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Fusing Powdered Metals to Steel with Bette Barnett

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There’s baby powder, powdered sugar and powdery snow. But did you know we also have powdered metals?  It’s true, many metals are available in powder form—brass, bronzes and copper for example. Some precious metals can be converted into a fine powder by grinding or filing. When these powdered metals are fused to steel, that’s when the magic happens. In this workshop, you’ll learn all about fusing metal powders to steel to create high-impact mixed metals steel jewelry.

Why Steel?

Steel has some big advantages for jewelry including its strength, malleability and light weight. In addition, steel has an extremely high melting temperature (2600ºF for mild steel) which means that other metals – brass, bronze, silver, copper and gold – can be fused to it without melting the base metal.

What You’ll Learn in This Workshop

Powdered metals take the fusing technique to a finer level by providing more control of the process and flexibility in the effects. In this techniques-focused workshop, we will explore the exciting world of fusing powdered gold and other metals to steel. 

The workshop will be packed full of information, hands-on skill building and fun. You’ll learn to:

  • Work with mild steel sheet and wire. The basics of cutting, forming, texturing, soldering and polishing steel.
  • Create metal filings/dust in preparation for fusing to steel. Create your own powdered gold using a flex shaft and grinding wheel.
  • Fuse gold and other powdered metals to steel. Fuse gold as well as commercially available powdered metals to steel, including bronzes, copper, brass and silver.
  • Fuse powdered metals to perforated steel sheet and steel wire. Techniques involved to fuse powdered metals to alternative forms of steel and explore design considerations. 
  • Patinate steel mixed metals jewelry. Learn how different patinas affect the metals and how to use those to create dramatic effects.
  • Seal your steel jewelry. Learn various methods to seal your steel jewelry to preserve and protect its beauty. 

During the workshop, you’ll have time to create at least two pieces of steel jewelry with fused metal powders.

 

This course is available as a live online class. 

Class sessions are 2 hours each day (10am-noon Pacific) with an open studio/follow-up session each afternoon at 5pm Pacific. 

A kit of materials is included with this class.
Online students will have kits mailed to them.

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.

 

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.

  • 1" 14ga gold wire (14k or higher)
  • 1" 14ga Argentium wire
  • Torch- dual fuel or acetylene/air
  • Solderite board or hard charcoal block
  • Soldering pick
  • Third hand
  • Firebricks
  • Pickle pot and pickle
  • Tongs for the pickle
  • Pumice cleaner
  • Flexshaft
  • Grinding wheel and mandrel
  • Abrasive wheel for finishing
  • Rust remover
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gun Bluing solution
  • Saw frame and 3/0, 4/0 blades
  • Flush cutters
  • Round nose, chain nose, and flat nose pliers
  • Scriber
  • Mallet
  • Forming hammer
  • Digital calipers
  • Flat and half round hand files
  • Easy, mediu,, and hard silver solder
  • Burlife or beeswax

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.


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).

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


Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancelations.

Prerequisites:

Students will need to have competent metal working skills, including cutting, sawing, filing, sanding and forming. In addition, students need to be comfortable using a jeweler’s torch (either a dual gas or an acetylene air) at high temperatures.

Please view the calendar to find a workshop date for this class