Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Cary I. Knoop


Metal may be joined to metal and non-metal materials by many techniques. It is my intent to discuss one group of such techniques--that of cold connections, and illustrate them with art works. Although there are many types of cold connections, this study will concentrate on the use of rivets, screws, bolts, adhesives, nails and wire as cold connectors.

A proper definition for cold connection is attachment of one piece of material to another piece of material without use of heat.

Historical reference of the uses of cold connections by prehistoric man, early civilizations of man, through modern times is included in the preface. Truly, cold connections have aided man in the conquest of his environment, providing a means for disassembly, with a possibility of reassembly for any movement of the connected objects.

As the methods of cold connection are sometimes underappreciated and overlooked for a myriad of reasons, a philosophy and a list of reasons to use cold connections is included in the introduction. One should be mindful that use of cold connections may become an end in itself--reducing the piece to possible showmanship only.

Each type of cold connection has been researched as to varieties available, historical use, advantages and disadvantages and manners of correct use in a section preceding examples of my work (text and illustrations). Observations as to the effectiveness of the chosen cold connection and other techniques used in each piece are listed at the end of each text.

I chose to investigate a limited number of cold connections. Knowing a little about several types of cold connections has been more advantageous than knowing a great deal about one type of cold connection. Resultant frustration, boredom, the lack of creative approaches to my work, and the lack of enthusiasm have not influenced my research because I have limited knowledge of each type of cold connection I chose. The ideas were plentiful and the pieces were more than just satisfactorily completed.

One could develop quite an extensive discussion on any one type of cold connection successfully. The information is easy to obtain and is quite interesting.

As technology provides new materials for mankind to join together, and new techniques and materials for joining, one will either use the existing types of cold connections, re-design them, or will develop new types to fit his needs. The extent of an investigation of the uses of cold connections by a sculptor and metalsmith appears interminable.