Nicholas Downing headshot

Nicholas Downing

Metalsmithing & Jewelry Studio Technician

Dept. : Metalsmithing & Jewelry

“As they say, you can take anything away from a man–- his health and wealth and suchlike‚ but you can’t take away his craftsman skills. Once you learn a trade, you always know that trade for the rest of your life. --Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev (as translated from Russian in the documentary 'Happy People, a Year in the Tiga' by Verner Herzog)”

Since the summer of 2005, Nicholas Downing has worked at MECA as the Studio Technician for the Metalsmithing & Jewelry Program. He first became familiar with this program by taking an eight-week Continuing Studies course, becoming a non-degree seeking student, and then a studio monitor and artist-in-residence.

Nicholas graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2010, where he studied Sculpture, Art History, and Business. Before working at MECA, he held a variety of jobs around Portland, including bakery deliverer, deli manager, and jeweler.


  • Visiting artist at MECA
  • Work-study student at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
  • Works published in the New England Blacksmiths newsletter
  • Teaching Assistant at Penland School of Crafts
  • New England Blacksmiths scholarship recipient
  • Works featured in several Metals Collective group shows


In addition to working at MECA, Nicholas works as a bench jeweler, metalsmithing instructor, and blacksmith. He is a member of both the New England Blacksmiths and the Artist Blacksmiths of North America. When not at MECA or in the shop, he can often be found running the trails around Portland, rock-hounding in western Maine, or hunting for antique metalsmithing and machinist’s tools at flea markets and antique stores.