All that Glitters: Fusing Gold and Other Metals to Steel
Live Online Workshop with Bette Barnett Friday, October 16 – Sunday, October 18, 2020
Steel is an amazing metal for jewelry—lightweight, malleable and strong. By far the biggest advantage of steel is the ability to fuse gold, copper, silver and other metals to it to create gorgeous mixed metals jewelry. In this four-part live online class, you’ll learn how to work with steel and add drama by fusing other metals to it. With the soaring cost of gold, it’s comforting to know that copper, bronze and other metals can also be fused to steel too with beautiful results.
You will learn how to work with steel—both sheet and wire—including the basics of cutting, sawing, filing, sanding, texturing and forming. We’ll cover techniques for preparing the metals for fusing to achieve successful results.
You’ll learn all the techniques for fusing metals to steel sheet and wire using either a dual gas or acetylene air torch. Copper, bronze and silver will be included in your kit. If you want to fuse gold on steel (and who doesn’t?), you’ll need to purchase a small amount of gold (1”x1” square of 30 gauge in 14k or higher).
The class will also include information on fusing silver to steel—a process that works a bit differently than with other metals. In addition, we’ll explore how to solder silver elements to steel to create exciting mixed metals jewelry.
We’ll explore various types of patinas for steel to achieve various effects. And we will cover the all important process of sealing your mixed metals steel jewelry to protect it for years to come.
- Prerequisites: Basic metal working skills are required for this workshop, including sawing, filing, soldering, sanding and finishing techniques. Students should feel reasonably comfortable using a gas torch. There is a required student tool and supply list for this workshop. *A dual gas torch like acetylene/air, oxygen/propane, or oxygen/acetylene will be needed. (Please note that small butane, propane and MAPP torches do not produce enough heat.) Open studio at Flux Metal Arts will also be available for students to use torches, tools and equipment with additional hands on guidance available during class work time for an additional $65 fee on Saturday and Sunday (limited to 4).
- Technology: Class will be held live via Zoom during the scheduled sessions. Internet access with a device like a tablet, or computer will be needed with the Zoom app installed. Most cell phone screens are too small for students to see what's going on in the demos. A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent via email the week of class.
- After the Class: Students will receive a doc via email with noted resource links. Demo videos (about 15) will be accessible for a week after the close of class.
Class Fee: $325 Materials Fee: $65 payable at registration (includes domestic postage. Canada & international students, please contact us for help sourcing materials)
Instructor: *virtual visiting artist* Bette Barnett
Class registration will close on October 2 to allow time for material kits to be mailed. Please note our *online class* registration policy for this workshop. Registration & Refund Policies
Questions? Give us a call at the studio (440) 205-1770.
**Images for this workshop are provided by the instructor, and represent the techniques taught. Student results may vary depending on student skill level, and design ideas employed by the student.
Materials Fee: $65 payable at registration. Student kits will be shipped in advance by flat rate priority mail (included in kit fee) to the address provided at registration. The kit includes the following class materials and supplies:
• Steel sheet — two sheets of 20g mild cold rolled steel, approximately 4”x 6”
• Copper and bronze sheet — 36g 1” x 3” (embossing sheet)
• Fine silver sheet — 30g 1” x 3”
• Black annealed steel wire — three feet, 12g
• Samples of the appropriate flux, pickle and finishing wax
• Two small jars for metal pallions
• Mesh scrub pad for adding tooth
• Brass scratch brush for scrubbing steel
• Cheese cloth
• Shofu flex shaft wheel
• Class handout (40-45 pages including detailed instructions, class project patterns and a source sheet for supplies)
What to expect for this live online workshop:
This workshop consists of four two-hour live online sessions delivered via Zoom (Eastern Standard Time).
During the down time, students will be invited to attend a one-hour open studio session via Zoom during which time, they can discuss their work in progress, ask questions of the instructor and resolve issues. The open studio time is optional but has proven to be a valuable part of the learning experience.
The focus of this workshop will be on fusing various metals to steel (fusing gold will be optional). All of the metals needed will be provided in the kit in sheet form, with the exception of gold, which can be purchased by students who choose to do so.
Friday, October 16:
5:30 – 6:00 pm (EST) Class Happy Hour Meet and Greet with Bette Barnett
6:00 -7:30 pm Session 1: Working with steel .
Saturday, October 17:
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Session 2: Alchemy of fusing metals to steel
TBD Optional One Hour Open Studio Q & A Session with Bette
4:00 – 6:00 pm Session 3: Mixing it up
Sunday, October 18:
TBD Optional One Hour Open Studio Q & A Session with Bette
3:00 – 5:00 pm Session 4: Patinating and sealing steel
Since 2013 visiting artist Bette Barnett has devoted her work to exploring and experimenting with steel and gold. Bette began her jewelry career in 2010 and subsequently studied with the late Chris Nelson through his advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel, including Keum Boo on steel, iron wire fused with gold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as mesh and perforated sheet. In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium has selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry and present it during the 2020 Symposium Conference. She has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.
Bette honed her teaching skills during her former career as a corporate communication consultant by providing extensive training services to the employees some of the largest companies in the world. She continually uses feedback from student surveys and hosting studios to refine her workshop offerings. She teaches private lessons (both virtually and live) in her San Diego studio and offers group lessons throughout the U.S. studiomigoto.com