Silversmithing Bracelets Retreat

In addition to making projects of your own design in the following styles you will will learn to use a tripod, make and use a bending jig and make bezel setting for large cabochons.

This Three Wire Bracelet is an 8 gauge square wire with a cabochon mount. It can also have square wire twisted or triangle or half round wire. It does not need to be asymmetrical or even have a cab mount on it. It can be considered as a contemporary or southwestern style depending on the style of embellishment added or left off. Highly popular and typically a good seller when special attention is paid to cabochon choices. Material cost  1 to 2 ounces silver and your Cabochon $30 to $50.


The Free Form Wave Bracelet is a challenge project that has many different and unique possibilities for focal point additions. This video shows a few variations. The art of the correct heat is the challenge here so that you get the ends of the wire soldered together without melting them and keeping them pristine. I have never seen and ugly one of these and they usually get lots of Ohh's and Ahh's from onlookers. Materials $25.00 plus Cabochon


The Cultured Pearl Sterling Cuff is a light weight 26 Gauge metal project. Hammering, folding edge coining, crushing and are some of the techniques you will learn while creating this cuff. Again the use of a different focal point is available. The cultured pearls lend themselves to these project because of the thinness of the pearl so it can be used in a typical bezel mount. Due to the hammering and folding no two of these pieces are ever alike. Materials Cost Pearls $20 Silver $30.


This Walking Liberty Silver Dollar & Cuttlefish Bone Casting  Bracelet is created by carving into the cuttlefish bone the shape of the bracelet band you desire and pouring melted Silver into it. It is necessary to create two side bands which can cause frustration while trying to get them near identical and may require a few attempts. Once you are satisfied with the bands they are soldered to the Silver Coin that is the focal point. A cabochon mount would also be possible to use provided the back plate of the Cabochon mount is heavy enough to support the weight and strength of the bracelet bands. There are many silver bullion coins available for around $25.00 that are .999 Silver and could be used as is or melted. The website at Kitco has many of them available. Here is the Link, https://online.kitco.com/silver-coins including Chinese  Zodiac, Darth Vader and the Imperial Federation, Maple Leaf, Kangaroo and many other unique awesomely engraved legal tender and bullion coins. Materials Cost  Coin $25, 2 to 4 Ounces of Fine Silver $50  to $100.


Pine Needle or Straw Casting of 3 plus ounces of fine silver. The Pine Needle casting is a hit and miss creation if you like what comes out use it, if not then just re-melt and re-pour until you get something you like. Crystal Points, Cubic Zirconium, and other stones may be embedded or added later, Casting can be used to assemble bracelets, see Straw Casting Bracelet on this page, make pendants, rings, earrings and paper weights.  Material cost 2 to 4 ounces scrap or shot silver $50 to $100.


Straw Cast bracelet. Wow! But worth it, another challenge piece. Creating of this bracelet requires multiple pours of silver and a puzzle style assembly using the small castings created from these pours. It can also be the base for a Crystal, Cabochon or other focal point. It is a typical long process that is likely to extend into a second day. It also uses lots of soldering and about a 1/4 ounce of solder and two to four ounces of fine silver. The piece in the video had two hours of multiple heating between each individual piece being added. Materials 2 to 4 ounces Fine Silver Scrap or casting shot. $15 solder.


Total Materials cost if you do all 6 Projects

                                    Low End        High End  Cabochon Required

Three Wire Asymmetrical    30                  50                     yes

Free Form Wave                 25                  25                    yes

Sterling & Pearl Cuff            50                50                     yes/no i have pearls include in the $50 range

Walking Liberty Cuttlebone  75                125                    no

Straw Cast pendant            50                100                    no

Straw Cast Bracelet            65                115                     no/yes could use crystal or cab

Materials Totals       Low $295.00  High     $465                    3 to 5 cabochons

If you need me to get materials add 20% for Labor & Shipping

I will furnish all fuel/gasses and solder on all projects except Straw Cast Bracelet

I will get a materials list to you when you sign up. the above are based on sizes of pieces you make.


Retreat Housing, Meals and Training  $1620.00

Materials if I purchase for you   $295.00 to $465.00

This Retreat is scheduled for 8/4/2017 thru 8/9/2018

Please call to arrange your attendance in this class. I like to assess your current soldering skills before accepting you in this class.   David Lee Smith  916 548-7361  ( I am not looking for a high skill level prior to this retreat, just some experience)  or send me a note  Dave@silversmithingclass.com

$1620.00