Steel and Gold…Making Magic with Mixed Metals: Online – Live Streaming!
Steel and Gold…Making Magic with Mixed Metals, ONLINE – Live Streaming!
Instructor: Bette Barnett
June 21-25, Monday - Friday, 10am-12pm Pacific Time
with afternoon open studio
June 22-24, Tuesday - Friday, 10am-12pm Pacific Time
with afternoon open studio
Class Fee: $420 or $340 | Materials kit $100 + shipping
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 9, 2021
Prerequisites: Advanced beginner. Must be comfortable using a dual gas or acetylene/air torch. There is a four-day version of this class available for students who have already taken a steel class with Bette.
The focus of this workshop is on alloying exotic metals such as shibuichi and electrum and fusing alloys of gold and other metals to steel, including copper, shibuichi, electrum and silver. Students have the option to work with gold or alternative metals. Given the increasing cost of precious metals, this class is attractive to those who want to learn the alloying and fusing techniques without having to purchase gold.
- Working with mild, cold rolled steel sheet and wire including sourcing, cutting, soldering, forming, texturing, patinating and sealing.
- Materials and supplies required to work with steel.
- Cleaning and prepping steel.
- Understanding various alloy formulas and how to calculate the appropriate amount of metals to constitute a desired alloy.
- Alloying gold or other exotic metals, such as shibuichi, electrum and shakudo, in preparation for fusing to steel.
- Preparing gold and other alloyed metals for fusing to steel.
- Fusing gold and other metals to steel sheet and steel wire.
- Layering fused metals on the steel.
- Managing and trouble shooting the fusing process.
- Patinating mixed metal steel jewelry to achieve various effects.
- Removing excess patina from fused metals to heighten contrast with the patinated steel.
- Sealing mixed metals steel jewelry to protect it for years to come.
- Creating hands-on work. Students will be able to create at least two pieces of fused steel jewelry.
This class is hosted on Zoom. You will need a computer, laptop, smart phone or iPad for conference video (Zoom app required for phone- it’s free!)
If you do not have experience with Zoom, fret not! We will provide a free online tutorial with one of our staff to help you get comfortable before class.
Zoom meeting ID: ___TBA______ password: ____TBA___
Students MUST have or purchase:
- Jeweler saw
- 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 blades
- Flush cutters
- Pliers (chain nose, round, etc.)
- Files- flat and round
- Hammers—mallet (rawhide or Delrin), whatever you like to use for forming (If you do not have a rolling mill, you will need a heavy metal forging hammer for alloys.)
- Digital calipers
- Forming mandrels and stakes—whatever you have
- Optivisor or other magnifying lenses if you use them
- Torch set-up—dual gas or acetylene/air (Note that smaller torches such as MAPP, Orca or butane do not produce enough heat for the techniques in this workshop.)
- Large torch tip that will produce enough heat for melting alloys and fusing metals to steel
- Soldering board or firebricks
- Solder pick
- Quench bowl Pickle pot—Note that you will need separate pickle pots for steel and non-ferrous metals.
- Neutralizing solution—about ¼ cup baking soda per three cups of water
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Silver solder (easy and medium)
- Copper—about two ounces in any form (wire, sheet, etc.)
- Sandpaper (sheet, sticks, etc.)
- Particulate mask (disposable is fine)
- Lubricant (Burlife or bees wax if you use it)
- Pumice type cleaner—GoJo or Fast Orange (available at hardware stores) or household cleanser works fine
- Patina—Oxpho Blue gun bluing available from Brownells or Prestoblack PC-9 available from Sculpt Nouveau (Note: To save on shipping costs, check the distributor list on the Sculpt Nouveau website for the location closest to you.)
Optional items—helpful but not essential:
- Rolling mill—this will be used for rolling out the alloys. If you do not have a rolling mill, as an alternative you can use a hammer to forge out the alloys.
- Gold for creating alloys—If you want to create gold alloys for fusing to steel, purchase at least 2dwt 24k casting grains from Rio Grande or another other metals supplier.
- Japanese Brown patina from Sculpt Nouveau
- 14k easy gold solder
- Mild steel--four sheets, each 4" x 6"
- 20g Silver casting grains in a small container (.25 oz.)
- Copper embossing sheet 1" x 3"
- Brass embossing sheet 1" x 3"
- Woven mesh scrub pad
- Shofu wheel
- Polishing papers
- Charcoal block for alloying metals
- Samples of Stay Silv flux, Sparex No. 1 pickle, and Metal Wax
- Small containers for alloyed metals
- Jeweler scale
- Handouts--patterns for class projects, course presentation handout and resource sheet for purchasing materials and supplies
Since 2013 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, steel wire fused with gold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, fusing metal powders to steel, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as steel wire and perforated steel sheet. Bette is focusing much of her current work on Keum Boo on steel, an area that is virtually unexplored among western artists.
In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry. The paper entitled “Steel Jewelry—Expanding the Horizons of Steel with Gold” was to have been presented at the May conference had it not been postponed due to the quarantine. Bette has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.
Tools are available to purchase through Danaca Design Studio with 15% student discount code. Shop tools HERE. If you don’t see what you need please email us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review our class cancellation policy HERE.