January 18, 2020 @ 10:00 am – January 19, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
Smith PDX
4135 Southeast Gladstone Street

Silver Chain Making Sampler Weekend – Fused and Soldered (2 Day Workshop)

Dates: January 18-19, 2020 – 10am – 5:30pm

Instructor: Rachel Morris, Eclectic Nature Jewelry & Design

Location: SmithPDX, 4135 Southeast Gladstone Street, Portland

Cost: $275 + Materials ($50 discount [$25/class] when registering for Clasps class at the same time)

Chains Class Options

(For details about the Feb. 15-16, 2020 Clasps class, go HERE.)

Augment your jewelry designs with unique, handcrafted chains. Making chains by hand will also quickly improve your soldering skills, both due to the repetition and to the delicate nature of the work. You’ll learn when to pre-position solder and when to pick solder for best results, and when to switch between chip and wire solder. In addition to fabricated (soldered) chains, we’ll also work on fused (single & double loop-in-loop) chain. Students are likely to be able to make either one necklace-length fabricated chain OR one small (bracelet) chain along with sampler lengths of one or more loop-in-loop styles. Basic torch comfort is required.

Chains Materials Kit ($50 – or bring your own):

Wire for Fused/Loop in Loop Chains:
For this portion of class, we will be working with FINE silver for our fused chains

  • 10 feet of 20 Gauge Fine Silver Wire


Note: While it’s not advised you work in gold for your first experience with fused/loop in loop, if you want to, it’s recommended you start out with 22kt wire and only buy a few feet to play with, interspersed with your fine silver. The techniques we’re learning can use up to 20+ feet per chain and have a lot of wastage at first.

Wire for Soldered Chains:

For this portion of the class, we will be working with sterling silver. If you are highly confident in your soldering skills and want to make smaller, more delicate chains, you can buy slightly smaller gauges of wire than listed below, but for starting chain makers, heavier gauge wire will lead to fewer frustrations on the torch:

  • 5 feet – 20 gauge wire (connectors and delicate link chains):


  • 1 Lobster Claw Clasp
  • 2’ Hard Wire Solder
  • 6” Medium Wire Solder
  • 1 Clean Firebrick

Students should also bring (not included in purchased kit):


  • Black Sharpie brand markers – both Fine point and Ultra Fine point
  • Sketchbook and pencils – (I recommend that it be hard bound)
  • Shop towel – an old dish towel works well

Hand Tools Recommended:

Basic tools are also available in the studio, but you may want to bring a small kit of your own to avoid waiting for gear or just to use what’s comfortable for you already:

  • Sawframe and blades (2/0 default)
  • Pliers – Round nose, half round, and flat
  • Good quality 6” or 8” – Barrette and Crossing files, at least, plus small hand files
  • Third hand on stand and good tweezers (there will be some available, but sharing may slow things down)
  • Any favorite odd shaped mandrels you may have – I’ll have an array of shapes available for use, too


  • Wood, steel, or titanium round draw plates (wood is best) for drawing down the loop in loop chain
  • Additional wire gauges for details and variations on links, including square or twisted wire for fun variations
  • Pendant(s) for which you want to design chains
  • Apron– Not required, but nice to have
  • Goggles for eye protection – The studio has goggles, but you may prefer to have your own
  • Rio Grande Straight French Shears – https://www.riogrande.com/Product/French-Shop-Shears-Straight-%20Tip/114227?Pos=1

For your safety, it is recommended that you wear natural fibers if possible, with no fringes or flowing fabrics, and that you wear closed-toe shoes in the shop. If your hair is below your ears, please bring something with which to tie it back.

Recommended Books

  • Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains by Jean Stark
  • Creative Silver Chains: 20 Dazzling Designs By Chantal Saunders
  • Making Silver Chains: Simple Techniques, Beautiful Designs By Glen Waszek

$50 discount when registering for both Chain Making and February’s Clasps Class at the same time (can also be taken independently)

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