Forging, Fusing, and Fabricating Argentium Silver
Argentium and Gold Jewelry by Cynthia Eid
Instructor: Cynthia Eid
Level: All Skill Levels
Requirements: Basic Metalsmithing Skills
Length: 5 Days
Tuition: $ 745
Date: August 08, 2012 - August 12, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Learn to use a hammer to transform a straight piece of wire into jewelry of elegant fluidity. Forging is one of the oldest and most useful traditional metalsmithing techniques. Forging makes metal strong and flexible, rendering it an ideal method for making jewelry and spoons. By combining the design possibilities of forging with the advantages of Argentium Sterling (AS), students can create elegant, unique, and strong metalwork that is highly tarnish-resistant, fire scale free, and can be hardened in a toaster oven or kiln! The workshop will alternate between demonstrations of forging and AS techniques with hands-on work-time.
Through forging, metal is stretched or compressed, changing its form. Participants will learn how to hammer comfortably and with control. People forging for the first time will learn to hammer for hours -- without pain. Hammers of moderate weight will be used. Note that the forging and hammering principles taught in the workshop are the same for larger metalwork and heavier hammers.
The first day begins with a demonstration of basic forging techniques, and annealing Argentium Sterling. After participants have had a chance to make samples, fusing will be demonstrated on AS forged forms. After more hands-on time and further demos, AS soldering will be demonstrated, allowing participants to solder together AS forged pieces, or add findings such as posts, bails or ear wires.
Cynthia Eid has been working with Argentium Sterling since 1999, and is the author of the Technical Guide to Argentium Sterling for the Rio Grande jewelry supply company, and several articles about AS, published by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), and Art Jewelry magazine.
This class is appropriate for students with basic metalsmithing skills as well as professionals. To learn more about Cindy Eid and her work, visit her website www.cynthiaeid.com
Materials & Tools
Instructor will provide a basic kit of Argentium Sterling wire and AS wire solders at the current market rate. The fee will be determined prior to the workshop and is payable to the instructor by check or cash.
Participants also may bring additional wire to use if they know that they tend to be prolific, or like to work large.
It is advisable to use separate boards for soldering and fusing Argentium Sterling, to avoid contamination from other metals, which could affect tarnish resistance. The instructor prefers Solderite boards for soldering and fusing onto sheet, and Silquar boards for fusing wires together. These will be available for purchase at the workshop.
Metalwerx has hammers available for use during class but students may have to share. Please bring any hammers you already have-- especially forging, planishing, and forming hammers. A basic hammer selection includes several hammers of varying weights that have a flat face on one side. Ideally, this face is very slightly domed, with rounded edges. (How to adjust the faces of hammers will be addressed during the workshop.) In general, hammers for this workshop should weigh between 6 and 16 ounces.
Below are examples of appropriate hammers (with numbers from the Allcraft Jewelry Supply Company catalog):
- 078-05 ¾ pound ball peen hammer or 37.329 crosspeen/flat hammer
- #078-1003 ½ pound ball peen hammer
- #077-01 6 oz planishing hammer with one flat face, and one slightly domed face
- Fretz planishing hammer #101 and #1
Other useful hammers for forging include hammers with a cross-peen face, such as:
- #078-02 a 1lb.forming/forging hammer with broad, domed cross-peen face
- the Betty Longhi shell forming hammer
- 078-08 a 7 oz. cross-peen hammer with rounded corners
- Fretz wide raising hammer, such as #102, #209, and #2
Hammers will also be available for purchase at the workshop.
Participants can bring their own bench block (4" x 4" x 1" is good) in order to have a smooth working surface. Metalwerx has a bench block for each participant to forge on. However, as many people have used these, surface conditions vary so students are welcome to bring their own if they prefer.
- Hand tools such as: wire cutter, files, saw frame, saw blades, sandpaper, sanding sticks, pliers...
- Paper and pencil, fine-tipped permanent marker, and ruler
- Sharpie---this is very helpful for judging annealing temperature
- Many people like wearing protection for ears to wear during hammering, such as earplugs. Metalwerx has ear muffs, if you prefer ear plugs, please bring them with you.
- Students should always wear closed toed shoes in the studio, and have a way to fasten long hair.
SUGGESTED ITEMS---these are things that some people might wish to bring
- Well-fitting gloves, such as old leather dress gloves or bicycle gloves. These can be good to wear while hammering, to minimize vibration and friction, as well as improving the grip on metal and hammer.
- Safety glasses and dust mask. Metalwerx has these, but it might be preferred to have your own glasses and mask.
- Short length of a sewing tape measure
SUGGESTION:If you fly to a workshop, check your tools, and put in a note of explanation.