Beginner Jewelry Making
with Helen Blythe-Hart
There is nothing more important than building a solid foundation of skills as you begin your Metalsmithing journey. Master the tools and techniques of the trade that will allow you to make your ideas come to life. Start off right by learning the proper techniques from a professional Metalsmith who has also developed the acclaimed Heat Zone Soldering Method to cut years off your learning curve. HB will show you how to pierce, saw, file, and simply set stones as well as other important skills like hammering, texturing and polishing, and using the flex shaft and rolling mill. Each of these beginner's sessions will focus on adding skills to your repertoire like cold connections, earring posts, and the how-to's of jump rings while working on both samples and projects. Add new skills the right way each session while developing your personal design sense. Suitable for beginners and early intermediates.
Here are a few of the many things you can expect from this class:
Learn traditional fabrication techniques like hammer forming, ring bending, milling and making your own twisted wire.
Add easy mechanisms to give your pieces volume, decoration and movement, then enhance with oxidation and a high polish.
Learn the step by step process to go from concept to completion of your jewelry designs using roll-printed sheet, twisted wire, textures, sterling balls, decorative shot and even sculpted bezels.
Understand which saw blade to choose and the proper form for sawing accuracy.
Learn tips and tricks of bezel-making from forming to soldering to setting from a professional stone setter.
Demystify sheet and wire gauge selection so you’ll know which gauge to use for each part of your pieces.
Simplify the selection of your home studio tools to build your tool collection on a range of budgets.
Learn the different uses of the flex shaft tools to expedite the jewelry making processes from drilling to sanding to polishing and beyond.
Begin developing a solid soldering foundation that eliminates bad habits and sets you up for soldering success for the long term using the proven Heat Zone Soldering Method.
Discuss the designing process and learn how to “see” your pieces so you can refine your designs and do the best work at your level.
Begin a collection of ideas to inspire your pieces and to help define your unique design sensibilities.
Learn the properties of sterling vs fine silver so you’ll know how to take advantage of its plasticity to stretch and bend and when and how to anneal it without changing the structure.
1.5” x 3” of 18ga sterling silver sheet
2' of 18ga sterling silver round wire
3” of 26ga x 6mm fine silver bezel
One Lima bean sized cabochon (available for purchase in class)
Helen is an internationally collected metal artist and educator. She has been metalsmithing and teaching for over 40 years. Her invention, a revolutionary soldering method called the Heat Zone, has helped thousands to conquer the torch. She uses her method to create strikingly original jewels opulently encrusted with colorful gemstones and futuristic sculptures. Degrees include an MFA and BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing and decades of Gemology.