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A filbula is one of the oldest styles of brooch/pin and has been in use for millennia. Created from a single piece of metal, using a hammer, fibulae can be sculptural and flowing in design as well as beautifully elegant and functional.
This course is available as an in-person workshop or live online class. Please check this page for times and formats available.
Fibulae were used in Roman times to hold togas closed, in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon cultures for kilts, wraps, and shawls. Today they are used for shawls or wraps, on hats, jackets, and in badge/medal style pins as well.
In this class, students will learn the basic methods and techniques for forging metal from a thick rod. We will be tapering the rod, twisting, flaring, curving and bending, as well as flattening the rod into a sheet surface.
You can use the same forging skills taught in this class to make rings, earrings and bracelets with similar calligraphic designs that shift seamlessly from thick to thin.
Forging is a great way to move and stretch metal without filing and with little to no metal lost. This is a valuable skill for working with precious metals, like silver and gold alloys
Students will create at least 2 forged fibulae. This class involves a lot of hammering- if you have shoulder issues or trouble holding a tool for long periods of time, this class is not recommended.
- • Forging techniques: taper, knife wedge, curving
- • Students practice in copper and then make a sterling fibula
- • Twisting and forming the metal
- • Annealing
- • How to use a rolling mill for forging
- • Forming the stem and clasp
- • Adaptations of the fibula form
- • Finishing techniques
Read what students have to say about our online classes on the testimonials page.
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.
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). Feel free to contact us with any questions.
A full color handout is included with the class.
Create your own workbook with the beautiful handout that is downloadable for this workshop. Handouts include instructions for techniques and projects, reference charts and lots of information to support your learning.
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.
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.
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.
- Grooving and Planishing hammer
- For this class, you need a cross peen face and a planishing face. Make sure your cross peen face has some weight to it- at least 200g.
- Anvil with horn
- Ear protection
- Bench Vise or similar
- Your bench vise needs to be secured to your work surface either via bolts or C-clamps
- Saw frame
- 2/0 saw blades
- Half round hand file
- Needle files
- Bench pin
- Torch- large butane, acetylene/air, fuel/oxygen
- Soldering surface or annealing pan with pumice rocks
- Round/flat forming pliers
- Rolling Mill
- *If you do not have a rolling mill you can have Jenn pre-taper your rods*
A computer, phone or tablet to use the free Zoom app for class
Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancelations.
Open to all levels, beginners welcome!
Location: Silvera Jewelry School, Berkeley, CA
Jenn Parnell Kirkpatrick
No upcoming occurences at this time.