Faculty Faves
Brad Nichols

Posted 3:46 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023

Currently: Professor and Chair for the Department of Art | Started at UWL: 2006
Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA, 1999 | UW-La Crosse, BS, 1997

Favorite class to teach: Art 223 (Introduction to Blacksmithing) because it’s a very unique course to have in a university setting. It’s a physically demanding course that allows students to investigate this ancient process as an avenue of creative expression. Students are usually a bit hesitant at the beginning of the semester because fire, sparks and glowing iron can be scary. However, students conquer that initial fear quickly, and my enjoyment comes from witnessing their confidence build. Once a student realizes the potential a rigid material like steel possesses to create objects, tools and works of art, the sky’s the limit. 

Favorite class in college: Introduction to Metalsmithing/Jewelry — it changed the trajectory of my life/career. 

Class you'd like to retake: Other than the statistics class I was forced to retake? 😊

Favorite spot: Now, it’s the UWL Metalsmithing Studio. As a student, the Metalsmithing Studio and wrestling room. 

Favorite pastime away from work: Working in my studio.

Hobbies: Judo and jiujitsu.  

Favorite place to visit: Hayward, Wisconsin. It’s a wonderful place to vacation with my family. 

Anything else? I enjoy creating unusual things with metal that, hopefully, others find interesting.

Photos by Jonathan LeGault