Fusing Gold and other Metals to Perforated Steel Sheet and Wire

Course Description

About this course

Mild steel is a fabulous metal for jewelry, as it is lightweight, malleable, and affordable. When incorporated with fused gold and other metals, perforated patterns, and wire, your mixed metals creations are sure to pack a visual punch!

In this live, virtual workshop, students will learn the basics of working with mild steel, from cutting, texturing, forming, and soldering it. Fusing high karat gold and other metals to steel to add drama and excitement will also be covered. Then the class kicks things up a notch through fabricating and fusing alternative forms of steel, including steel wire and perforated steel in a range of patterns, from squares, circles, and ovals to honeycombs and more.

In addition, the instructor will cover how to finish the edges of perforated steel for comfort and a clean look, how to make striking bezels from perforated steel, how to layer wire, perforated steel, and steel sheet, as well as how to seal these jewelry pieces.

There will be Zoom Open Studio Time at 4:00PM Eastern Time on Monday 3/22/21, Wednesday 3/24/21, and Friday 3/26/21 for extra discussion, troubleshooting, and advice.

The instructor will also be available via text, phone, or email for additional support between 12:00PM and 4:00PM each class day.

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

Students will have access to the instructor's recorded demonstrations for 14 days after the workshop, but classes will not be recorded by Metalwerx.

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 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 $75 supply kit will be sent to the shipping address you have listed on your Metalwerx account. Kits will be mailed out by 3/9/21. If you register after this date, a kit can still be shipped to you but may not arrive by the course start date. Please inform us if you reside outside of the United States, as your shipping cost may differ from the standard shipping included in the materials kit fee and may also need to be expedited. All items listed below will be included in your kit.

  • 2 x 4"x6" mild steel sheet - 20g 
  • 4 x 4"x6" perforated steel sheet - range of patterns
  • 1 x 1"x6" copper sheet - 36g
  • 1 x 1"x6" brass sheet - 36g
  • 1 x 12" steel wire - 10g
  • 1 x 24" steel wire - 12g
  • 1 x 24" steel wire - 16g
  • flux samples, Sparex No. 1, and Clear Wax
  • small jars - for gold and copper pallions
  • brass scrach brush
  • 3M mesh scrub pad
  • cheese cloth
  • handouts - patterns, course presentation, source sheets
  • shipping cost
Students should bring 

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.

A soldering setup (An oxy/propane setup works best, but an acetylene/air torch will also work. Smaller single gas torches such as butane, MAPP, and propane will not produce sufficient heat):

  • fireproof torch area - steel baking sheet will work (Amazon)
  • Solderite™ pad or fire brick or charcoal block (Rio Grande)
  • torch - oxy/propane or acetylene (Rio Grande or Rio Grande)
  • flux (Rio Grande)
  • small brush - for flux
  • easy silver solder (Rio Grande)
  • fan and open window - or ventilation system
  • cross lock tweezers (Rio Grande)
  • third arm (Rio Grande)
  • soldering pick
  • tempered glass jar or crock pot with fresh pickle solution
  • pickle solution - Sparex No. 1 works best for steel (Thompson)
  • plastic, ceramic, or Pyrex bowls - quenching and/or rinsing
  • plastic, ceramic, or Pyrex bowls - for neutralizing metal
  • baking soda and water - for neutralizing metal

To fuse gold to steel, you will need at least 2" of a 30g gold strip, 14k or higher, in any hardness or color. The higher the karat, the better the gold flows across the steel. Suggested options below:

To fuse silver to steel, you will need at least 2 square inches of 30g fine silver sheet or 4" of 1/4" fine silver strip. Suggested options below:

Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • hand tools - hammers, pliers, files, snips, etc.
  • jewelers saw and blades - 2/0, 3/0, 4/0
  • hard work surface
  • bench pin
  • lubricant - BurLife or beeswax or candle
  • pumice type cleaner - GoJo, Fast Orange, Barkeepers Friend, etc.
  • denatured or isopropyl alcohol
  • rubber cement
  • sharp scissors
  • disposable gloves
  • cotton balls, q-tips, or cheap brush
  • rags/towels

You will need one of the following solutions to patina your jewelry (note that the Sculpt Nouveau websites lists distributors - you should order from the distributor closest to you to save on shipping):

The following items are optional but helpful:

  • rolling mill
  • mandrels and stakes
  • texturing tool - hammers, burs, pattern plates, etc.
  • easy gold solder - 14k
  • cabochon stones - for bezels setting



Materials Cost



Bette Barnett


March 22 -26, 2021


10:00 AM -12:00 PM


5 days

Basic and above
Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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