Have you ever wanted to cut loose and create big, bold sculptural jewelry but were
intimated by the cost or scale? In this fun and fast-paced 3-day workshop, you’ll be able to step outside your comfort zone to create bold dimensional steel jewelry that shouts, “Look at me!”
Going bold with steel is an adventure because the metal comes in so many forms—solid sheet, perforated sheet, expanded steel, wire and woven mesh.
In this workshop, students will learn:
- Basics of steel. Understand the characteristics of steel, how to buy steel, different forms of steel (sheet, wire, mesh and perforated sheet) and basics of working with steel (cleaning, cutting, sawing, filing, soldering, texturing, and forming).
- Characteristics of wire, perforated steel and mesh. Learn how to work with perforated steel, using the pre-fab patterns in creative ways. Incorporate steel wire into your designs, including as neck rings and ring shanks. Work with woven wire mesh to create dimensional shapes.
- Geometric dimensional forms. Create cubes, pyramids, spheres and other hollow forms. Score and bend steel to form various hollow forms.
- Non-traditional ring shanks, bezels and bails. Build components from wire, perforated steel and woven mesh.
- Trapped objects. Add whimsy and intrigue to hollow forms by making them into containers for objects, such as stones, seed pods and ball bearings.
- Fused metals. Learn to fuse gold and other metals to your hollow form creations.
- Patinas. Patinate steel jewelry. We will work with several types of patinas, including heat and chemical in a wide range of colors and effects. Sealers. Seal your steel jewelry to protect it for years to come. We will work with different types of sealers, including oil, wax and lacquer.
The workshop will be packed full of information, hands-on skill building and fun.
In addition, a big focus of the workshop will be on thinking outside the box to create
unorthodox, high-impact jewelry. During the workshop, students will have time to
create at least two hollow form pieces using class patterns or your own design.
Prerequisite: Metals 1, Intro to Metalsmithing or equivalent.
Class is 8 hours each day with a 30-minute break for lunch. We have a mini fridge and microwave, a separate lunch room and a deck with a mountain view where you can relax on your break. We also have Nespresso coffee, tea, and snacks available for purchase.
Tools and Materials
Tools will be provided.
Materials Kit Fee: $70 which includes:
Steel sheets—1 sheet 12” x 12” (more available for purchase)
Perforated steel sheet—3 sheets, 5” x 8” in different patterns (more available for purchase)
Woven wire mesh—2 sheet, 5” x 8”, different size mesh sizes (more available for purchase)
Black annealed wire—4 feet 16 gauge and 2 feet 10 gauge (more available at no charge)
Dedeco double sided separating discs and mandrel
3 surprise objects for capturing in dimensional forms (Hint; might be items such as silkworm
cocoons, shark or snake vertebrae, seed pods, etc.)
Sample of metal wax for sealing
Please note: in Master Series classes, there are no refunds or transfers, unless the class is cancelled by Silver Peak Studio. Please check your calendar carefully before registering.
About the instructor, Bette Barnett: Studio Jeweler, Educator, Author
Bette began her jewelry career in 2010, studying under expert jewelers and learning basic metalworking techniques. In 2013 she began studying the steel/gold fusing processes and continued with advanced workshops with the late Chris Nelson, who pioneered fusing gold to steel in the United States. She built on those studies by perfecting additional techniques and processes, including the ancient Korean art of
Keum Boo applied to steel, fusing alternative metals and alloys to steel, fusing powdered metals to steel and working with various forms of steel such as wire, perforated sheet and woven mesh.
Bette actively pursues research into working with steel and has published articles on the topic in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and MJSD Journal. In addition, she was selected by the Santa Fe Symposium to author a research paper entitled “Steel Jewelry—Expanding the Horizons of Steel and Gold,” which she presented in May 2022. She is authoring a book entitled Creating Steel Jewelry, which is scheduled for publication by Artisan ideas in 2024. Her work is featured in Artful Home, a leading website and catalog offering fine works of art.
She has taught workshops throughout the U.S. for leading schools and guilds, including Metalwerx, Silvera Jewelry School, Mendocino Art Center, Danaca Design, Florida Society of Goldsmiths, Urban Metal Studio, Adams Forge and more. She offers virtual workshops for as well as in-person workshops.
Facebook: facebook.com/studiomigoto, facebook.com/steeljewelry