2014 Class Descriptions
photo of a ring being soldered Introduction to
Metalsmithing
Pierce, solder, hammer, polish... the four class sections of this technique based series will introduce you to all the basic concepts of working in metal.

Metals A
will introduce you to piercing, sweat soldering, working with metals of different colors, various polishing techniques, and soldering a jump ring on to a pendant.
Metals B features different projects using basic techniques, and includes making and embellishing a band, fabricating a series of "stackable" wire rings, and piercing a pair of "mirror image" earrings.
Metals C focuses on bezel setting; projects include fabricating a bezel for a ring and a pendant, as well as exploring the use of pre manufactured bezels.
Metals D offers an introduction to chain making, including a handmade clasp. Students will create a charm bracelet with pierced and stamped charms.

The classes are designed to be completely independent and require no prior experience; students may take sections in any order, and are free to repeat the classes that are of particular interest to them at a discounted price.
photo of a wax carving project Introduction to
Wax Carving
Did you know that most of the jewelry that you see started out as a piece of wax? Lost wax casting utilizes special jeweler’s waxes to create a design, which can then be cast into gold, silver, or platinum. From the first metal piece, a mold can be made to reproduce a few or a few hundred more. We offer four sections of wax carving classes, each one suitable for beginners; students should feel free to start with any section. Each class section allows students to choose one piece to cast in sterling silver. (Pieces may be cast in gold or platinum for an additional charge.)

Wax A teaches basic techniques used to pierce, shape, and hollow, and includes a “stack” ring project carved from round wax tube. Students will also be introduced to using a wax pen for "build up" techniques.
Wax B introduces a layered pendant and mirror image earrings, with the focus on build up and hollowing.
Wax C explores the use of D shaped wax tube to create a "D-Blank", which will be continued to other ring designs. Students will also experiment with engraving and texturing techniques using cold carvers and the wax pen.
Wax D will take students from a pre-made D-Blank to a gypsy ring for a faceted stone. This class does not include creating the actual D-Blank, which is covered in Wax C.

Classes are completely independent and may be taken in any order; many students choose to repeat the sections that are of particular interest in their work. (This class does not include casting)
photo Soft Wax Workshop
(six hours)
Would you like to make “instant” jewelry? Then the incredibly user friendly soft wax is for you. These workshops start with an introduction to soft sculpting wax in it’s various forms, where students create a pendant or ring using simple tools and techniques. We continue the day exploring more complex applications:

Soft Wax A includes a sculpted wax pendant and faceted stone ring.
Soft Wax B includes a flat wax pendant and a cabochon stone ring.
Soft Wax C includes a cap for a stone or crystal and a wax wire ring.

The class fee includes having one of your pieces lost wax cast into sterling silver, pre-polished, and having one stone set for you. Alternatively, students may choose to learn to polish the piece and set the stone themselves in three hour tutoring sessions. (Pieces may be cast in gold or platinum for an additional charge.)

A two hour version of this class is available for those looking to just "get their feet wet" in these techniques. The short class features an intro to the materials and the creation of a simple pendant design, which will be cast into sterling silver.
 
Cold Connections
We love playing with fire. But we also realize that not everyone can or should be lighting up a torch in their home or studio. Or maybe you found that perfect color of plexiglass and you're just dying to make it into jewelry. There's a whole host of scenarios where you need to connect two pieces and you need an answer that won't toast your components; join us for a class that explores "cold connections" and promises to be truly riveting!

 
Torch Enameling
Yeah, we know. EVERYONE wants to learn enameling. That is, until they actually LEARN enameling and how many hours in front of a hot kiln it takes to create that masterpiece. Peter's solution? Hit it with a torch and see what happens. Torch enameling has it's limitations, but also offers a fast, fun way to incorporate this ancient art into your pieces. If your creativity is greater than your attention span, this class is for you!

 
Cuff Bracelets and
Textures
How many times have we heard it? "I saw this great gold cuff at Barney's and it was a kajillion dollars." There are good reasons for that...but it doesn't mean you have to sell the farm to get one. This class will introduce you to the basics of creating a cuff bracelet and utilizing a variety of metal textures to make it really interesting. Where you go from there is totally up to you...

  Charms This fun evening workshop uses wax techniques to create a variety of small charms, limited only by your imagination. Use these to start a line, create a special gift, or jazz up your beaded designs. The class fee includes casting 4 of your designs in sterling silver.
  Stone Setting Workshops:

Stone setting is an art unto itself, one that experts spend years of their lives perfecting. But if you're willing to practice, these introductory workshops will have you well on your way to setting a variety of accent stones in your own designs.

Prong Setting is probably the most traditional of all stone setting techniques, and for good reason. Prong settings show off a gem to it's best advantage, and provide a safer method for setting fragile and unusually cut stones.

Bezel Setting is another classic technique which involves surrounding a stone with a thin "rim" or bezel of metal. This type of setting provides a more contemporary look and enhanced durability.

Flush Setting is a technique which involves setting small stones, usually round, "flush" with the surface of the metal. The stone is held in by a tiny edge of burnished metal, leaving a clean, unembellished surface.

Bead Setting is similar to flush mounting, but the stones are held in place by tiny beads of metal that are "raised" from the surrounding surface. This results in a more decorative appearance. This technique is the basis for more complicated pavé setting.

The four setting styles are used extensively in fine jewelry, and learning these techniques will go a long way towards enhancing the professionalism of your designs.


photo of a silver clay project

Precious Metal Clay

Easy Gifts in PMC
PMC is a space age compound of organic binders infused with particles of pure silver, that fuses into solid metal when fired in a kiln. This workshop will cover basic techniques of working with the clay, a sculpy “practice session” to formulate a design, and creating a variety of pieces from the PMC provided.

PMC for Enamel

Because Precious Metal Clay fires to 99.9% pure silver, it is especially well suited to creating designs for glass enameling. PMC for Enamel is a special version of our introductory class; students will learn basic techniques, as well as have the option to explore ideas for designs that are particularly suited to the enameling process.
  Polishing, Finishing, and Textures This 4 hour workshop teaches all the steps to take a raw casting or fabrication to a professional finish. Techniques include removing sprues, filing and sanding, hammer and satin finishes, antiquing, and more.
  Practical Gemology Everyone knows that gemstones add beauty and value to your creations. But how do you know what questions to ask when purchasing stones or beads? This informative one day seminar will walk you through the basic factors that can help you determine which gems are best suited to your designs and your budget. Students will have the opportunity to examine a variety of beautiful stones using both a microscope and a 10X loupe. Topics will include rarity, quality, durability, and common treatments, as well as the 4 C's (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight) of both diamonds and colored stones. You won't leave a gemologist, but we promise you will be more comfortable with your future design and purchasing decisions.



photo of wirewrapped earrings Creative Wirework Ready to bring your beaded jewelry to the next level? This workshop offers fast, simple steps to professional wire wrapping, earring designs, making your own ear wires, and a streamlined technique for one of today's hottest items- chandelier earrings.