Etched Steel Jewelry - Virtual Workshop

Course Description

About this course

In this live virtual workshop, you’ll learn how to add dimension and depth to a steel surface through the process of electro-etching, a method that can provide extreme sharpness and detail to your jewelry creations. After grasping the basics of creating steel jewelry you’ll add your own hand-made etched patterns to the surface of your jewelry pieces. To top off your skills, you’ll create an etched steel pattern plate that can be used to transfer designs to softer metals. To finish, you will learn how to put the final touches onto your steel jewelry by applying a flame patina and sealing the surface with a metal wax.  The virtual class consists of four two-hour units and one "gap" day with instructor access during down time. 

Class will be held live via Zoom during the designated time frame. A link to the Zoom room will be sent via email.

Please read the Materials & Tools tab! 

Meet the Instructor

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett has devoted her work since 2013 to exploring and experimenting with steel and gold. Bette began her jewelry career in 2010 and subsequently studied with the late Chris Nelson through his advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel, including Keum Boo on steel, fusing gold to iron wire, creating a variety of alloys for fusing to steel such as shibuichi and shakudo, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional steel forms, such as screens and wires.  In recognition of her work to further steel and fused gold, the Santa Fe Symposium has selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry and present it during the 2020 Symposium Conference. She has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.

Bette honed her instructor skills during her former career as a corporate communication consultant by providing extensive training services for some of the largest companies in the world. She continually uses feedback from student surveys and hosting studios to refine her workshop offerings.

Bette participates in a number of art shows annually and her work is shown at Sparks Gallery in San Diego. She teaches private lessons (both virtually and live) in her San Diego studio and offers group lessons throughout the U.S.

Materials & Tools 

To lower expenses for students, the following $70 kit will be sent to the shipping address you have listed on your Metalwerx account. Due to longer than usual turn-around times, kits will be mailed out as soon as possible. All items listed below will be included in your kit. If you wish to purchase any of the extras, please state the items you want in the "order comments" box during checkout and we will put you in touch with the instructor. 

  • 2 x D batteries in holder with leads and alligator clips 
  • 1 x small plastic etching container (large enough for a cuff) 
  • 1 x 3x8 inch steel sheet to be used as cathode
  • 4 x 3x6 inch 20g steel sheet
  • 1 x Deco color paint pen 
  • 3 x laser printed etching designs
  • 2oz citric acid
  • 1 x brass brush for steel cleaning
  • 1 x shipping cost

Optional extras: 

  • 1 x burnisher
  • 1 x hotplate
Students should bring 

In addition to the above kit, you will need the following items (you are responsible for providing the items below): 

  • 1lb container of non-iodized salt
  • 1 x container of "Root Kill" (cupric sulfate)
  • 1 x container of pumice type cleaner
  • 1 x container denatured or isopropyl alcohol 
  • shop rags
  • 1 x jewelers saw
  • 1 x 12 pack of 2/0, 3/0, and 4/0 saw blades 
  • 1 x hand sheers 
  • 1 x flush cutters 
  • files (flat, half-round, and needle)
  • hammers (rawhide mallet, forging and texturing) 
  • pliers (chain, needle, and round)
  • tweezers
  • torch (any kind)
  • lubricant (important for sawing steel)
  • ruler, scribe, calipers
  • easy silver solder
  • sandpaper (120, 220, 320, 400, 600+)
  • eye protection
  • hotplate or electric griddle (optional but nice to have)
  • burnisher (optional but nice to have)
  • drawing templates/guides (optional but nice to have)



Materials Cost



Bette Barnett


July 20 -24, 2020


4:00 PM -6:00 PM


4 days

Basic and above

No Class Dates

July 23

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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