Sand Casting Metal on a Small Scale

Course Description

About this course

Start to finish, this class will offer a detailed approach to learning the fundamentals of the casting process using the sand-casting method for making small scale jewelry or objects in metal.

This virtual workshop is perfect for anyone that has an interest in casting, but does not want the mess of traditional investment particulate or the expense of casting machinery. Class topics will focus on how to best select "master objects", gate and vent preparations to get the best metal flow during the pour, learning a specific formula to find the casting weight of non-conventional materials and how much metal will be needed, and which tools to use throughout the sand-casting process. Demonstration will also cover clean-up and finishing options. Students can expect to learn the basics of casting and understand what an extremely useful, rapid, and versatile studio practice the sand-casting technique can be!

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

Please read the Materials & Tools tab!

Meet the Instructor

Jesse Bert

Jesse is a studio artist creating primarily sculptural jewelry which crosses the boundary of mediums by incorporating many different dynamic materials and techniques. In addition he has a strong interest and appreciation for fine hand made tools, spending a good portion of his time creating unique tools and equipment that help give the works distinction with delicate texture and design.   

Over the past 14 years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques on a regular basis, to students of all skill levels in his private studio in San Miguel, as well as annual workshops in Mexico and other countries around the world.

Some recent exhibition venues include: The Palace of Iturbide, Mexico City; The amber Fair Legnica, Poland; The museum of Mining, Pachuca, Mexico; Alchemy 925, Massachusetts; Velvet da Vinci gallery, San Francisco; Museum of Art and Design, New York City.

Originally from the U.S, Jesse relocated to Mexico in 2006 after the completion of his MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina. "When I am not teaching or working on new pieces, I love to be outside. I tend to my bees and cactus collection or spend time exploring the Mexican countryside and hiking in the mountains." 

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:

  • 1lb more than enough x ancient bronze grain (Rio Grande)
  • 50g x sterling silver grain (Rio Grande)
  • mixed sizes x copper tubing - 1/8" to 1/4" (Amazon)

Torch setup (note if casting bronze a dual-gas (oxy/gas) torch is ideal and if casting sterling silver an acetylene torch will suffice):

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)
  • 1 x torch - acetylene or oxy/gas (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x porcelain casting crucible (Rio Grande)
  • 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 UV protective glasses (Rio Grande or Amazon)
  • 1 x graphite stirring rod (Amazon)
  • 400g x borax (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

Hand tools:

Other/miscellaneous items:

  • 1 x small fire-proof container - glass / ceramic (Amazon)
  • 1 x epoxy coated mesh wire screen (McMaster)
  • 1 x pack delft clay (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x round style casting mold (Rio Grande)
  • baby powder or tapioca starch - for mold release (Amazon)
  • 1/2" wide paint brush - not high quality (Amazon)
  • compressed air - can or hose (Amazon)
  • clay tools (Amazon)
  • particulate dust mask
  • eye protection
  • pencil and notebook / paper
  • sturdy work surface
  • 18" non-backed metal ruler
  • 6" metal ruler
  • 5gal. bucket or similar type plastic bin
  • newspaper / parchment for covering bench (not torch area) 




Jesse Bert


June 8 -10, 2021


6:00 PM -8:00 PM


2 days

Basic and above

No Class Dates

June 9

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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