Hydraulic Press Basics and Beyond

Course Description

About this course

EXPLORE, CREATE, AND INNOVATE by learning how to harness the design and form possibilities of the hydraulic press - a great tool for making both one-of-a-kind pieces and multiples. We will begin with an overview of hydraulic press basics, safety, and care. The first day will continue with learning about embossing dies and the use of different urethanes. Students will learn to make and use a wire embossing die, as well as how to use the Bonny Doon Freeform and Synclastic Bracelet tool.

Day two will be all about silhouette dies and fun variations on silhouette dies. Learn how to solder together matching forms made with a silhouette die. There will be time to make and use your own die(s). 

Day three will be devoted to demonstrations of tools that you may not have, but wonder how to use, including the Bonny Doon Delrin Anticlastic Forming Kit, the steel BD Synclastic and Anticlastic Bracelet Forming Kits, Contained Urethanes, Daps, the BD Master Tool Holder, BD Synclastic and Anticlastic Ring Tools, and Deep Drawing.

This course will consist of three sessions. Each session will consist of the following:

  • Demonstrations and work time 10:00AM to 12:30PM
  • Off-camera break or independent work time 12:30PM to 2:00PM
  • Demonstrations and work time 2:00PM to 4:30PM

For more information about virtual courses, visit our Virtual Course FAQ page. 

Please read the Materials & Tools tab!

Meet the Instructor

Cynthia Eid

Whether using hammers and stakes, or hydraulic press tools, Cynthia's sculptural jewelry and hollowware shows her focus on exploring the fluidity with which metal can be moved, formed, and joined.

Cynthia Eid co-authored the book Creative Metal Forming, with Betty Helen Longhi, published in 2013 by Tim McCreight's Brynmorgen Press. In his foreword for the book, Michael Good says the authors "have succeeded in assembling the first comprehensive textbook on synclastic and anticlastic forming." (More about the book available at www.creativemetalforming.com.)  

Cynthia and Betty developed a set of anticlastic stakes, and Eid also works with Knew Concepts and Bonny Doon to help make tools for jewelers and metalsmiths. Lee Marshall has dubbed Cynthia Eid "Godmother of the Knew Concept Saws" since it was her idea for him to produce these saws for jewelers.

Excited about working in sterling silver without the problem of firescale, Cynthia has been working with Argentium Silver since 1999. After meeting Peter Johns (the inventor of Argentium Silver) in 2003, Eid has participated in AS's development. Argentium International, Ltd recognizes her as a Pioneer.

Cynthia Eid's metalwork has won awards for creativity and design, been featured in many publications, and been exhibited internationally. With a BS in Art Education and MFA in Jewelry, Design, and Silversmithing, she has previously worked as a bench jeweler for fine goldsmiths, a model-maker in a gold jewelry factory, and on private commissions. Her work is in museums in the US and UK. Currently an independent metalsmith and educator, she teaches weekly classes at Metalwerx in Massachusetts, and workshops and short courses in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.


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:

  • 5ft x round yellow brass wire - 14g or assortment (Amazon)
  • 6”x12” x copper or nugold sheet - 28g (Rio Grande)
  • 12"x12" x copper or nugold sheet - 24g (Rio Grande)
  • 3”x3” x brass sheet - 18g (Rio GrandeAmazon)
  • additional metal in other gauges or silver - optional

Hydraulic press tools: 

  • access to a hydraulic press
  • 6” x 6” Urethane:  1/16” 95 Durometer (Rio Grande)
  • 6” x 6” Urethane 1/8” 95 Durometer (Rio Grande)
  • Bonny Doon Intensifier Sheet (Rio Grande)
  • 80-Durometer Urethane, 3"W x 3"D x 1/2"H (Rio Grande)
  • BD Freeform Synclastic Bracelet Former Kit (Rio Grande)
  • 4 x  3”x3”x¼” acrylic or polycarbonate (Rio Grande)

Hand tools:

Torch setup (note that your torch should be big enough to anneal a large bracelet):

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (AmazonHome Depot)
  • 1 x torch - Silversmith and #2 tip or Buddy Blazer (Rio, Amazon)
  • 1 x Solderite™ pad / pan with pumice (Rio GrandeRio Grande)
  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith system has one (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x copper tongs - for pickle (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pickle - sodium bisulfate or citric acid (Rio GrandeAmazon)
  • 1 x crock pot or lidded glass container (Rio GrandeAmazon)
  • 1 x tempered glass container or sink - for quenching and rinsing
  • 1 x liquid hand soap - for cleaning metal
  • 1 x paste solder - for silhouette dies - optional (Rio Grande)

Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • dust mask
  • safety glasses 




Cynthia Eid


October 4 -8, 2021


10:00 AM -4:30 PM


3 days

Basic and above

No Class Dates

October 5

October 7

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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