Upcoming Workshops

Jan
18
Sat
Class: Silver Chain Making Sampler Weekend – Fused and Soldered @ Smith PDX
Jan 18 @ 10:00 am – Jan 19 @ 5:30 pm

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

http://www.riogrande.com/Product/999-Fine-Silver-Round-Wire-20-Ga-Dead-Soft/105320?Pos=1

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):

http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Sterling-Silver-Round-Wire-20-Ga-Dead-Soft/100320?Pos=1

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

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

Necessary:

  • 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

Optional:

  • 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)

Feb
15
Sat
Class: Clasps – From Basic to Box @ Smith PDX
Feb 15 @ 10:00 am – Feb 16 @ 5:30 pm

Clasps: From Basic to Box (2 Day Workshop)

Dates: February 15-16, 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 Chains class at the same time)


Clasps Class Options



(For details on the January 18-19, 2020 Chains class, go HERE)

Whether you bead, string pearls, or create your own chains, the finishing touches count. In this two day workshop, you’ll be given demos of several variations of S or hook clasps, toggles, box, hinge tube and keyhole, and we’ll discuss several more complex clasps, such as lentils, knockers, and more. Students will work on one or more of these clasps of their own, dependent on experience – Intermediate/advanced metalworkers can opt to focus on a more intricate piece, while intro students are advised to become proficient in some of the simpler forms, first. (Most students will have time to make a few clasps if doing some of the simpler forms and only one of the fancier styles.)

Attendees can bring in projects or designs in need of clasps, and we will discuss the importance of both form and function appropriate to their needs. Basic soldering, sawing, and filing skills are required.

Clasps:

  • Hook/Eye and S-Hooks
    • Integrated Hooks (built in and front hooking)
    • Heavy J-hook and tubing hooks
  • Basic Toggles
  • Fancy Toggles (unusual shapes and styles)
  • Keyhole Clasps (integrated and standalone)
  • Security Clasp add-ons
  • Hinge Tube Clasp
  • Box clasp

Clasps Materials (Kit available for $75):

  • 2” – 10g sterling silver wire (Keyhole clasp)
  • 2 feet – 14g sterling silver wire (Hooks, Toggles, hinge tube)
  • 1 foot – 18g sterling silver wire (Toggles)
  • 6” – 20g sterling silver wire (Connectors, security clasps, and details)
  • 2- 4mm cab stones with cup bezels (Toggles and/or box clasp detail)
  • Assorted sterling silver jump rings (Connectors)
  • 2” x 3” 20 g sterling silver sheet (keyhole, box, integrated hooks)
  • 2” x 3” 22 g sterling silver sheet (box clasp)
  • 1” x 2” 16 g sterling silver sheet (keyhole clasp)
  • 2” – 4.83mm OD/2.56 mm ID heavy wall tubing (Tubing hook, hinge tube) (https://www.riogrande.com/product/Sterling-Silver-483mm-Seamless-Heavy-Wall-Tubing-Hard-12-Length/100428) – this will also be available to buy from me if you bring your own supplies, so you don’t have to order a whole foot

Necessary:

  • Ultra-fine point black Sharpie marker
  • Fine point black Sharpie marker
  • Sketchbook & pencil
  • Scribe
  • Punch
  • Dividers
  • Assorted small drill bits

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

Optional:

  • Bracelet and Necklace length chain(s) – 18-22” recommended (cable, Figaro, foxtail – NOT box or serpentine)
  • Additional small gems and bezels/settings as decorative elements for toggle and box clasps
  • Additional gauges of wire, including square and/or twist for fancier toggles and detailing

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.

Selection of Available Workshops

Almost all of the sessions listed below can be done either in a 2 or 3 day workshop format (6-8 hours per day) or a weekly class format, schedule permitting.

Private lessons in your own studio are also available.

No experience needed

This course continues where Intro to Jewelry (Level I) leaves off. Through demonstrations and hands-on work, you become more familiar with the tools of the trade and expand your basic soldering and design skills as you work on a rough-form cabochon setting. You’ll learn to make a bezel by hand so you’re not limited to pre-made bezels. You’ll design a pin, pendant, earrings, or bracelet and may have time to complete additional project(s) in the course of the weekend.

101 or equivalent recommended

This course continues where Intro to Jewelry (Level I) leaves off. Through demonstrations and hands-on work, you become more familiar with the tools of the trade and expand your basic soldering and design skills as you work on a rough-form cabochon setting. You’ll learn to make a bezel by hand so you’re not limited to pre-made bezels. You’ll design a pin, pendant, earrings, or bracelet and may have time to complete additional project(s) in the course of the weekend.

102 or equivalent recommended

This course is designed for intermediate to advanced students looking to work on a complex project or hone a specific skill with guidance from instructor. Students should already be very comfortable and self-sufficient on the torch and with other core bench jewelry skills. Not only will you learn cool new techniques for your own project, but you’ll be inspired by what your classmates bring to the bench, as well.

Solid basic soldering comfort required

This workshop focuses on crafting small, decorative boxes with lids. Boxes are designed with an inner lip so the lid sets snugly in place. First time box builders may want to work on a round or rectangular box, while more advanced students work on unusual shapes. Advanced students can also learn to add hinges, clasps, handles, and/or stone detailing. Students should solid soldering experience and other core bench skills (sawing, filing, finishing).

Solid basic soldering comfort required

Hollow form jewelry allows artists to build more architectural, larger work without the weight of a solid object. From lentils and other bead forms, to box clasps, hollow rings, and pendants, these box-like objects add a dimensionality to your work unlike any other. We’ll work on simple forms and then move on to more complex, decorative elements. Students should have a strong basic understanding of soldering, sawing, and filing, and should bring all materials to the first day of the workshop.

Solid basic soldering comfort required

Explore ways to set stones beyond the basic cabochon and walled bezel. We’ll cover challenges in unusual stone shapes, with approaches including adding prongs to traditional bezels, partial bezels, and tab settings. We will also cover the foundations of faceted setting and variations that can spice up a traditional bezel for both faceted and cabbed stones. We will discuss other techniques such as pave, flush, and channel setting, and design considerations when choosing a stone’s setting. This is a techniques weekend and students should not expect to go home with finished jewelry, but should complete one or more stone settings for future use in a project. Strong basic soldering experience required.

Solid basic soldering comfort required

Enhance your design work with unique, handcrafted chains. Learn an array of techniques, both soldered and fused (single & double loop-in-loop chains & unusual soldered chains). Strong basic torch experience required.

No experience required

Students learn the fundamentals of working both soft and hard casting wax, using hot and cold wax working tools to craft their choice of metal buttons, belt buckles, or jewelry objects (no casting done as part of the class). The class is open to anyone, regardless of prior jewelry experience (no soldering skills needed). This is a great work-from-home hobby!

Solid basic soldering comfort required

Whether you bead, string pearls, or create your own chains, the finishing touches count. In this three day workshop, you’ll be given demos of several variations of S or hook clasps, toggles, box, keyhole, and lentil clasps. Students will work on one or more clasps of their own – Intermediate/advanced metalworkers can opt to focus on a more intricate piece, while intro students are advised to become proficient in some of the simpler forms first. Attendees can bring in projects or designs in need of clasps, and we will discuss the importance of both form and function appropriate to their needs. Basic soldering, sawing, and filing skills are required.

Assumes artist already knows how to use basic equipment 

This session is geared for the hobbyist who is considering taking the next step and setting up a home studio space. It will include such subjects as budget, safety, equipment, tool maintenance, and functional layout. We will discuss the pros and cons of various tools, and talk about how to prioritize what gear to purchase and when to invest in higher end tools. Students are encouraged to bring an inventory of their existing gear and some examples of the kind of work they are doing or hope to be doing at home. While this will be fabrication-focused, we can include conversations around related techniques such as enameling, PMC, wax working, and casting at home.

All experience levels/art forms

Feeling a little stagnant in your design process? Not sure what to work on next? Consider an evening of creative brainstorming with fellow artists, opening up to new ways of thinking and developing ideas. We’ll do a series of short, interactive, hands-on exercises to awaken your mind and get the ideas flowing, no matter what your medium of choice.

All experience levels/art forms

An session of discussion on what to consider when you are taking your craft from a hobby to a business, including such topics as: Marketing, Where and How to Sell, Pricing Your Work, Budget Management, Managing Payments, Custom Orders, Incorporation, Tax IDs, Business Insurance, Developing Good Work Habits, and other considerations.

Also available in a 2 day format with hands-on workshop activities

Looking for a class on a specific topic? Get in touch!