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    Muir.short silver catch
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    Muir.brass catch
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    Muir.long silver catch
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    Muir.silver ball catch
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    Muir.brass model
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    Muir.ball necklace
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    Muir.thorn ring

Hand-fabricated Deep-threaded Catch with Swivel

This demo-centered virtual workshop will focus on hand-fabricated threaded catches with a swivel mechanism -- a feat of engineering, technical aptitude, and thorough design considerations. Hand-fabricated threads have a unique advantage over those made with tap and die in functionality and their visual aesthetic qualities, making them a high caliber option for those looking for an alternative mechanism.

Through technical demonstrations, discussions, visual images, and an examination of various samples, special emphasis will be placed on problem-solving and creative applications useful to a variety of jewelry formats and approaches. We will explore useful soldering and fabrication strategies, which can be applied to numerous methodologies in jewelry and metalsmithing studios, including those beyond the scope of the project and applications covered in this course.

Meet the instructor

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Tom Muir is Distinguished Professor of the Arts at Bowling Green State University, where he is head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area in the School of Art. He received his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his BFA degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Mr. Muir has lectured and taught widely, holding positions at universities and craft schools around the country. His award-winning work has been published and exhibited extensively in art, craft and design exhibitions. Collections include the Art Institute of Chicago, Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The White House Collection of American Crafts, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. He is the recipient of an Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Artist Fellowship, Michigan Council for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Awards. In 2009, Tom received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen for having made a major contribution to craft in Ohio.

Click here to learn more about Tom and his work. 

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: 


Hand tools:


Torch setup:


Other/miscellaneous items:

  • particulate dust mask

  • eye protection

  • fan / open window, ventilation, or outside

  • isopropyl or denatured alcohol - 1 pint

  • boric acid fine powder form - sold as roach killer

  • pint glass or plastic jar - wide mouth

  • inexpensive brush - approx. 1/2"-1" wide

  • medium duty pliable leather gloves

  • masking tape - apprx. 3/4" wide

  • 4.5" or larger jaw machinists vise - mounted to bench or stump with padded jaws


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