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Metalsmith’s Green Thumb: Growing Copper 101

In this demo-focused virtual class, students will learn all about growing copper and thinking of metal as skin! Students will be led through an electroforming crash course: how to set up our baths, PPE and safety, and how to prepare our objects for plating!

With a focus on carved wax, this intensive course is ideal for anyone looking to go big (or small) while working light, without the weight of casting! The class will chat about how to safely burn out, clean our forms, and even fabricate with them! This class is perfect for those who are introductory metalsmiths and those with a ton of experience looking to break into a new way of making jewelry objects.

Learn all about electroforming and add this technique to your metalsmithing toolbox – all while growing your metalsmith’s green thumb!

Meet the instructor

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Sulo Bee is a nonbinary interdisciplinary metalsmith and maker based in Central Texas. They hold a BFA in Metals and Jewelry from Texas State University in 2018 and an MFA from SUNY New Paltz in 2022. Sulo has exhibited their work nationally and internationally with various galleries, and Jewelry Weeks in Budapest, Milan, and New York. They are a co-founder of Queer Metalsmiths where they seek to uplift queer voices in the field of metalsmithing and craft. During NYC Jewelry Week 2022 they served as a panelist on "Identity Adorned: The Intersection of Jewelry and Queerness" at the Museum of Art and Design. Sulo is represented by INTRO by Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands and Sifuentes Metalsmith in San Antonio, Texas.


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.


Electroforming supplies: 

  • Electroforming is an extensive process with numerous avenues for supply substitutions, augmentations, and preferences. The instructor will provide students with a handout that covers all supply needs needed for the electroforming process. The list will be sent to students closer to the start date for this workshop.


Torch setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)

  • 1 x butane blow torch

  • 1 x tempered glass container or sink - for quenching and rinsing

  • 1 x liquid hand soap - for cleaning metal


Hand tools:


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • hard work surface

  • fan and open window - or ventilation system

  • safety glasses 

  • pencil, Sharpie, notebook

  • rags/towels

  • isopropyl alcohol

  • Goo Gone

  • steel Pot

  • BBQ pit (cheapest available or area for burn out)

  • hot Plate

  • Sharpie

  • tracing Paper

  • scissors

  • painters Tape 


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