In November 1968, Philip Morton held a meeting in Chicago, attended by Robert Ebendorf, Phillip Fike, Hero Kielman, Brent Kington, Stanley Lechtzin, Kurt Matzdorf, Ronald Pearson, and Olaf Skoogfors. Out of this meeting came two clear goals: to create an organization of “designer craftsmen in the metal arts field” and to produce a conference of professional jewelers. In 1969 a larger group met two more times, establishing the basic parameters of the organization, its name, and plans for the first SNAG conference in 1970.

The First Meeting

SNAG has come so far since 1969. From that first meeting of 9 goldsmiths and silversmiths, to our current membership. Back then SNAG had 64 original members, and now we have more than 2,000 studio artists, educators, students and others working in all metals, alternative materials, and all aspects of contemporary art, design, jewelry and metalsmithing.

The First Conference

The first SNAG conference took place in St. Paul, MN in 1970, and approximately 100 people attended. Now we routinely enjoy hosting 750 members at the annual conference.


SNAG’s very first publication was SNAG Newsletter (1975-1993). Golddust (1975-1977) and Goldsmith Journal (1977-1980) evolved into Metalsmith magazine, which launched in fall 1980. Metalsmith Tech, a companion publication to Metalsmith, was started in 2018.

SNAG has far exceeded its original vision. We have educated and energized a further two generations in the metals community. SNAG’s commitment to the field has never waned, and we continue to evolve to remain vibrant.

SNAG Archives

Information about image, publication, and conference archives