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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 1940-1970
- 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
- Bar link chain
- Bezel setting for cabochon
- Heat patinas
This course is available as an in-person workshop or live online class, and as a 4 week course or 2 day workshop. Please check this page for times and formats available.
A kit of materials is included with this class.
Online students will have kits mailed to them. Kits for in-person students are delivered at the beginning of the first class.
A series of handouts are included with the class.
Recordings of class.
If a class is online, or is a combination online and in-person session, all students receive a link to a recording of the class demonstrations. In-person only workshops are not recorded.
Classes at our school include use of tools, with each student having their own bench to use during class. Online students will need to have their own tools (see the list of tools below).
Tools Required for Online Students
This is a list of tools online students need to practice the techniques shown in class. (in-person students have tools to use at school)
A list of tools with links to 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
About Our Interactive Online Classes
If this class is offered online, it 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).
Your instructor is also available during free Zoom office hours for questions and help.
Online students work at home or in their studio. All of our recommended tools and the kit materials are chosen to be home studio friendly. Links to preferred vendors are provided in the supplies list sent after registration.
Read what students have to say about our online classes on the testimonials page.
Please review our COVID-19 guidelines for in-person students.
For the health and safety our staff and students, students are required to show proof of vaccination and to wear masks when attending classes at our school. If you can’t meet these requirements, we invite you to take the online version of this class instead, if available. Please visit our COVID-19 Updates page for more information.
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
Jenn Parnell Kirkpatrick