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Topic: Beginning and Advanced Silversmithing Classes  (Read 1423 times)
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« on: November 11, 2012 05:57:08 PM »

For anyone interested in learning the basics of silversmithing and coming away with a finished, bezel-set pendant, I want to recommend a teacher who teaches classes all over the MidWest as well as other states.  I am recommending Dave Smith because I have taken a 2-day beginning silversmithing class with him, and I was amazed by how much I learned.  I had spent a long time looking for an introductory class like that, and I wish there would have been an easier way for me to find one.  I ended up being lucky enough to find out from our local bead store owner here in Cincinnati that Dave was teaching a class locally soon, so I signed up. 

I got a solid introduction to the craft of silversmithing in a two full-day long course that had me: measuring, cutting, soldering, and filing my first bezel; soldering the bezel to the support plate; pickling and quenching hot metal; creating textures on metal with various hammers; fabricating accents like "rope" (twisted) wire and silver balls/granules and soldering them to the jewelry; fabricating a bail for my pendant; setting my hand-picked stone; and cleaning and polishing the finished product. I left the class with a pendant that I wear with pride, and when I get frequent compliments on my pendant I love being able to say "I made it"! 

Dave Smith is a really good teacher. He packed the class with demonstrations, gave everyone plenty of personal attention, answered our nonstop questions, and never stopped reminding us to be safe with our equipment, materials, and chemicals. To top it all off, when the class was over, he gave us a DVD with a ton of content, running the gamut from reviewing what we did in the class to giving advice and wisdom about marketing and selling our jewelry if we should want to go that route. 

I left the class fired up about silversmithing. I've been devouring books about metal ever since and have just about burnt up my first charcoal brick with all of my experiments. I am getting just confident enough to know I now need to take in the next level of learning, so I am planning to register soon for an advanced silversmithing class with Dave Smith. I know I will get a solid chunk of learning compacted into a very brief time, come away from class with some more jewelry I love, and feel ready to create more demanding, skilled work with silver.

Dave is also very safety-oriented and took the necessary time to instruct us in proper safety practices and then kept emphasizing it throughout the two days so that we had the best chance of developing good safety habits while working with fire, acids, and hammers!  He did this in the midst of demonstrations and while giving us individual attention and answering all of the students many questions, and he did it in a no-nonsense manner but with a sense of humor, which is a rare feat and made everything we learned a pleasure. 

Dave travels all over the U.S. to teach his classes, but is based in Indianapolis, and also teaches his beginning and advanced silversmithing classes out of the bead store that he and his wife own called Beads Amore.  BTW, its a pretty nice bead store, and totally worth a visit if you are in Indianapolis.  They are located at 3834 82nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46240.

If you are interested in taking a class, you can check out his website, http://silversmithingclass.com/ to see when and where he might be teaching soon near you.  If you cant find the information you need, you can just call Dave at 317-755-0095 and hell tell you when hell be teaching near you.

I am not Dave, nor am I related to him, nor a paid lackey.  I am just someone who is so happy I finally found an affordable class to learn the basics of silversmithing, which I had wanted to learn for a while, and if someone else got the information sooner than I did, then I feel Ive done my good deed for the day.  :-)
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