A Silver Smither!

Look at what I made!

the silver earrings I made!

Aren’t they cool?

I took a silversmithing class on Saturday at the university art department as a part of their continuing education programs. There were only four people in my class, so we were each able to get personal attention from the instructor, Kay Rashka. She’s a hobby metal smither who teaches jewelry making and design in her spare time.

Kay's earring samples

All those lovely earrings pictured above were made by our instructor, and we were able to choose one of the designs on the bottom row for our beginner class project. The designs on the top two rows involved soldering or more advanced techniques that we didn’t have time to learn on the first day.

silver tools and work stations

We got to saw a raw sheet of metal, sand and file the shapes, forge texture into the shapes with hammers or stamps, melt a piece of silver wire to make a bead on the end, drill holes for the wires, shapes spirals with wire, and assemble all the pieces into a cool pair of contemporary earrings. I have always wanted to learn the art of metal smithing, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now.

drilling and dremel stationOur instructor was so well organized that she had stations set up for each step of the process, as well as individuals work stations for each of us to come back to and continue at our own pace.

silver work stations

It was fun learning about the tools used in silver smithing, from the hand tools to the power tools. It was also a great feeling to take raw materials and shape them into art wear. I’m already sketching ideas in my new sketchbook for more earrings and pendants, so I can’t wait to try this again!