Building Botanical Beads

Course Description

About this course

Want to add a little pizzazz to your strands of stones, pearls, or focal point pendants? Then look no further! This virtual workshop will teach students to transform flat sterling silver sheet into a dimensional bead using the natural world as inspiration.

Participants will learn to take botanical motifs and imagery such as leaf shapes or floral silhouettes and translate them into metal cut-outs. The instructor will cover how to expertly pierce intricate designs from sheet, how to use basic shapes like circles and rectangles to build the body of the bead, and how to then sweat soldering the botanical imagery onto the bead, for an elevated and personalized aesthetic. 

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

Please read the Materials & Tools tab!

Meet the Instructor

Taylor Saleem

Taylor is a full-time metal smith and mother of 2 in St. Louis, MO. She began creating jewelry in 2003 as "The Rare Bird", transitioning from bead work, to wire work. She’s now a self-taught metal smith, building pieces by hand from precious metals, preserving organic flora in sterling silver using lost wax casting techniques, and setting gemstones. She has been featured in Step by Step Wire Jewelry Magazine, Easy Wire Magazine, and ArtJewelry Magazine.  

Taylor is deeply inspired by flowers of all shapes and sizes - the emotions and feelings they convey in every leaf, curve of the stem, softness within the petals. She often incorporates their silhouettes or creates organic castings of actual plants to use in her work. Each piece is built one at a time, completely by hand, with its own story, originality, and attention to detail.  

Taylor’s creativity is fueled by one of her favorite Psalms - “May God establish the work of my hands.” (Psalm 90:17)  

Follow her processes on Instagram at

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 the instructor will demo exclusively in sterling silver, but students are welcome to use copper for practice if they prefer):

  • 3"x3" min. x sterling silver sheet - 22g dead soft (Rio Grande)

A soldering setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)
  • 1 x Solderite™ pad / pan with pumice (Rio Grande or Rio Grande)
  • 1 x torch - Smith mini, Silversmith, or butane (Rio Grande or Rio Grande)
  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith system has one (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x soldering pick (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 - 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

Hand tools:

Other/miscellaneous items:

  • particulate dust mask
  • eye protection
  • label paper - as for printing shipping or address label
  • fine-line Sharpie marker
  • pencil and notebook / paper
  • sturdy work surface
  • ruler




Taylor Saleem


February 9 -23, 2022

Weekly on Wednesday


6:00 PM -8:00 PM


3 weeks

Basic and above
Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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