All About Argentium Sterling

Course Description

About this course

Argentium is a sterling silver alloy that has exciting advantages over traditional sterling silver. It does not firescale, is highly tarnish resistant, is more malleable and ductile than traditional sterling, granulates and fuses more easily than traditional sterling, and can be hardened using a toaster oven!

This intensive virtual workshop will teach students to become comfortable working with Argentium® Sterling (AS) sheet and wire! Demonstrations will include proper annealing, soldering, fusing, hardening, and finishing methods. Granulation with both silver and gold will also be demoed, and students can expect to learn how to make their own granules (little round balls), which can then be applied to the surface of metal through fusing or soldering techniques.

Demos will be followed by in-class work time, with the instructor available for real-time assistance. Students will need two devices: laptop, desktop, or tablet for watching demos, and phone or tablet camera so the instructor can see and offer advice during work time.

This course will consist of three sessions. Each session will consist of the following:

  • Demonstrations and work time 10:00AM to 12:30PM
  • Off-camera break or independent work time 12:30PM to 2:00PM
  • Demonstrations and work time 2:00PM to 4:30PM

For more information about virtual courses, visit our Virtual Course FAQ page. 

Please read the Materials & Tools tab!

Meet the Instructor

Cynthia Eid

Whether using hammers and stakes, or hydraulic press tools, Cynthia's sculptural jewelry and hollowware shows her focus on exploring the fluidity with which metal can be moved, formed, and joined.

Cynthia Eid co-authored the book Creative Metal Forming, with Betty Helen Longhi, published in 2013 by Tim McCreight's Brynmorgen Press. In his foreword for the book, Michael Good says the authors "have succeeded in assembling the first comprehensive textbook on synclastic and anticlastic forming." (More about the book available at www.creativemetalforming.com.)  

Cynthia and Betty developed a set of anticlastic stakes, and Eid also works with Knew Concepts and Bonny Doon to help make tools for jewelers and metalsmiths. Lee Marshall has dubbed Cynthia Eid "Godmother of the Knew Concept Saws" since it was her idea for him to produce these saws for jewelers.

Excited about working in sterling silver without the problem of firescale, Cynthia has been working with Argentium Silver since 1999. After meeting Peter Johns (the inventor of Argentium Silver) in 2003, Eid has participated in AS's development. Argentium International, Ltd recognizes her as a Pioneer.

Cynthia Eid's metalwork has won awards for creativity and design, been featured in many publications, and been exhibited internationally. With a BS in Art Education and MFA in Jewelry, Design, and Silversmithing, she has previously worked as a bench jeweler for fine goldsmiths, a model-maker in a gold jewelry factory, and on private commissions. Her work is in museums in the US and UK. Currently an independent metalsmith and educator, she teaches weekly classes at Metalwerx in Massachusetts, and workshops and short courses in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

 

Materials & Tools 

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome.

Argentium sterling (note all quantities are suggested minimums):

  • 22g sheet - 2”x6” or more  (Rio Grande)
  • 20g round wire - ear wires, granules - 4 feet (Rio Grande)
  • 18g round wire - pins, chain - 1 foot  (Rio Grande)
  • 14g round wire - ring - 9 inches (Rio Grande)
  • medium wire solder - 1 foot (Rio Grande)
  • easy sheet solder - 2”x½” (Rio Grande)

Torch setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)
  • 1 x compressed charcoal block - hard (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x solderite board - not used for copper alloys (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x torch - acetylene, propane, mapp, or butane (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x #0 or #1 torch tip - if getting Silversmith (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith system has one (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x soldering tweezers (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x soldering pick (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x lazy susan (Amazon)  
  • 1 x ronda’s purple flux or my-t-flux or battern’s (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x small jar - for flux
  • 1 x fine mist sprayer - for flux Amazon
  • 1 x copper tongs - for pickle (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pickle - sodium bisulfate or citric acid (Rio Grande or Amazon)
  • 1 x brass bristle brush (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x crock pot or lidded glass container (Rio Grande or Amazon)
  • 1 x tempered glass container or sink - for quenching and rinsing
  • 1 x small brush - for flux
  • 1 x liquid hand soap - for cleaning metal
  • 1 x old toothbrush
  • 4-6 x yogurt lids or small containers - for solder chips and granules
  • 18g/1mm annealed iron wire (Ace Hardware   or School Specialty)

Hand tools:

You will need a laptop, desktop computer, iPad, or tablet as well as a secondary video device with a tripod or holder (such as a smart phone) connected to the Zoom meeting so that the instructor can see and assist you. 

Other items (nice to have but optional): 

  • 2 x 22g discs - cut yourself or buy - optional (Rio Grande)     
  • Argentium posts - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Argentium nuts - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Argentium Granules - optional (Otto Frei)
  • 22KYG round wire 24 gauge - 4” or more - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Reusable coffee pod for granules in pickle pot - optional (Amazon)
  • Fine silver bezel - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Diamond bits - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Disc cutter - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Brass hammer - for disc cutter and dapping - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Silver Glory (enhances tarnish resistance) - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Goddards Cloth (tarnish resistance & polishes) - optional (Amazon)
  • A piece of leather or gasket rubber - optional (Amazon or Amazon)
  • Scotchbrite pad - optional (grocery store, hardware store, or Amazon)
  • Penny Brite - optional (grocery store, hardware store, or Amazon)
  • Metal shears - optional (Amazon)
  • Cup warmer (Dry flux before fusing) - optional (Amazon)
  • Double Flush-cut wire cutters - optional (Amazon)
  • Magnifier or Optivisor - optional (Rio Grande)
  • Cabochon stone - optional

Tuition

$425.00

Instructor

Cynthia Eid

Dates

June 7 -11, 2021

Time

10:00 AM -4:30 PM

Length

3 days

Level 
Basic and above

No Class Dates

June 8

June 10

Location 
Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
Add to My Calendar