American Modernist Jewelry

Saturday, January 22, 2022; 10:00AM - 5:00PM PT (Pacific Time)
Sunday, January 23, 2022; 10:00AM - 5:00PM PT (Pacific Time)

In Person

Cost: $340

SOLD OUT! See below for other workshop dates.


Cost: $310

SOLD OUT! See below for other workshop dates.

More Upcoming Dates
Class Photo
Class Photo

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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
  • Riveting
  • Bar link chain
  • Bezel setting for cabochon
  • Heat patinas


This course is available as an in-person workshop or live online class, please check this page for times and formats available.


A kit of materials is included with this class.


A series of handouts are included with the class.


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).

Students will need to bring a cabochon stone of their choice (10-25mm, round or oval)

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
  • Burnisher

A computer, phone or tablet to use the free Zoom app for class


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



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.


Jenn Parnell Kirkpatrick

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. For staff instructor classes, students have access to the recordings for one year. For guest instructors, access is 30 days. 

If a kit is included with the class, online students will have them mailed to them. Kits for in-person students are delivered at the beginning of the first class. More information about the kit is included with the supplies list which is emailed after registration.

International students may be charged an additional amount for shipping, because of the increased cost to ship abroad. Also, shipments to other countries may incur a tariff payable by the student. International students are welcome to contact us re: these costs and options for their materials. Please be sure that the address with your payment is the correct one for shipping.

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.

For classes that include work time, 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. Some classes, like our short demo only classes, don't require tools or materials to attend. 

We remain committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible while continuing to move forward and adapt to the current circumstances for our in person classes and open studios.

We recommend that in person students be vaccinated, but it's not required. 

Face masks are encouraged while at the school, but no longer required. Students must bring a particulate face mask (N95, KN95, KF94 or similar) to protect against dust and particles when needed and required during class work time.

If you have tested positive for COVID, have symptoms that could be COVID, or feel ill, please don't come to class. Contact us for more information. 

And now the fine print. Payment in full for class fees is due at the time of registration to reserve your place. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Checks and cash are accepted only if you register at school. If you mail a check, your registration is not processed until it clears and the class may fill during the wait. 

If the workshop is canceled by our school for any reason, all class fees will be refunded, or you can transfer to another class, or you can keep a credit on account with us for future classes or purchases, 

Students can cancel, receive a credit or refund, or transfer to another class up to 21 days before a workshop, whether it is online or in person. No cancellations are accepted after the 21-day deadline, however, we will do what we can to try and sell your place to a qualified student. If we can sell your place, you can receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee, keep a credit on account with us, or apply your fees towards a transfer to another class. 

If you can’t make it to class, you may send a participant who has the necessary prerequisites in your place. Please call or email us immediately with any changes in the student participant information. If a class includes an online section, your class will be recorded and you can watch later to make up a class you miss. 

Students must be at least 15 years old to attend a class, and students under 18 must have a legal guardian sign our liability waiver form. We have had younger students attend classes, on a case by case basis. If you’re interested in enrolling your child, please call or email us. 

If you sign up for a class and fail to have the required prerequisites as listed in the class description, you are still subject to the 21-day cancellation policy, listed above.

Lodging and meals are not included for in person classes.

If you don't come to class, there are no refunds, credits or transfers.