Texture and Form: Creating Dimension with the Hydraulic Press

Course Description

About this course

            Explore, create, and innovate, while learning how to harness the design and form possibilities of the hydraulic press using tools that you make yourself. Emboss metal without changing it's thickness! Thin metal gets stronger as it forms over textures and designs that you’ve made, purchased, or found. Learn how to make a silhouette die to form perfectly matching opposites. This is a great technique for pendants, beads, lockets, containers, boxes, bud vases. The dies will be made so that the two opposite forms can be soldered together. We’ll look at how we can use the same die to make multiples of the same piece, different one-of-a-kind pieces, or make a series of related pieces each with different surface details.   This workshop shows you how to use the hydraulic press without buying other tools.

            Demonstrations will include: hydraulic press safety and care; making dies; a simple way to neatly solder together matching halves so that there is minimal clean-up; how to know which thickness and hardness of urethane to use; how to use a form box for deeper forms; and embossing. Each demo will be followed by hands-on work time. This class is appropriate for students with basic metalsmithing skills, as well as experienced jewelers and metalsmiths.


Meet the Instructor

Cynthia Eid

Whether using hammers and stakes, or hydraulic press tools, Cynthia's sculptural jewelry and hollowware shows her focus on exploring the fluidity with which metal can be moved, formed, and joined.

Cynthia Eid co-authored the book Creative Metal Forming, with Betty Helen Longhi, published in 2013 by Tim McCreight's Brynmorgen Press. In his foreword for the book, Michael Good says the authors "have succeeded in assembling the first comprehensive textbook on synclastic and anticlastic forming." (More about the book available at www.creativemetalforming.com.)  

Cynthia and Betty developed a set of anticlastic stakes, and Eid also works with Knew Concepts and Bonny Doon to help make tools for jewelers and metalsmiths. Lee Marshall has dubbed Cynthia Eid "Godmother of the Knew Concept Saws" since it was her idea for him to produce these saws for jewelers.

Excited about working in sterling silver without the problem of firescale, Cynthia has been working with Argentium Silver since 1999. After meeting Peter Johns (the inventor of Argentium Silver) in 2003, Eid has participated in AS's development. Argentium International, Ltd recognizes her as a Pioneer.

Cynthia Eid's metalwork has won awards for creativity and design, been featured in many publications, and been exhibited internationally. With a BS in Art Education and MFA in Jewelry, Design, and Silversmithing, she has previously worked as a bench jeweler for fine goldsmiths, a model-maker in a gold jewelry factory, and on private commissions. Her work is in museums in the US and UK. Currently an independent metalsmith and educator, she teaches weekly classes at Metalwerx in Massachusetts, and workshops and short courses in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.


Materials & Tools 

There is a $65 materials fee for this workshop that will be paid directly to the instructor in class. The materials kit includes 24g and 28g NuGold sheet, 18g Brass sheet, polycarbonate, delrin, and acrylic for creating cies and embossing plates, as well as various tools needed to complete projects.



Materials Cost

Payable to instructor in class.


Cynthia Eid


September 28 -30, 2018


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


3 days

Basic and above
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