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Something New! Fusing Powdered Metals to Steel
Live Online Class with Bette Barnett May 17-21

Please note, this class requires a supply kit which must be purchased at time of registration.


There’s baby powder, powdered sugar and powdery snow. But did you know we also have powdered metals? It’s true, many metals are available in powder form—brass, bronzes and copper for example. Some precious metals can be converted into a fine powder by grinding or filing. When these powdered metals are fused to steel, that’s when the magic happens. In this workshop, you’ll learn all about fusing metal powders to steel to create high-impact mixed metals steel jewelry.


Why Steel?


Steel has some big advantages for jewelry including its strength, malleability and light weight. In addition, steel has an extremely high melting temperature (2600ºF for mild steel) which means that other metals – brass, bronze, silver, copper and gold – can be fused to it without melting the base metal.


What You’ll Learn in This Workshop


Powdered metals take the fusing technique to a finer level by providing more control of the process and flexibility in the effects. In this techniques-focused workshop, we will explore the exciting world of fusing powdered gold and other metals to steel.


The workshop will be packed full of information, hands-on skill building and fun. You’ll learn to:

 

  • Work with mild steel sheet and wire. The basics of cutting, forming, texturing, soldering and polishing steel.

  • Create metal filings/dust in preparation for fusing to steel. Create your own powdered gold using a flex shaft and grinding wheel.

  • Fuse gold and other powdered metals to steel. Fuse gold as well as commercially available powdered metals to steel, including bronzes, copper, brass and silver.

  • Fuse powdered metals to perforated steel sheet and steel wire. Techniques involved to fuse powdered metals to alternative forms of steel and explore design considerations.

  • Patinate steel mixed metals jewelry. Learn how different patinas affect the metals and how to use those to create dramatic effects.

  • Seal your steel jewelry. Learn various methods to seal your steel jewelry to preserve and protect its beauty.


During the workshop, you’ll have time to create at least two pieces of steel jewelry with fused metal powders.


Skill Level


Students will need to have competent metal working skills, including cutting, sawing, filing, sanding and forming. In addition, students need to be comfortable using a jeweler’s torch (either a dual gas or an acetylene air).


Registration Deadline


May 6, 2021 for U.S. students
April 19, 2021 for non-U.S. students (Note that shipping of kits may be limited for certain locations.)


Kit

 

$60 plus $8.30 shipping within the U.S.
For U.S. students, kits will be shipped approximately ten days before the class starts for U.S. For non-U.S. students the timing and shipping cost will be based on location.


The kits will contain:

 

  • Steel sheets 3 4” x 6” sheets, 20g

  • Perforated steel sheet 2 3”x6” sheets

  • Powdered metals (small containers of copper, brass, and white bronze)

  • Black annealed steel wire—1’ 10g, 2’ 16g

  • Samples of flux, Sparex No. 1 and Clear Wax

  • Small jars for gold and silver dust

  • Brass scratch brush

  • 3M mesh scrub pad

  • Cheese cloth

  • Handouts (Patterns for two class projects, course presentation handouts, and source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies)

 

Student Supplies

Please click here for a list of the tools and supplies that you will need to provide for the workshop.

 

Workshop Format

 

 

  • Four consecutive days, May 17-20, Monday-Thursday.

    • Session 1—Basics of working with steel including texturing, forming and soldering; steel sheet and wire

    • Session 2—Grinding gold and silver powders; fusing powders to steel

    • Session 3—Fusing metal powders to perforated steel sheet and steel wire

    • Session 4—Patinating and sealing steel jewelry

  • Formal class – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. PST each morning. The class will consist of a mix of lecture, pre-recorded demo videos, class discussion and an assignment.

  • Individual studio time – 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. PST each day

  • Open studio – 3 p.m. PST each afternoon


The demo videos will be available for two weeks following the end of the class.


Cancellation Policy


Cancellations before the registration will be accepted minus a 50% fee for the workshop. If we are able to fill the spot a full refund will be provided. Cancellations will not be refunded after the registration deadline.

Student Supply List


• Metals

  • Minimum 1” of 14g gold wire (either 14k, 18k or 20k)

  • Minimum 1” of 14g Argentium wire

• Torch—dual gas (oxygen/propane, oxygen/acetylene or acetylene/air) Note that small butane, propane and MAPP torches do not produce enough heat.
• Soldering pads or charcoal blocks
• Solder pick
• Third hand or other tools to help with soldering operations
• Two firebricks or something similar to support metal while heating
• Pickle pot—separate pickle pot for ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals (silver, copper, gold, etc.) should not be mixed in the same pickle pot as ferrous metals (or mixed metals with ferrous)
• Pickle pot tongs—either steel, plastic or wood (not copper)
• Flexshaft and grinding wheel, also any burs or wheels that you like to use (3M radial disc wheels are particularly good for steel).
• Pumice cleaner—any “gritty” pumice cleaner will do, even household cleanser; GoJo is ideal
• Rust remover—white vinegar or Whink Rust Stain Remover (available from Amazon)
• Gun bluing—for example, Oxpho Blue from Brownell’s, Perma Blue or Super Blue from Birchwood Casey (Amazon)
• Basic hand tools

  • Jeweler saw and 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 blades

  • Flush cutters

  • Pliers (chain nose, round, etc.)

  • Ruler

  • Scribe

  • Files - flat and ½ round file (note that mild steel will not damage quality files)

  • Hammers—mallet (rawhide or Delrin), whatever you like to use for forming

  • Digital calipers

• Optivisor or other magnifying lenses if you use them
• Easy silver solder (optional: small amount of easy gold solder, any karat)
• Lubricant (Burlife or bees wax)

 

Optional Student Supply List Items

 

  • Cuff mandrel—if making a cuff according to one of the class project patterns

  • Patina for steel—Presto Black PC9 from Sculpt Nouveau, Japanese Brown patina from Sculpt Nouveau (Note: Check the Sculpt Nouveau site for distributors close to you to avoid higher shipping costs.)