Beginning Silver Fabrication

Beginning Silver Fabrication

This class is geared towards adults and students must be at least 16 years of age or older to participate. 

New students will be assessed a materials fee of between $15 - $20 for their first project.  This includes the silver, but not the stone.  All silver metals for student projects MUST be purchased through the instructors.  This policy ensures the correct gauge and silver content (fine, sterling, etc.) is used on the projects promoting student success.. 

This is an introductory and/or basic refresher silver fabrication course.  Students will learn the fundamentals working with silver metal, use of basic hand tools and soldering techniques to safely fabricate beautiful pieces of silver jewelry.  Course will provide basic skills and student confidence to help them continue further to more advanced projects. 

The course is taught through instructor lectures, demonstrations and hands-on by the students.  Students should make every attempt to attend all class dates; please talk with the instructors prior to sign-up if you have scheduling conflicts.  

Students will learn: 

  • Proper use of jeweler’s basic hand tools such as the bench pin, jeweler’s adjustable saw, saw blades, files, various pliers & cutters, sandpaper, hammer, mandrels, punch & hand drill, bezel pusher burnisher, etc. 
  • Fundamental silver fabrication techniques for sawing, cutting, filing, sanding, soldering, and polishing silver metal. 
  • Concepts of silver soldering and safe use of a soldering torch. 
  • How to size, cut, file, and solder a silver bezel. 
  • How to solder the silver bezel on to a silver base plate. 
  • How to size, cut and solder jump rings made from silver wire. 
  • How to design, cut, file, and solder a bail made from silver. 
  • How to set a stone in a silver bezel that the student has fabricated. 
  • Proper and safe use of a buffing machine, buffing pads, and polishing compound application. 

Required Materials: 

An oval cabochon stone no larger than 18mm x 13 mm and no smaller than 12mm x 10mm will be needed for the first silver project.   

An oval cabochon stone no larger than 32mm x22mm and no smaller than 20mm x 13mm will be needed for the second silver project. 

You will be doing “visually up close” work so glasses or contacts or readers you need should be brought to each class. 

RG&MS lends tools to students for use during class.  It is strongly recommended you take the class before investing in any tools.   

After finishing their second silver project students will be required to have their own basic set of tools to continue personal projects in the classroom. 

Students should consider obtaining the illustrated handbook “The Complete Metalsmith” by Tim McCreight, from Davis Publications, Inc.  This handbook illustrates techniques, tools, materials, creative, studio tips and safety information.  ISBN is 0-87192-240-1.