Showcasing a special stone in an artistic setting requires vision, design skill and technical proficiency. Focusing on new techniques that combine fine silver metal clay details with prong set specialty stones on an Argentium sterling silver structure, this inspiring 2-day workshop with Vickie Hallmark will help you further develop all three of those essential tools, turning you into a stronger, more confident jewelry creator!
In Vickie’s workshop, you will concentrate on:
DESIGNING YOUR PIECE — Details matter. Explore simple principles to develop a design that is original and personalized: shape, focus, texture, repetition, balance, contrast, negative space, and more.
SCULPTING METAL CLAY COMPONENTS — Go beyond flat metal clay textures to sculpt in three dimensions. Create and design small decorative components to fire before fusing. Learn the effectiveness of limiting metal clay to small details where its sculptural abilities are perfectly suited.
FUSING FINE SILVER TO ARGENTIUM — Build a strong structure for your jewelry with an Argentium sterling silver framework. Argentium is a novel low-tarnish, hypoallergenic, recycled silver alloy that fuses to many metals. Use Argentium for the backbone of your jewelry, then fuse the sculpted metal clay components into place as decoration. Learn the tricks of working with both wire & sheet.
SETTING STONES — Experiment with simple prong settings. Fit the base to around or irregular stone. Form and fuse prongs, supporting the Argentium so it will not slump. Trim and shape each prong, then push into place to hold the stone perfectly and securely. Some stones are included in supplies but, feel free to bring your own.
Argentium topics covered include:
- What makes Argentium different from regular sterling and why it’s perfect for combining with metal clay – FUSING instead of soldering, no fire scale so no nasty heavy acid pickle, MUCH easier to fuse than fine silver
- Working with Argentium - it’s different!!
- Annealing Argentium so that it’s super soft for forming into shapes
- Texturing Argentium wire (or sheet)
- Forming granules, wire ovals or teardrops
- Beading the end of a wire and forming ear wires
- Finishing and patina
- Heat hardening Argentium and making it more tarnish resistant
MORE ABOUT VICKIE: https://vickiehallmark.com/
Students do not have to be advanced metalsmiths to love this workshop and learn a ton! Vickie's workshop will feature new skills and projects. Although this workshop is the level of an intermediate, all levels of students will gain an arsenal of new skills.
Participants should have at least have some comfort and experience with basic metalsmithing techniques, be comfortable using a hand-held butane torch for soldering, and have a basic understanding of the tools on a metalsmith’s workbench.
We will be working with various precious metal clays, sterling silver, Argentium, and semi-precious stones. We will be soldering, setting, sawing, firing the kilns, polishing, adding patinas and more. It is acceptable to have more experience in one area and less in others, as long as this isn't your first rodeo in metal jewelry design and construction.