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    Vanaria.File Carved cuffs
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    Vanaria.anvil rings
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    VanariaMinihan.hammers and silver ring
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    Minihan.rotary bits
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    Vanaria.silver and gold spinner ring
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    Vanaria.blue trapezoid ring on finger
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    Vanaria.copper teapot
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    Vanaria.copper and brass dumpster
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    Vanaria.copper brooch

Burs, Bits, and Beyond: Surface Embellishment for Jewelry

Applying just the right finish to a piece of jewelry is one of, if not the most, important aspects of creating successful jewelry. And while the much lauded “mirror finish” has become synonymous within the jewelry industry, it is just one of countless other avenues to pursue! In fact, there are a dizzying array of methods to create surface texture and embellishments that can elevate your work to new heights. And if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by countless options on the market, know that you are not alone!

In this information-dense course, join William Vanaria and Lindsay Minihan as they cover essential surfacing techniques using rotary and hand tools to add texture, intrigue, and visual complexity to your jewelry. These two metalsmiths have experimented with many of the methodologies, techniques, and tools out there, and in this virtual workshop will eagerly share those they find most compelling with you! In addition to hand tools such as checkering files, millgrain wheels, and hammers, they will also be focusing on rotary attachments you can use on your flexshaft or micro-motor; it’s the perfect opportunity to discover useful tricks to make your designs pop!

If you've ever wanted to broaden your understanding of texturing, surface treatment, and embellishment, then this is the perfect class for you!

Meet the instructor

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William Vanaria is a Massachusetts based artist with a penchant for oddball materials. His work utilizes traditional metalsmithing techniques and a wide verity of non-traditional materials to produce jewelry which both questions and comments on notions of romanticism, value, fakery, and the hierarchy of materials present within modern day consumer culture. Through his work he pushes for a broader system of value which has been formulated though experience, consideration, and critical thinking.

William received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a concentration in "Jewelry & Metalsmithing" in 2012. Afterwards, he spent time working within the jewelry industry and volunteering as a teacher's assistant for various art institutions. He found that the latter was much more fulfilling, so he went on to further his education within the arts and to pursue a career in teaching. William received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts: Dartmouth in 2016; once again with a concentration in "Jewelry & Metalsmithing."

Lindsay Minihan is a skilled metalsmith with a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She served as the Executive Director of Metalwerx from 2007 - 2022, where she supported numerous artists in teaching and learning. In 2022, Lindsay joined Gesswein, a 100+ year old family-owned tool and supply company. Her role involves enhancing education, supporting studio jewelers, educators, and schools, and providing resources for optimal bench practices. Lindsay is passionate about fostering a well-equipped and safe studio space, always eager for tool discussions and dedicated to solving practical problems at the bench.

Materials & Tools

Click HERE for a rundown of all tools and supplies that will be demonstrated during class, plus some instructor favorites. The list will be added to as questions arise during the workshop.

Students receive 10% off orders at gesswein.com! Tools are not required to participate in this workshop.

Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • rotary flex shaft or micro motor - for rotary attachments

  • hard work surface

  • fan, open window, and dust mask - or ventilation system

  • safety glasses 

  • pencil and/or pen

  • notebook


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