Attention jewelry lovers and admirers! Have you wondered how your favorite earrings were made? Or better yet, whether you could make them yourself, with the one small change that would make you love them even more? The answer is YES! The Craft Guild of Dallas' Metals Studio offers courses which start or continue the creative journey of how to work with various metals, metal clay, and design. The learning opportunities are fun, interactive, and limitless! Classes are open to all skill levels, unless otherwise noted.
Each well lit studio offers a workbench, bench pin, flexshaft, and torch for each student, with access to a wide variety of shared tools and equipment. Each new student will be given a walk through of the studio to learn what the different pieces of equipment and tools are, as well as how to use and maintain them. There are 3 major approaches to metal working that are taught in the Guild: Fabrication, Wax Casting, and Metal Clay.
Fabrication is the process of building jewelry or other metal items from sheet metal and wire. Measuring, marking, cutting and sawing, drilling, filing, polishing, annealing, doming, texturing, and soldering are some of the many skills which will be introduced through different projects. As a beginner, you will learn basic techniques and tool usage for creating jewelry while advanced students will expand their skills, for more complex designs and techniques. All students advance at their own pace.
An alternative to fabrication, casting is an exciting approach to creating jewelry and/or shapes and requires a different set of skills. Students will learn the techniques of wax carving, centrifugal casting, and metal finishing. Hands-on experience includes wax forming techniques, preparing the wax model for casting (spruing), calculating the amount of metal needed to cast the wax model, the "investment" process, and kiln burnout cycles. Two methods of creating wax models will be explored: subtractive method - use hard wax, files, drills and knives; and buildup method - use sheet wax, wax wire, and molten wax. As a final step, students will learn the process for finishing metal, using saws, files, sandpaper, and mechanical polishing buffs, to put the finishing touch on a piece.
Learn to create pendants, ear rings, and rings using metal clay. In this class you will learn to form the clay into various shapes and forms, set stones, and fire the clay to create amazing pieces of jewelry. Metal clay is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silver, gold, bronze, or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelry, beads and small sculptures. Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds.