Getting Started: Jewelry Basics and Beyond!

Course Description

About this course

Looking to get going on jewelry and metalsmithing from your personal or at-home studio, but not sure where to start? In this virtual workshop, the instructor will walk participants through how to set up a basic jewelry making work area and introduce everyone to the tools and skills needed to get started making jewelry. Preliminary demonstrations and discussions will include: studio set up, soldering, filing, sawing, hammering, and cold connections to develop a grounded understanding of fundamental techniques.

From there, the class will move into making multiple styles of ring bands using both wire and sheet metal with the option to add textures, constructing bezel settings for stones, coins, or other small objects and attaching them to rings, and creating bails for the bezels, to turn them into pendants. Multiple chain options and earrings wires will also be covered. At the end of this course students can expect to have acquired a fundamental understanding of jewelry making and learned how to create and finishing numerous types of jewelry pieces. 

This course will consist of four sessions on Tuesday 6/1/21, Thursday 6/3/21, Tuesday 6/8/21, and Thursday 6/10/21.

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

Please read the Materials & Tools tab!

Meet the Instructor

Jennifer Wells

Jennifer Wells is a studio artist and educator, originally from the U.S but currently living and working in Italy. She has completed several artist-in- residencies at: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC and the Jentel Foundation near Banner, WY; and has taught for Universities throughout the U.S and for study abroad programs based in Italy. Currently she serves on the Board of Vita Institute and teaches for Santa Reparata International School of Arts in Florence, Italy. Jennifer also teaches short workshops on various enameling and metalsmithing techniques throughout Europe and the U.S. Her work is in the collection of the Enamel Arts Foundation and the Racine Museum.

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.

Metal/raw materials (note that suggested quantities allow for numerous pieces to be made):

  • 6"x6" copper sheet - 20g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 4oz copper round wire - 18g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 12" sterling rectangular wire - 1.5mm x 6mm dead soft (Rio Grande
  • 12" sterling half round wire - 11g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 36" fine silver bezel wire - 1/4" x 28g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 1"x3" sterling sheet - 22g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 10ft sterling round wire - 18g dead soft (Rio Grande)
  • 5ft sterling round wire - 20g half hard (Rio Grande)
  • 1-3 x stones, coins, objects to bezel set - within 1" suggested

A soldering setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)
  • 1 x Solderite™ pad or fire bricks (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x compressed charcoal block - optional (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x torch - any jewelers torch will work (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x #0 or #1 torch tip - if using 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 3rd arm (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x cross lock tweezers (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x paste flux (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x copper tongs - for pickle (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x 6” silver solder - hard, medium, and easy (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pickle - for non-ferrous metals (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x crock pot or tempered glass container - for pickle (Amazon)
  • 1 x tempered glass container or sink - for quenching and rinsing
  • 1 x small brush - for flux

Hand tools:

Other/miscellaneous items:

  • particulate dust mask
  • eye protection
  • drill bits - optional (Rio Grande)
  • old tooth brush
  • green scrubby pad
  • ajax/bar keepers friend/pumice based cleaner




Jennifer Wells


June 1 -10, 2021


10:00 AM -12:00 PM


4 days

All Levels

No Class Dates

June 2

June 9

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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