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From Ferrous to Fine: Steel for Jewelers - Part 2

We often think of welding as an industrial process, utilized on a large scale or for structural fabrication. This demo-focused virtual course, part 2 in a 2-part series with April Wood, will introduce students to the Smith Little Torch and oxy-acetylene welding on a jewelry scale, for wire and sheet of the mild steel variety.

Proper torch setup and the mechanics of welding will be discussed; demonstrations for perfecting different types of joints and specific welding configurations will be shown. There will be additional demonstrations on how to create surface textures on steel with the torch. The workshop will also include methods for cleaning up welds, surface finishing, and patination for steel.

Students will need access to a Smith Little Torch (or equivalent mini oxygen/acetylene torch) if they would like to try the techniques demonstrated themselves. It is recommended student learn these techniques prior to acquiring the needed tools and equipment so that they can make better, more informed decisions about what they need for their specific studios. 

Meet the instructor

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April Wood is a metalsmith and jeweler living and working in Baltimore, MD. She is a co-founder of the Baltimore Jewelry Center, a metals + jewelry community education space in Baltimore city, where she worked as Studio and Program Manager, Exhibitions Director, and an Instructor. She received her BFA in Studio Art, concentrating in Metals/Jewelry, from Texas State University – San Marcos and her MFA from Towson University. She has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Penland School of Crafts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and Towson University. Her work has been featured in Metalsmith, Surface Design Journal, and Sculpture. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally, including a solo exhibition at the Austin Museum of Art and SIERAAD International Art Jewelry Fair in Amsterdam.

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 to be redirected to a page where you can view 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 not required - observers are welcome.


Metal/raw materials: 

  • 12"x24" x mild steel sheet - 20g (McMaster)

  • 1/4lb x mild steel wire - 14g (McMaster)

  • 1/4lb x mild steel wire - 16g (McMaster)

  • 1 x gun bluing agent (Amazon)

  • 1 x paving stone (Lowes)

  • 1 x mineral oil (Amazon)


Torch setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)

  • 1 x torch - Smith mini or other oxy/acytele torch (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith system has one (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x welding goggles - shade 5 (McMaster)

  • 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 liquid hand soap - for cleaning metal


Hand tools:


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • hard work surface

  • fan and open window - or ventilation system

  • safety glasses 

  • pencil, Sharpie, notebook

  • rags/towels


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