New Class Information March 14, 2018


Unique classes

We have a couple classes coming up this week that you won’t want to miss because they won’t be offered again for quite a while.

LOST WAX CASTING is the process of making a model in wax (in this case you will be carving this by hand) and then using that to make an exact replica in silver (or gold!). One of the most alluring things about casting is that carving the wax models can easily be done at home, on the road, in front of a TV, where ever you may be. I will always be in love with fabricating (soldering, sawing, etc) jewelry, but I’m really learning to love what I can do with wax too. Class starts Thursday and runs for 3 weeks and includes casting your piece in silver or gold (metal not included) and I will not offer this class again until fall.


TUBE SET RIVETED EARRINGS is an earring version of our popular pendants III class where we learn how to use cold connections to created depth and offer more acreage for texture and piercing. I probably will NOT offer this class again in 2018. Earrings offer fun design possibilities not available in single pendant pieces, so join us in making showy and personalized pieces. also… will learn how to tube set a round faceted gem!


You should stop by and check out the  75% off  pearls- pretty good buy! They are all actually pretty darned decent freshwater pearls, we just have more than we need. Come stock up because they make really great “filler” in oh-so-many projects, or they are perfect for making earrings to donate to your favorite charity.

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Cabochon of the week!!!!

Every once in a while something comes along that REALLY makes me wish I was a better photographer. Well ok, honestly that happens about once a week. THIS week, it was this in-matrix Mexican Fire Opal.

Who wouldn’t want to get lost in a little universe hanging from a chain around your neck? Because that’s what I couldn’t photograph nearly as well as it deserved, but I guess that means you’ll just have to come in and see for yourself! The most famous source of these opals is the state of Querétaro in Mexico. This particular cab is known as a Cantera opal, meaning the cabochon has been cut to include the rhyolitic host material (“in the matrix)”.

In general, opals have an amorphous crystal structure, meaning it does not share the same crystalline lattice structure as most gemstones. At a microscopic level, opal is composed of tightly packed, well ordered spheres of silica. As light passes through the silica it is diffracted, or broken up into the rainbow of colors we all know and love to stare at. If there’s any downside to these beautiful gems, its that with a Mohs hardness of 5.5-6, which is essentially the same as window pane glass….. it’s not the most practical thing to put in a ring. They do much, MUCH better in a pendant or earring set, and at $100, that would make the prettiest little birthday present I’ve ever seen (no, it’s not MY birthday coming up, I promise!)

There is still room…

(click on the link to find information about the class and PICTURES!!! of the project)

Lost Wax Casting, Thursdays, March 15, 22, 29, 5:30-8:30pm, (B) $185

skills: wax carving, wax carving tools, casting process, how to design for successful cast, casting up to 2 items you carved in one flask, will not be offered again until fall

Chasing and Repousse, Fridays, March 16 & 23, 2-5pm (I) $95
skills: learn about creating 3-dimensional forms in sheet metal. Skills include annealing, working with pitch, proper hammer form, lines vs. fill and ways to incorporate chasing and repousse into your work.


Foldforming, Fridays, March 16 & 23, 2-5pm (I) $95
skills: includes folding and hammering metal to create organic forms and texture, learning what effect different hammers have, annealing metal and PLAY!

Rings 3, Split Shank Ring, Saturday, March 17, 10-5pm (A) $105
skills: making heavy bezels out sterling silver sheet, hammer setting, split shank

Tube Set Riveted Earrings, Saturday, March 17, 10-5pm (A) $105
skills: roller mill texturing, 3D riviting, tube setting round faceted gem

Half-Persian 4-in-1, Mondays, March 19&26, 5:30 – 8:30pm, (I) $95skills:opening and closing jumprings, organizing a weave, learning distinct pattern. Can be made 2 tone.

Silversmithing 1, Tuesdays, March 20&27, 5:30 – 8:30pm, (B) $95
skills: all the foundational skills like using a jeweler’s saw, hammer texturing, filing THE RIGHT WAY, simple soldering and setting calibrated cabochons and final cleanup of your piece. And BONUS, it’s spread out over two tuesday nights so you’re not trying to cram your brain full all in one day! Tell your friends!

Earrings 1 – Posts, Wednesdays, March 21&28, 5:30 – 8:30pm, (I) $95
skills: making posts for earrings, the primary skill being how to solder something really small to something bigger without burning up the smaller piece. Yes you need to take a class for that. Or figure it out yourself, but spend just as much burning up silver just trying to figure that out. Seriously the class would be cheaper.

Pendants 1 – Bails, Wednesdays, March 21&28, 5:30 – 8:30pm, (I) $95
skills: Bails and also embellishments on pendants, including using a rolling mill pattern. Did you know there’s like eight different ways to make a bail? Oh really? Can you name them? ANd each of their unique advantages? Then you better come to class.


Wednesday, March 14, 10-5
Thursday, March 15, 10-5
Monday, March 19, 10-5
Tuesday, March 22, 10-5
Wednesday, March 21, 10-5

As always, call ahead and if class ISN’T in session, chances are excellent you can come in and work.
CLICK HERE to see our online class list!

Tip of the Week!

Sometimes, and it doesn’t happen very often, you actually do want the side of your piece to have a perfectly straight line. But as we all know from class and from life, NOTHING in nature is a straight line. Nothing. Including your arm. Which, hopefully, is the thing attached to the file you’re using, to try to make the jewelry thing perfectly straight. This is not inherently a recipe for success.

So what do we do to compensate for this lack of straightness inherent in our very limbs? We use Sharpies. Yes I’m trying to give you an excuse to go to your favorite office supply store. Yes you need a nice big Sharpie with which to draw on your silver. Because the thing about Sharpie is, there’s no question whether you’ve filed it off or not. Try running a bigger black Sharpie along the piece of silver you want to be perfectly flat, then place your file face-up on a flat surface, and proceed to file tip-to-tang by moving the metal down the length of the file….is it silver-colored where you just filed? Then your file touched the metal and removed…..something. Is your metal still black? Then your file removed nothing! Is there no black at all? Then guess what, your piece is probably flat and straight and you’re done!

Next stop, asking Newell Brand for royalties equal to the number of times I said “Sharpie” in this email. Think it’ll work?! Don’t answer that.

Happy Sharpie-ing!