Upcoming Jewelry/Metal Arts Classes

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Jewelry/Metal Arts Department

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett

Bette Barnett

Instructor: Bette Barnett

June 23–27, 2020 (Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels


Register Online Now
Or call the Mendocino Art Center Registrar:
707 937-5818, ext. 10 or toll-free 800 653-3328, ext. 10


In this fun and energetic workshop you’ll learn how to fuse gold to steel to create dramatic mixed metals jewelry. We will cover a broad range of techniques for creating high-impact steel and gold jewelry, including alloying and fusing gold and Keum Boo on steel. In addition to the basics of working with steel and gold, the workshop will propel students into creative exploration of a wider variety of metals/alloys for fusing to steel, such as argentium, copper, shibuichi and shakudo. Students will be challenged to reach beyond their creative boundaries using alternative forms of steel in their designs, such as iron wire, steel mesh and steel perforated sheet.

During this workshop, the following subjects will be covered:

• Working with mild, cold rolled steel including sourcing, cutting, soldering, forming, texturing, patinating and sealing. Materials and supplies required to work with steel.
• Cleaning and prepping steel for fusing and Keum Boo.
• Alloying various karats and colors of gold in preparation for fusing, a skill that can be broadly applied to other metals.
• Heat fusing gold to steel sheet and iron wire. Managing the fusing process. Trouble shooting.
Keum Boo on steel. Using the torch to apply gold foil to steel.
• Texturing steel. Hammer and roller patterning steel to add interest to fused pieces.
• Alternative alloys for fusing (including shibuichi, shakudo and other mixes).
• Fusing copper, argentium and alternative alloys to steel.
• Techniques for managing the flow of fused gold and other alloys across steel (how to corral the fused gold and manipulate the appearance).
• Implications for fusing using different torches and gases.
• Design considerations for fused metals—how to mix colors and textures.
• Combining Keum Boo and fused alloys on steel jewelry.
• Beyond sheet—fusing to wire, screen, perforated sheet and other forms of steel.
• Exploring the incorporation of these different forms of steel in designs.
• Comparison of various fluxes, patinas and sealants.
• Patinating and sealing steel jewelry.
• Out of the box—stretching your creativity (a little friendly design competition).
• Hands-on work. Students will be able to create at least three pieces of steel and gold jewelry. Materials fee (to be collected by instructor) $90.

The Susan E. Wood Jewelry Studio is available for use for a fee the days following your workshop should you like to continue practicing new skills or finish projects started in class. For more details or to schedule extra workdays, please contact Nancy Gardner, Jewelry/Metal Arts Coordinator.

Since 2013 BETTE BARNETT has devoted her work to exploring and experimenting with steel and gold. Bette began her jewelry career in 2010 and subsequently studied with the late Chris Nelson through his advanced workshops in fusing gold to steel. Since then Bette has perfected additional techniques and processes for steel, including Keum Boo on steel, iron wire fused with gold, alternative alloys for fusing such as shibuichi and shakudo, etching steel and fusing gold to non-traditional mild steel forms, such as mesh and perforated sheet. In recognition of her work, the Santa Fe Symposium has selected Bette to create a research paper on steel jewelry and present it during the 2020 Symposium Conference. She has also published articles on steel and gold jewelry in Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist.

Bette honed her teaching skills during her former career as a corporate communication consultant by providing extensive training services to the employees of some of the largest companies in the world. She continually uses feedback from student surveys and hosting studios to refine her workshop offerings.

Bette participates in a number of art shows annually and her work is shown at Sparks Gallery in San Diego. She teaches private lessons (both virtually and live) in her San Diego studio and offers group lessons throughout the United States.

Visit Bette Barnett's website

Current MAC Members: $540
Non-members: $600 plus a $45 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $45 for each class for non-members. Current Mendocino Art Center members do not pay a registration fee and may take 10% off each class registration. The discount is reflected in the prices above. Not a member yet? You may sign up below.
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Cancellations must be made in writing, either by mail or email. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the first class meeting, you will receive a refund of tuition less a $45 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made after that date for any reason due to our contractual obligations and material acquisitions. If the Art Center is compelled to cancel a class you will receive a full tuition refund. Memberships are non-refundable as they are considered a donation to the Art Center.

Instructor materials fee: $90

Materials List

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Please choose the applicable tuition price:

$645: Non-member tuition price (includes a $45 registration fee)
$540: Current Mendocino Art Center member


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