Ornate Florals: Making Wooden Jewelry

Course Description

About this course

This class will explore the uniqueness and beauty of carving wooden jewelry. Wooden jewelry has been worn for many centuries, in many cultures and continues to be a beloved form of body adornment. In this class, we will explore the history of wooden jewelry through different cultures and see how floral design patterns are frequently represented.

While researching forms, designs, and patterns (inclusive of floral imagery) students will create sketches. They will also create models out of cardboard and modeling clay, before creating final projects in wood -- which could be a pendant or a pair of earrings. Over the course of three days, expect to learn wood carving skills, with hand tools, wax files, and the flex shaft. Students will also discover how to use the flex shaft in uncommon ways, to form, shape, and design their wooden jewelry. Wrap up the weekend with a finished piece (or two) and a discussion on incorporating metal components for chains and ear wires.

This class is intended for those who have basic and above metalsmithing skills; including, but not limited to, sawing, drilling, filing, sanding, and the use of the flex shaft and its components. Techniques typically used on metal will be applied to wood in this class.

Meet the Instructor

Ashley Ernest

Ashley Ernest is a jewelry designer and metalsmith specializing, in one-of-a-kind and limited series jewelry. She is a free-lance designer and an arts educator living in Providence, RI. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BA, from Rhode Island College; with disciplines in metal and jewelry. Her interests range from Feminism, to her current interest in Buddhism. Exploring materials, such as; wood, textiles, and found objects spark her fancy! Ashley enjoys conferring about art and design wherever and whenever possible! She is an enthusiast and advocate for art/design and hands-on-craft education. 

Materials & Tools 

There is a $75 materials fee for this workshop.  It includes all the supplies needed for the process including: Saw blades, Sandpaper, Emory Cloth Assortment, Woodcarving Tool Set, Wax Bur Set, Wax burrs Detailers Set, File & Rasp Set, Wood, and other miscellaneous supplies for the process.

Students should bring 
  • Good dust mask or particulate respirator
  • Several graphic florals images that which inspire you and you can “draw” from
  • Sketch Pad
  • Tracing paper
  • Basic drawing materials (pen, pencils, sharpie)
  • Xacto knife/s
  • Cardboard (2-3 recycled cereal boxes—or equivalent)

Optional: Metalwerx has many of these tools available to share

  • Safety glasses
  • Millimeter ruler & 12 inch ruler
  • Jewelers Saw frames 
  • Burs (Any you may have)
  • Needle and Regular wax files (if you have)
  • Sanding cartridges and abrasives on mandrels which attach to Flexshaft 
  • Gloves for gripping wood (Gardening gloves would work if they have a grip.)



Materials Cost



Ashley Ernest


January 29 -31, 2016


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


3 days

Basic and above
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