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    its magnetic class image with Rio Grand logo
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    Pugh.steel and gold rings
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    Pugh.steel and gold rectangle with lines

It’s Magnetic! The Seductive Pull of Steel and Gold Jewelry

At some point, every jeweler feels the alluring pull of gold or steel! Learn to combine these two intriguing metals and create gorgeous contrast in your jewelry work using the versatility of steel with the richness of gold. Students will fabricate rings and/or brooches composed of non-ferrous metals including silver and gold, in combination with the ever lightweight yet durable material of steel, a metal that is surprisingly easy to work with.

The class will rely heavily on gold solder, a financially more accessible form of gold, and students will make simple ingots using their gold scrap to incorporate into finished pieces (using silver, if gold scrap is not plentiful). During this class, students will learn to give volume to sheet metal steel by scoring and bending, and the class will practice hot forging techniques to take advantage of the plastic properties of this very malleable material. Come prepared to experiment and get ready to show off your finished steel and gold rings and/or brooches!

This class is sponsored by Rio Grande and a limited number of scholarships are available. Apply now!

Meet the instructor

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Suzanne Pugh was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, studied metalsmithing and jewelry at The University of Georgia where she earned a BFA, and moved to Kansas State University for her MFA. Now primarily a studio artist in Wendell, Massachusetts, Suzanne has worked in industry, education, and in her studio throughout her career. She was head of Metal Arts at City College of San Francisco for 15 years, and she currently teaches metalsmithing at RISD. Suzanne also teaches workshops around the country, at schools that include Penland School of Craft, Haystack, and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Suzanne’s work is featured in several books, including The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets, The Penland Book of Jewelry, and Chasing and Repousee; Methods Ancient and Modern.

You can see more of Suzanne's work on her website at pughworks.com.

Materials & Tools

There is a $99 materials fee for this workshop that is payable upon registration. The materials kit fee covers basic metalworking items including sterling silver sheet metal (18g), 4-piece steel working plier kit, sawblades (3/0, 1/0, 3), drill bits (#54, #56, #60) sandpaper and sanding sticks (120, 220, 320, 400 grits), screw mandrel, split mandrel, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, satin polishing wheels, blue and white polishing compound, steel-specific files (mill cut and smooth cut), and numerous other miscellaneous supplies needed to complete class objectives.

There is a separate materials kit estimated at $130 payable directly to the instructor during the workshop - kit cost will be based on gold market value and includes: 

  • 1 pennyweight of 18k yellow plumb gold

  • a selection of steel sheet and wire

  • separating discs

  • 3M abrasive pad

Students should bring
  • needle files - if you don't have any, get barette needle file and #2 cut

  • 6"-8" 0 cut or #2 cut hand files

  • scrap steel you want to work (instructor kit includes steel)

  • old worn-out files

  • gold scraps - old jewelry, broken, jewelry, gold filings, etc.

  • your favorite hand or flex-shaft items

  • extra silver wire, sheet, or scraps (18g sterling comes in kit)

  • Sharpie marker

  • studio apron

  • studio towel

  • notebook or sketchpad

  • pen or pencil

  • closed-toe shoes - required in the Metalwerx studio

  • lunch - Metalwerx has a fridge, toaster oven, and microwave


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