Beads and Yarn

Classes & Events


American Modernist Jewelry (online)

Thursdays, April 15, 2021 - May 6, 2021, 2:00PM - 5:00PM PT (Pacific Time)

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Cost: $295.00

During the 1940s-1960s there was a renaissance in jewelry making in America. This time was the beginning of what we have today. The aesthetic, techniques, and artist/craft link are all iconic and foundational to each of us as jewelers currently.

In this class we dive into this period, examining designers, materials, techniques, and aesthetics. We will learn about why this era came about and talk about how it still relates to our work today.

From Sam Kramer to Art Smith, Margaret De Patta to Alexander Calder and Albert Paley, we look at how pieces were made as well as identifying the design hallmarks of the time.

What’s covered in this class?

  • History of jewelry in the United States 1940-1960
  • What materials were used during this period and why? How did they differ from previous eras?
  • Forging and wire work
  • Aesthetics of the period
  • Brooch back and catch
  • Modernist design principles and hallmarks
  • Piercing and filing
  • Sweat soldering
  • Riveting
  • Bar link chain
  • Bezel setting for cabochon
  • Heat patinas

A kit of materials is included with this class and will be mailed to you. Please be sure that the address with your payment is the correct one for shipping.

Tools for this Class

Students can adapt this class to their favorite jewelry technique that they already know, including fabrication, setting, lost wax, enameling and beading. You’ll need the same basic tools you already use to make your jewelry now.

This is a list of tools you’ll need to practice the techniques shown in class. A list of tools with recommended suppliers for the best prices will be sent to you after registration If you have questions about the tool list, please contact us.


  • Cabochon (at least 10mm, no larger than 25mm)
  • Soldering set-up: torch, solder board, pick, flux, pickle (citric or sparex)
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Round/flat forming pliers
  • Half round/flat forming pliers
  • Bench pin
  • Saw frame
  • 2/0 or 3/0 or 4/0 saw blades
  • Needle file set of 6
  • Steel bench block
  • Riveting hammer
  • 1mm drill bit
  • Pin vise drill or dremel/flexshaft
  • Burnisher

Read what students have to say about our online classes on the testimonials page

About Our Interactive Online Classes
This class is online and uses the Zoom app/website. Through Zoom, you’ll be able to see demos and follow instructions, ask questions and interact with your instructor. Zoom is easy to use and free for students to use for class, and works on most devices, like phones (iphone, Android, etc), tablets (iPads, etc), and computers (Mac or PC).

This course meets for 4 weeks, 3 hours per week, for a total of 12 hours. Your instructor is also available during free Zoom office hours for questions and help.

Each class is also recorded and available for students to watch later, to review instructions or in case you missed a class.

Students work at home or in their studio. All of our recommended tools and the kit materials are chosen to be home studio friendly. We always choose the safest materials, chemicals and tools for you and the environment.

Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancelations.


Jewelry 1 or other introductory class. There is a lot to learn in this class for any level, including intermediate students and beyond. Sawing, drilling, and basic soldering skills are needed.

Location: Silvera Jewelry School, Berkeley, CA


Instructor: Jenn Parnell Kirkpatrick

Upcoming Schedule

Date & Times
Thu. May 6, 2PM - 5PM PT (Pacific Time)

American Modernist Jewelry (online)

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