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The Intricacies of Soldered Chains

In this demo-focused virtual class students will discover the intricacies of making a few different chain styles including palm trees, flat palm trees, wheat, and more. Participants will learn how to create mandrels which will allow them to form the jump rings required to construct and then solder the chain links. After putting the chains together, we will learn several different finishing processes.

If you’ve taken no-solder chain making with Matthieu previously, get ready to have some fun soldering some new styles!

Meet the instructor

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Matthieu moved from Paris to New-Mexico when he was 19, where for seven years he studied Navajo, Hopi and Zuni jewelry techniques. He was immediately drawn to stamping, making concho belts and bracelets. He then moved to Mali, West-Africa and worked for a few years with the Fulani, Touareg and Bambara jewelers. 

 

 

In 1999, Matthieu settled in Montreal Canada and continued his studies by going to a jewelry school and learning a more classical part of the trade. Over the years, Matthieu has returned to Africa regularly.

 

 

 

 

In 2014, Tim McCreight and Mattheiu Cheminee created the Toolbox Initiative, a non-profit organization that helps jewelers in West Africa through the gifts of donated tools.

 

 

 

 

“I have been stamping and making stamps since the beginning and have developed a form of stamping design by creating patterns that fill the entire piece of metal. This is called “tessellation”.

 

 

 

 

Matthieu has written two books,  “Legacy, jewelry techniques of West Africa“  and “The Art of Stamping”, both published at Brynmorgen Press.

 

 

 

 

Visit Matthieu's website or instagram page for more info on 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 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" x copper, brass, or steel 1/4" sheet - 12g

  • 6 feet x sterling round wire - 18g (Rio Grande)

  • 6 feet x 1/2 round sterling or copper wire - 16g (Rio Grande)

  • 6 feet x 1/2 round sterling or copper wire - 14g (Rio Grande)

  • 12 feet x fine silver round wire - 26g (Rio Grande)

 

Hand tools:

 

Torch setup:

 

Other/miscellaneous materials:

  • hard work surface

  • fan and open window or ventilation system

  • safety glasses

  • pencil, Sharpie, notebook

  • rags/towels

 

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