Introduction to Filigree Jewelry

Course Description

About this course

Filigree is an ancient technique that involves making lace-like silver components out of fine silver wires, utilizing very basic tools. In this live, virtual workshop students will learn the basics of the filigree process through the creation of a beautiful filigree pendant. Class objectives will include proper filigree wire preparation, sterling silver frame construction, and how best to solder these components together. 

Students will also learn how to make a traditional filigree bail, appropriate tool selection for making filigree, how to make a variety of lacy filigree shapes, how to solder with both paste and traditional filigree powder solder, methods for making traditional powder solder, filigree design basics, and how to incorporate cabochon stones into your filigree designs.

This will be an interactive workshop with live demos and in class work time. Students will set up their camera devices so the instructor can observe and provide feedback in real time. Two video devices are recommended for this course - one larger screen for you to see the instructor and a secondary video device pointed at your work area.

This course will consist 15 hours spread over three days. Each session will consist of the following:

  • Demonstrations and work time from 10:00AM to 1:00PM
  • Off-camera lunch break or independent work time from 1:00PM until 2:00PM
  • Demonstrations and work time from 2:00PM until 4:00PM

There will be a no-class day between each session to allow students ample time to practice independently or rest. 

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

Please read the Materials & Tools tab! 

Meet the Instructor

Milt Fischbein

​Milt Fischbein is an independent jewellery artist and educator. He discovered his love of working with precious metals about 25 years ago.

Milt’s filigree collection is based on techniques developed by craftsmen more than a thousand years ago. He has been fine tuning these ancient techniques in his Calgary, Alberta studio, to create a body of contemporary silver and gold filigree jewellery.  Milt is one of only a handful of metal artists in North America whose studio practice focuses on the design and fabrication of filigree.  Milt has been passing on his knowledge of filigree through workshops and lectures. He is a member of the Alberta Craft Council and his works have been published in Edmonton’s Where Magazine and Alberta Craft Magazine.  A write up on his studio was featured in the July 2017 issue of the MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America) Journal. 
 

Materials & Tools 

To lower expenses for students, the following $70 kit will be sent to the shipping address you have listed on your Metalwerx account. Kits will be mailed out by January 18th. If you register after this date, we can still mail out your kit, but it may not arrive by the workshop 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.

Note: the use of a rolling mill is indispensable for making filigree wire, however, wires included in the following materials kit have been pre-rolled for you, so you do not need to have a rolling mill to participate in this workshop. How to make your own filigree wire will be covered during the workshop. 

  • 3ft x premade .35mm filigree wire - 26g 
  • 2ft x premade .25mm filigree wire - 26g
  • 1 x soldering application tool - modified by Milt
  • 1 x tweezer - style 00 and/or style 3
  • 13ft x 26g fine silver round wire - dead soft
  • 2.5ft x 20g fine silver round wire  - dead soft
  • 1.65ft x 16g sterling silver round wire - dead soft - rolled to 0.9mm
  • 1.65ft x 18g sterling silver round wire - dead soft - rolled to 0.7mm
  • 0.5ft x 20g sterling silver round wire - dead soft - rolled to 0.5mm
  • 3 x 20g jump rings - 4.5mm OD
  • 1 x fine silver round bezel cup - 10mm
  • 1 x round carnelian cabochon - 10mm
  • 1 x 0.2oz container of 650 easy paste solder
  • 1 x priority mail shipping 
Students should bring 

You will want a laptop, desktop computer, iPad, or tablet as well as a secondary video devices (such as a smart phone) attached to a tripod or holder, so that the instructor can see and assist you more easily. 

Students will be responsible for providing the following common studio items. Some suggested vendors have been linked (click red text) for certain items:

  • 1 x fireproof torch area - steel baking sheet will work (Amazon)
  • 1 x torch - instructor will demo on EZ torch (Otto Frei or Rio Grande)
  • 1 x soldering block (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x soldering tweezers (Rio Grande)
  • pickle (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x crock pot or tempered container with lid - for pickle (Amazon)
  • 1 x brass brush (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x rotary hand piece (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x flush cutters - medium weight (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x flush cutters - light weight - optional (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x digital calipers - 4" to 6" (Harbor Freight or Amazon)
  • 1 x rawhide or nylon mallet (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x ring mandrel - economy brands work fine (Rio Grande
  • 1 x bench pin (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x bench block (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x chain nose pliers (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x flat nose pliers - optional (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack of rotary brash bristle brushes (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack of polishing wheels - your preference (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x polishing compound - your preference (Rio Grande)
  • paste flux (Rio Grande)
  • silver sheet or wire solder (Rio Grande)
  • small brush - for flux
  • safety glasses 
  • steel metric ruler - millimeters and centimeters 
  • sink or bowl of water - for rinsing and quenching 
  • towels or rags

Tuition

$350.00

Materials Cost

$70.00

Instructor

Milt Fischbein

Dates

January 25 -29, 2021

Time

10:00 AM -4:00 PM

Length

3 days

Level 
Basic and above

No Class Dates

January 26

January 28

Location 
Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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