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Mild steel is a fabulous metal for jewelry—lightweight, malleable and affordable. Fusing gold to steel takes it to another level entirely. And when you incorporate alternative forms of steel — wire and perforated sheet—your gold and steel designs are sure to break out of the box.
This class consists of five two hour live online sessions with steel and gold expert Bette Barnett. In addition, the class will include four optional one-hour live “open studio” sessions with Bette to discuss work and troubleshoot. You’ll learn the basics of working with mild steel—cutting, texturing, forming and soldering it. You’ll also learn how to fuse high karat gold to steel to add drama and excitement.
Then Bette will kick things up a notch and explore fabricating and fusing alternative forms of steel, including steel wire and perforated steel in a range of patterns. She will cover how to finish the edges of perforated steel for comfort and a clean look, how to make striking bezels from perforated steel and how to layer wire, perforated steel and steel sheet.
- Cutting and filing steel
- Fusing gold to steel sheet, wire and perforated steel sheet
- Working with steel in various forms – including wire and perforated sheet
- Creating bezels from perforated steel sheet
A kit of materials is included with this class. The kit is $60 (not included in the class price) payable directly to the instructor. Registered students receive a class kit by mail, shipped to the address used for registration. Please be sure to contact us at the time of registration with any updates re: where you want your kit shipped.
A handout is included with the class. A hard copy of the handout is included in the kit.
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 5 sessions, 2 hours for the first session, then 3 hours per session, for a total of 14 hours.
Students work at home or in their studio. All of our recommended tools and the kit materials are chosen to be home studio friendly. 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.
Students are responsible for maintaining safe practices in their home studios and neither the instructor nor Silvera bear responsibility for safe practices there.
Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancellations.
Tools for this Class
This is a list of tools students will need to practice the techniques shown in class.
- Gold sheet—14K or higher karat gold sheet 30g, at least a 2"x1" piece (any color and hardness)
- Torch—dual gas (like an oxygen/propane or oxygen/acetylene Smith Little torch) or acetylene/air (note small butane, propane or MAPP torches do not produce sufficient heat
- Soldering station—soldering pads or charcoal blocks, firebricks, etc.
- Soldering tools—third hand, solder pick
- Plastic, ceramic, or pyrex container with water for quenching hot pieces. (grocery store)
- Neutralizing solution (baking soda and water) and plastic, ceramic or pyrex container
- Pickle pot or container for pickle —steel and non-ferrous should not be mixed in the same pot. Either a crockpot, hotplate or other warming device should be used to maintain the pickle at a warm temperature.
- Pickle solution (you will recieve some Sparex no.1 in your kit as well)
- Pumice type cleaner
- Isopropyl Alcohol (grocery store)
- Hand tools—the usual assortment of hand tools for working with metals such as files, needle files, pliers, hammers, saw frame and blades.
- Bench Pin
- Bur life
- Rubber cement
- Sharp scissors
- Birchwood Liquid Patina Black or Japanese Brown
- Steel Bench block
- Metric Steel ruler
- Disposable gloves
- Cotton balls or Q-tips
- Flush cutters
- Easy silver solder
A computer, phone or tablet to use the free Zoom app for class
Previous experience working with a torch is needed for this class. In addition, students should have basic fabrication and forming skills, including soldering and shaping pieces on a mandrel or stake. Students will also need to be comfortable with basic skills, such as sawing, filing, sanding and polishing. Successful completion of Jewelry 1, online or in person workshop will give you these skills.
Location: Silvera Jewelry School, Berkeley, CA