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  • $ 35000

Instructor: Vickie Hallmark

Vickie specializes in combining sculptural components made from metal clay with Argentium silver. Argentium is a special sterling alloy containing a tiny bit of germanium that gives it unique properties, including the ability to fuse like fine silver or gold (it’s actually easier!), lack of fire scale, and resistance to tarnishing. These two novel materials are perfect when combined in ways that use the advantages of each.

This two-day workshop includes one day to explore working with silver metal clay components that will be fired to use in the projects. The second day introduces Argentium and various simple ways to fabricate jewelry utilizing the metal clay elements. Beginners are welcome, and more advanced students are encouraged to work these principles into their personal repertoire. Students will experiment with a variety of techniques to produce metal clay elements, while learning concepts that will allow them to build more complex structures and to personalize their jewelry designs. Expect to make a variety of metal clay and wire components on the first day, and then assemble those to produce at least one pair of earrings as well as a more complex pendant, including a bezel set stone if desired.

Why combine the two? The combination of metal clay components with Argentium silver minimizes expense by using metal clay only for sculptural elements, while using Argentium wire and sheet for supporting structures. Argentium silver will also fuse with bronze and other base metals (demo only), allowing easy combinations that are not available when working with metal clay directly.

Argentium topics covered include:

• What makes Argentium different from regular sterling and why it’s perfect for combining with metal clay – FUSING instead of soldering, no fire scale so no nasty heavy acid pickle, MUCH easier to fuse than fine silver

• Working with Argentium - it’s different!! - judging temperature, avoiding fracture

• Annealing Argentium so that it’s super soft for forming into rings or other shapes

• Forming rings and fusing them closed

• Texturing Argentium wire (or sheet)

• Forming wire ovals or teardrops

• Forming granules

• Fusing pre-fired fine silver metal clay to Argentium

• Fusing bezel cups in place and setting cabochons

• Beading the end of a wire – Argentium beads beautifully! – and forming ear wires

• Finishing and patina

• Heat hardening Argentium and making it more tarnish resistant

So.... join us for a new adventure with Argentium!

LEVEL: This is an early intermediate class. Students should have some basic torch skills. You do not have to be a skilled metalsmith to love this class and learn a ton!

WORKSHOP - 2 Days - SAT - SUN: 9:30am - 5:00pm

CLASS FEES - $350 Due at Registration (non-taxable)

MATERIALS FEES - $135 Due 30 days prior to the class (taxable)


Vickie Hallmark - Technical Blah, Blah and Personal Bio:

Vickie Hallmark is a well-known metal clay artist who decided to pursue more traditional jewelry construction to add to her skill set. During intensive studies with world-recognized Master Jeweler Ronda Coryell, who specializes in Argentium, Vickie immediately realized the unique possibilities of combining Argentium with metal clay components.

Lunch: Bring your own or grab a bite next door at Hatch 5 Market!

Visit Vickie's Website:

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