Steel and Gold Jewelry

Course Description

About this course

Learn how to fuse steel and gold to create dramatic mixed metals jewelry. Steel is an amazing metal -- strong, lightweight and malleable. One of the most appealing characteristics of steel is its affinity for gold. Simply put, steel “loves” gold. Marrying steel with gold results in dramatic results that respond to today’s modern aesthetic for work that is bold yet maintains richness.

This workshop provides an overview of the basics of working with steel and heat fusing gold to steel. Students will gain a broad exposure to all techniques required to work with steel and gold.  Techniques covered include how to work with mild (cold rolled) steel, and fabrication methods required to create jewelry from steel including sourcing, cutting, forming, texturing, adding Keum Boo, patinating and sealing the steel. Students will be able to complete at least one finished piece of steel/gold jewelry.

Participants at each class level will be required to have a basic metalworking skill set, including sawing, filing, soldering, sanding and finishing techniques. In addition, students should come prepared with a well thought out yet simple design concept in mind for one or two pieces of steel and fused gold jewelry.

Meet the Instructor

Bette Barnett

Since 2013 Bette Barnett has devoted her work to exploring and experimenting with gold and steel jewelry. Beginning her jewelry career in 2010, Bette learned basic skills through private and group lessons with seasoned jewelers and teachers. In 2013 Bette began studying the steel/gold processes and continued with advanced workshops with the late Chris Nelson, whose explorations of ancient Japanese techniques were instrumental in launching widespread interest in applying fine gold and silver to steel. She has built on those studies by perfecting additional techniques and processes, including Keum Boo and galvanic etching of steel. Currently she is developing techniques to fuse fine silver to steel.

Before beginning her career as a jeweler/instructor, Bette gained her teaching credentials through her background as a corporate communication consultant. In her former career, Bette provided extensive training services to the employees of client companies thus fine tuning her instructional capabilities.

Bette participates in a number of art shows annually and her work is shown at Sparks Gallery, a prestigious venue in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. She teaches private lessons in her San Diego studio and offers group lessons throughout the U.S. Her most recent workshops in Long Beach, CA filled so rapidly that additional dates were opened because of the demand.

Materials & Tools 

There is a $45 materials fee that is payable upon registration. The materials kit includes alloying metals to be used for gold (fine silver and copper), mild steel sheets (18g and 20g, one 12” x 6” sheet of each). Scraps will also be available, 1 oz samples of the appropriate flux, pickle and patina for steel, small container for gold pallions, brass brush for cleaning steel, small abrasive pads for adding “tooth” to the steel surface, course presentation materials for note taking, source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies, and 1” x .5”rectangle of gold foil for Keum Boo.

Students should bring 

Students are required to bring at least two pennyweight (dwt) of 24K gold casting grains (available from Rio Grande and other vendors). Note that students will be pooling gold casting grains in small groups to create various gold alloys.

Additionally, students are welcome to bring any of their favorite hand tools. Metalwerx has many tools available for use during class but if you have your own, you can bring them along so you don't have to share.  Typically, helpful hand tools include:

  • Pliers and wire cutters
  • Sandpaper
  • Files
  • Jeweler's saw and blades
  • Sketch book for taking notes


$530.00 $503.50
5% discount until September 4

Materials Cost



Bette Barnett


October 4 -6, 2019


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


3 days

Basic and above
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