Bette Barnett | LIVESTREAM and ONLINE: Steel and Gold…a Love Story | Monday, November 30, 2020 through Thursday, December 3, 2020


If you love the glow of gold against the jet-black of patinated steel, this is the workshop for you. In this live online workshop, you will learn how to create beautiful mixed metals jewelry with steel. Steel is lightweight, strong, malleable and versatile. Even more important is its high melting temperature, which allows other metals to be fused to steel, creating dramatic patterns and contrast.

Because steel is so affordable, it offers a rich opportunity to expand your skills and take creative risks. Fusing gold and other metals to steel takes it to another level entirely by adding the caché and glow of precious metals against the deep black of patinated steel.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to fuse gold and various other metals to steel. If you choose to work with gold, you’ll need to purchase only a small amount of gold sheet, which will be enough for several pieces of fused steel jewelry. As an option, you can avoid the additional cost and work with copper, bronze and silver fused to steel.

Techniques included in the workshop:

  • Working with mild, cold rolled steel sheet and wire including sourcing, cutting, soldering, forming, texturing, patinating and sealing. Materials and supplies required to work with steel. Cleaning and prepping steel.
  • Preparing gold and/or other metals for fusing to steel. Proper techniques to roll and cut the metals to ensure successful fusing.
  • Fusing gold and other metals to steel. This class offers you the option to work with less expensive metals — such as copper, brass and silver— for fusing to steel.
  • Fusing metals to steel sheet and wire using either a dual gas or acetylene air torch.
  • Removing oxidation from fused steel jewelry.
  • Patinating steel to achieve various effects. Removing patinas from fused metals to heighten the contrast with the patinated steel.
  • Sealing mixed metals steel jewelry to protect it for years to come.
  • Creating hands-on work. You will be able to create at least two pieces of fused steel jewelry.

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Instructor: Bette Barnett


Dates of Class: November 30 through December 3, 2020

Daily Schedule

10:00 – noon (Phoenix time)

Students will participate in a daily live Zoom class with Bette.

Noon until 3:00 pm (Phoenix time)

Students will work on their projects independently in their own studios

3:00 pm (Phoenix time)

Students will join Bette in a live Zoom Q-&-A discussion time

Class Fee: $299

Level: Advanced-beginner. Students must be comfortable using a jeweler torch (dual gas or air acetylene) Students should possess competency in fundamental jewelry making skills such as sawing, hammering, filing, soldering, simple forming and rolling mill operations. In addition, students should be knowledgeable about the safety requirements of working in a jewelry studio.

Type: A Project and Technique Workshop – Technique focused with patterns for two class projects. Students may use the patterns or choose their own design.

Kit Fee: $ 45 plus shipping ($8.30 flat rate small box priority) Note that shipping to non-U.S. students will require additional costs. Certain countries may pose restrictions that limit timely shipping and in these cases the instructor will work directly with the student to determine the best way to source kit contents.

The instructor will contact registered students regarding payment for the kits and will bill students directly via PayPal or Venmo. Kits will be shipped when payment is received.

Kit Fee Includes:

  • Steel — three sheets of mild steel 4” x 6, 20g
  • Steel wire — 1 foot long—10g, 2 feet long—16g
  • Copper — 3” x 1”, 36g
  • Bronze—3” x 1”, 36g
  • Samples of flux, Sparex No. 1 and Clear Wax
  • Small jars for metal pallions
  • Brass scratch brush
  • 3M mesh scrub pad
  • Cheese cloth
  • Handouts (Patterns for two class projects, course presentation handouts, and source sheets for purchasing materials and supplies)

Student Supply List

  • Metals:
  • Optional—1”x1” square of gold sheet, thinnest gauge available, 14k or higher
  • Silver—1”x1” square of fine silver, sterling silver or Argentium sterling silvery, any gauge
  • Torch—dual gas (oxygen/propane, oxygen/acetylene or acetylene/air) Note that small butane, propane and MAPP torches do not produce enough heat.
  • Soldering pads or charcoal blocks
  • Solder pick
  • Tweezers
  • Third hand or other tools to help with soldering operations
  • Two firebricks or something similar to support metal while heating from below
  • Pickle pot—separate pickle pot for ferrous metals; non-ferrous metals (silver, copper, gold, etc.) should not be mixed in the same pickle pot as ferrous (or mixed metals with ferrous) metals
  • Pickle pot tongs—either steel, plastic or wood (not copper)
  • Pumice cleaner—any “gritty” pumice cleaner will do, even household cleanser
  • Rust remover—white vinegar or Whink Rust Stain Remover (available from Amazon)
  • Gun bluing—for example, Perma Blue or Super Blue from Birchwood Casey (Amazon) or Oxpho Blue from Brownells
  • Basic hand tools
    • Jeweler saw and 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 blades
    • Flush cutters
    • Pliers (chain nose, round, etc.)
    • Ruler
    • Scribe
    • Files- flat and ½ round file (note that mild steel will not damage files)
    • Hammers—mallet (rawhide or Delrin), whatever you like to use for forming
    • Digital calipers
  • Optivisor or other magnifying lenses if you use them
  • Easy silver solder (optional: small amount of easy gold solder, any karat)
  • Lubricant (Burlife or bees wax)

Optional Student Supply List Items

  • Optional but helpful:
    • Cuff mandrel—if making a cuff according to one of the class project patterns
    • Flexshaft and the burs or wheels that you like to use (3M radial disc wheels are particularly good for steel).
    • Rolling mill—this will be used for thinning your sheet of gold (if you choose to work with gold) or other metals for fusing. If you do not have a rolling mill, the metals can be forged to the proper thickness.
    • Patina for steel—Presto Black PC9 from Sculpt Nouveau, Japanese Brown patina from Sculpt Nouveau (Note: Check the Sculpt Nouveau site for distributors close to you to avoid higher shipping costs.)

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