Three Essential Jewelers' Skills for the Home Studio

With minimal equipment and supplies readily available at the hardware store, jewelers can set up a small working studio to produce handcrafted work. The Center for Metal Arts in the lower Hudson Valley shows you now, in three weekend workshops.
FLORIDA, N.Y. - March 29, 2016 - PRLog -- The Center for Metal Arts in downstate NY is holding a Spring 2016 Intro to Small Metals Program in essential skills for jewelers and small metals artisans. Three weekend classes teach the basics for setting up a small home studio, with readily available tools and materials. Classes are held on weekends, and can be taken singly or in sequence.

Visiting instructor Darren Fisher is a college arts educator and practicing artist, with his own eclectic body of work. Students have the benefit of Fisher's own wide-ranging studio experience working small and large, and in many materials. The classes are planned so that students can learn at the skill level they bring to the class. Beginning students will learn the essentials to begin their own studio craft, while advanced students can take advantage of working one-on-one with a knowledgeable instructor to further techniques, troubleshoot problem areas, and learn practical tips for advanced work.

Silver Soldering with Darren Fisher is a weekend intensive on April 9-10, 2016. Students will learn the joinery techniques needed to construct jewelry and small hollow forms, using butt joints and miter joints. Fisher's course includes metal preparation, sawing, filing, form builiding, sweat soldering, cleaning and finishing, as well as health and safety precautions for the small studio. The class will work primarily in copper sheet, but Fisher will also demonstrate soldering for the sterling silver object. Students who wish to work with silver on their workshop projects are welcome to bring silver and will receive instruction based on their materials and skill level. In this workshop, students can expect to develop and complete a work of their own design.

Chain Making, on April 23rd, is the next class in the Small Metals Series at the Center for Metal Arts. Instructor Darren Fisher will focus on the loop-in-loop style of chain making, most predominantly found in the Byzantine style of chain. Fisher will instruct in the use of fine silver (pure silver) wire to make the chains, and sterling to make the clasps. As a bonus topic, the class will also cover several quick but elegant ways to create clasps for the completed chains.

This is an ideal workshop for the small home studio, using the simple butane torch available at most hardware stores. Since most of the equipment needed is very basic, this is a studio art that can be done with limited resources. Students will make several samples of chains, and be able to finish one bracelet or necklace, depending on the complexity of the chain they choose. This is a perfect precursor to the stone setting class, where a pendant could be added to the chain. No prior experience is necessary for the Chain Making class.

Stone Setting with Darren Fisher on May 21-22 will cover a multitude of stone setting techniques, including making a bezel for a cabochon, tube setting for faceted stones, and prong settings. Students will be using sterling silver, fine silver, bronze and copper for their original designs. In this two-day workshop, the first day will include demonstrations and parts making, and the second day will allow for the completion of personal projects and designs. Techniques include sawing, filing, soldering, and polishing.

Students will be able to choose a project or two of their own, including a ring, pendant, brooch, or earrings.  The amount of projects finished depends on the complexity of designs. No prior experience is necessary for this workshop, and it is an effective follow-up class to the Chain Making workhsop. Together, the techniques of all three workshops provide a background in the fundamentals of setting up one's own home studio.

The Center for Metal Arts is a teaching center and community of metal artists, makers, and students exploring new skills or mastering advanced techniques in the metal arts. Established in 2003, the Center for Metal Arts attracts resident, regional and international instructors, and the staff includes award-winning blacksmiths and designers, studio techs and support staff. The studio workshop is located in the historic 1890's Icehouse at 44 Jayne Street in the Village of Florida, NY.

Two learning tracks offer beginner to advanced workshops in Small Metals and in Blacksmithing, and the Visiting Artist Program contributes diverse topics and talents to the foundation curriculum. Easy online registration and the full course schedule are at

Located in New York's picturesque Warwick area, the Center for Metal Arts is accessible by bus from NYC, and is near major highways and airports.

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Page Updated Last on: Apr 01, 2016

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