Pearl Carving - Virtual Workshop

Course Description

About this course

Pearls are beautiful to look at, but did you know you can add your own unique flare to them? Discover the art of carving freshwater pearls in this live, online course! Spend two days learning pearl carving techniques using only rotary tools and your hand skills. Design layout, drilling, burring, and polishing will all be covered. Gain the knowledge needed to accentuate and compliment a pearl's natural charm! 

Previous experience with operating a rotary hand piece is required. 

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

Each session will be recorded and you will receive a password protected link to the recordings that will expire after 30 days.

Please read the Materials & Tools tab! 

Meet the Instructor

David Baird

David Baird has been making jewelry for nearly four decades. He received his bachelor's degree at the Evergreen State College, and his MFA from The School of the American Craftsman at Rochester Institute of Technology. He also has a GG (Graduate Gemology certificate) from the GIA.

David sells his work nationally and has taught classes and workshops for at least 30 years around New England including Metalwerx, DeCordova Museum School, and Lexington Arts and Crafts Center. More recently he has been developing specialized jigs to make bench processes easier for his students. The Directed Open Studio courses at Metalwerx are led by David because of his vast knowledge about the many facets of metalworking.

Over the past 15 years, David has expanded his repertoire to include lapidary cabbing and carving. He now devotes his time between two studios, both lapidary and jewelry, taking on commissions by request. His studio is located at the Waltham Mill Buildings, near Metalwerx where still he teaches regularly.

Materials & Tools 

Students will need to have the following materials in preparation for this online workshop. If you do not already have them, a suggested item and/or a vendor from which you can purchase these items has been provided below. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find or choose the item. The quantities you need for each item are listed first. 

Please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. Please order these materials as soon as possible due to longer than usual turn-around times. We recommend not opening the packaging until the day of the workshop. 

You will need a rotary hand piece for this course. A flex-shaft, micro-motor, or Dremel tool will all work. Please note, if you are using a collet rotary tool, you will need collets that can fit both 1/8” (3.2mm) and 3/32” (2.4mm) shanks. 

  • 1 x freshwater pearl kit - priority mail USPS shipping recommended (Stachura)
  • 1 x diamond bur set - 400 grit (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack of 12 medium bristle brush - mounted (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack of 12 stiff bristle brush - mounted (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x pack of 10 high speed twist drill bits - #68 0.79mm (Rio Grande)
  • 1 x cutting and polishing compound (Rio Grande)

If you do not have a rotary hand-piece, you can purchase the suggested item(s) below. You will need to hang the motor on a mount or hanger. 

Students should bring 

In addition to the above items, you will want to have the following items available: 

  • dust mask
  • safety glasses 
  • bowl of water
  • towel(s) - paper or cloth
  • fine point Sharpie marker
  • small paper clip
  • 10mm (or so) diameter stick, dowel, or wine cork - between 1 and 3 inches




David Baird


September 1 -3, 2020


10:00 AM -12:00 PM


2 days

Basic and above

No Class Dates

September 2

Virtual - Eastern Time Zone
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