Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why can't I make my own design in the beginning class?

A: The majority of the time spent when creating a new piece of original jewelry is in the design phase of the creative process. Many times a design may look easy or simple but problems may arise during the soldering process that cause the piece to be destroyed.  We want every student that attends the class to go home with a working knowledge of the process for creating a soldered sterling silver pendant and a nice piece of jewelry.

Q: Why can't I make a ring in the beginning class?

A: The process of creating a pendant is very similar to that of a ring, but the process of fitting the ring to the finger requires skill that is learned through practice. We want you to have developed the skill required to attach the ring band by having created a few pieces of jewelry before you attempt the soldering of the finger bands to the cabochon mount.

Q: I have seen other classes advertised on the internet as putting three years worth of training into a one day class. Are you going to give me those three years of training also?

A: Do pigs fly? Unfortunately we live in a world where a lot of people promise the moon and give you far less in return.  You will learn the fundamentals in our beginning class and go home with skills and knowledge that if you practice you can become a successful silversmith.

Q: I have seen a class like this advertised that only takes eight hours. Why does yours take twelve?

A: I attended one of those eight hour classes a few years back. It actually took ten hours and our pieces were not completed in class. The instructor had to finish them the next day. As a result none of the students learned anything about how to polish their pieces, which is one of the most important skills involved.  They also  had to come back another day to pick up their creations and one of the pieces was temporarily lost.

Q: Will the skills that I learn be applicable to different types of jewelry projects other than American Southwest style?

A: Absolutely! The process is essentially the same for contemporary jewelry and most types of silver soldering.

Q. Will I be able to solder copper, brass and other metals when I have learned how to silver solder?

A: There are many metals out there that can not be soldered. We deal with silver in this class because it is most desired and affordable. If the metal is a material that can be soldered then the principles are the same and you will have the fundamentals to perfect your skill on those materials.

Q: Do we need to bring a lunch?

A: You will have one half hour for lunch and there are almost always restaurants in the area of the class.

Q. What is the cancellation policy?

A. Because I drive to most of my classes and have to make arrangement well in advance to fill a class it is important that you do not make a reservation that you can not keep.  If you need to cancel your registration your fee will be fully refunded if you cancel 21 or more days before the class is scheduled to take place you will receive a full refund, hopefully we can fill your spot.  If you are a no-show or cancel with less than 21 days notice your entire class fee is subject to forfeiture.

Q. Why do I have to sign a waiver on class day?

A. Even though you are never left unattended while using our tools accidents can happen. We do teach safety rules before and during the class.  You could injure yourself or a meteor could fall out of the sky. We use sharp tools, hot tools, files and grinders. None of these tools are very hard to use safely, but we do require for you to be responsible for yourself and work safely to prevent injury to others. The waiver protects all of us, (you, the bead store and me) to some extent.