is a very heavy layer of gold bonded to a base metal (brass or bronze) substrate. The layer is many, many times thicker than gold plate, and in normal usage, should never wear through. Our earwires and findings are usually 14/20 gold filled, which means the piece is 1/20th gold (by weight), and that gold is 14 karat. To most people, wearing gold-filled is equivalent to wearing gold, except cheaper.

Q: Can I get earrings with surgical steel wires instead? Or sterling?
A: Yes. Just ask and we will change the wires before sending. Our surgical steel earwires are a different shape from the gold-filled ones shown.

Q: Do you sell wholesale to shops and galleries?
A: Yes! And we're always looking for more shops to carry all our scales of work. We offer most of our earrings in assortments, since we don't make things in constantly repeated styles. This means everyone can find her own perfect pair. We are happy to send pickboxes of our jewelry as well, so you can see more of our styles, more of the constant variation in our work, and choose your own jewelry assortment. Please convo us or contact us at shop [!at] for more information.

Q: Where can I find more information about your work?
A: See our website, for more information about all our work. There is a lot more than we will ever have shown on Etsy at any given time. Or contact us for more information about anything: shop [!at] - we'd be happy to tell you more!