Filing & the Foredom
Tuesdays, April 4-18
When you are looking at a piece of jewelry. What is one of the things that you notice? That yes, it is stunning, but when you keep looking what holds your eye? Hopefully, it is how it makes you feel, but more importantly that it is comfortable and has good craftsmanship. Good craftsmanship takes time and practice and really aside from fabrication, it is the most important part of making jewelry. Most new jewelers struggle with finishing their pieces nicely and truthfully, especially when it is your least favorite part! Over the years, Leah Meleski has spent a lot of time finishing her jewelry and developing a variety of skills and techniques. This class series is the perfect opportunity to learn and practice finishing pieces of jewelry. Techniques covered in class will include filing, sanding, tricks with the foredom and our polishing machines. Students will build onto skills learned in beginning jewelry classes and will dive into a variety of techniques crucial to finishing their work successfully.
This exciting two-day workshop shows students of any skill level how to make a series of silver, stackable rings. Participants will start with wire, sheet metal, and loose stones and turn them into as many as 6 coordinating rings to wear together or alone. Throughout the class, students will be introduced to basic skills that are essential to metalsmithing; including sawing, soldering, sizing, texturing and polishing metal. We will utilize premade bezel settings for cabochons. Students will leave class confident with their soldering skills and a handful of rings!
Metalsmithing & Jewelry 1
Wednesdays: April 12-May 24
Have you ever wondered how to create stunning one of a kind jewelry? If so, this beginning jewelry class series is for you. It is the perfect introductory class that will help you to develop fundamental metalsmithing skills, good studio habits, and an appreciation for handcrafted jewelry.
Throughout this class series, you will learn essential processes and techniques that create the foundation for good studio practice. Class time will be spent learning a variety of processes that include piercing shapes from metal with a jeweler’s saw, adding texture to metal, soldering, and annealing metal with a torch. As well as how to bezel set a cabochon gemstone and create a stunning sterling silver ring. While a majority of these processes are reinforced through the creation of samples, you will also leave class with several finished original pieces of jewelry including a ring and a pendant.
Mentored Open Studio
Tuesdays April 25-May 23
Have you ever wondered how to create elaborate wire designs as jewelry? If so, this class series is for you. It is the perfect introductory class that will help you develop fundamental wire fabrication skills.
Throughout this class series, you will learn essential processes and techniques that allow you to create the designs of your dreams. Class time will be spent learning a variety of processes that include forging, transforming stock wire, fabricating & soldering wire. As well as how to use wire to create simple clasps, jump rings, and chain link systems. While a majority of the processes are reinforced through the creation of samples, you will leave class with at least one finished original piece of jewelry.
Metalsmithing & Jewelry 3
Most jewelers fall in love with making jewelry at first light of the torch. Often, it’s when they’re soldering that they accidentally turn their project into a beautiful, glowing molten puddle of metal. Did you know that it was possible to intentionally melt metal and cast it into a mold to create usable shapes?
In this workshop, students will learn to create both intentional and unintentional shapes by casting molten metal into various types of molds and materials. These molds will completely transform the molten metal. Students start class by getting comfortable with a jeweler’s torch and playing with ideas around alternative casting. Alternative casting techniques will include: water casting, broom casting and salt casting. We will also create more intentional shapes by pouring molten metal into ingot molds and carved cuttlefish bones.
Description continued on link below.
Metalsmithing & Jewelry 2
Tuesdays, May 30-June 27
Students will learn how to marry metal and gemstones together with several torch-less techniques. Create several types of rivets including standard, flush and tube rivets. Rivets are a durable, and popular way to connect metal to metal or other materials without a torch aka a cold connection in jewelry.
This class is perfect for starting your own torch-less home studio practice as we will also be covering rivets, textures & finishing techniques. Students leave class with sample pieces of rivets and a finished pendant that utilizes cold connections. Materials fee includes a cabochon gemstone, brass and/or copper, however, students can purchase a different stone and sterling silver from the instructor to utilize in their pendant.
Sculpture vs. Jewelry
Wednesdays, June 7-28
Explore foundations in forging new shapes out of wire. During class we will explore how to transform stock wire, ingots into new shapes. This class allows you to stretch your vision and experiment with new techniques, pushing your work to develop into something new and different. Techniques covered in class will include tapering, twisting, and forming. Tools used will include the rolling mill, a variety of hammers, anvils and vices. Using these techniques, we will discuss and design a unique self-guided project.
This one-day workshop introduces the basics of creating a sterling silver ring. Students start with a sterling silver sheet and learn how to size, saw, solder, polish, and texture the ring. You’ll leave with a solid foundation of metalsmithing skills and a beautiful new sterling silver ring!
The Art of the Ring
Saturday: February 25
So now that you’ve made a whole bunch of beautiful organic forms out of molten metal, what do you do with them? In this 3-day workshop, students will go through the process of creating a one of a kind piece of jewelry. They will utilize the elements that were cast during Part 1 of Alternative Casting in combination with wire, sheet and gemstone(s). We will discuss elements of design as well as the advantages to using various types of settings such as bezels, prongs, tube settings, flush settings, etc. with different types of gemstones. During the first day of class we will review drawings and ideas, then create a plan for how to get from their drawing to the final product. During Day 2 & 3 we will create our one of a kind pieces independently and the instructor will perform demonstrations as necessary for techniques involved in students projects.
Metalsmithing & Jewelry 4
Mentored Studio Time
Book 2 hour time slots with Leah in her private studio based in Bellingham, WA.
Join Leah in her studio and work on a personal project that you need help with. Explore a variety of techniques and pick up a few tips and trips. Demonstrations will be tailored to your needs. Basic jewelry and metalsmithing skills are required.
Click the link below to contact Leah & coordinate time to work together. $40/hour
Open Studio time is also available. You must be able to work independently. $25/hour