Anodizing niobium class at Silver Peak Studio in Louisville, CO
Niobium hoop earrings
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Alternative Metals: Anodizing Niobium

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In this unique workshop, you will learn the process of anodizing reactive metals. Anodizing metal is a wonderful way to add beautiful colors and patterns to your metal designs. Anodizing is when the metal is immersed into an electrolytic bath through which an electric current is passed, causing an oxide layer to form on the surface of the metal. Increased voltage creates a thick oxide film which can create the following colors; brown, gold, dark blue, violet, aqua, pink, yellow, and light green.

The following topics will be covered in class: 

  • Introduction to reactive metals 

  • Sawing, shaping, filing, and texturing Niobium

  • Anodization setup, tools, and safety 

  • How to professionally finish the metal before anodizing 

Students will have the option to create a pair of Niobium hoop earrings or a Niobium oval cabochon, and if there is time, both. Students will leave the workshop with a clear understanding and practice of the anodizing niobium. 

Prerequisites: None

Class is 8 hours with a 45 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 is $45 (cash/check to instructor) and includes Niobium metal, file set, sand paper, metal degreaser, and anodization solution. 

*Please bring a pair of rubber gloves.

The last day to cancel for a full refund is October 2, 2021


About the instructor, Katy McClure

Katy McClure Silver Peak Studio InstructorKaty first fell in love with metal almost a decade ago while welding steel shelf brackets. After that, she spent that time teaching as a Special Education Teacher for the Philadelphia Public School District and moonlighting as a metal artist. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Special Education from Gwynedd Mercy University in 2008. Then earned a Master’s degree in Education with a Reading Specialist certification from Cabrini University in 2015.  After leaving teaching to focus on metal full time, is where she found her passion. Most of her experience is in metal fabrication and blacksmithing. In the last few years she has expanded her skills to silversmithing and metal smithing. Starting her own company Lost Bunny Designs and working in her partner’s metal fabrication company Carbon Collective. 

While learning metalsmithing she started working with niobium and titanium, which are reactive metals. She uses the anodization process to create colors such as blue, pink, purple, yellow and green. Anodizing is an electrolytic finishing process that manipulates the oxide layer on the surface of titanium and niobium via electric current. 

What she loves the most about metal is the transformation it takes during the process. Taking raw material that is cold, sterile, and turning it into a story of warmth and suppleness. Each part of the process of moving, shaping and removing metal to create. 

A few of her favorite things are; hiking, yoga, gardening, traveling and metal.