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Little Metal Foxes

12/10 Drawing in Space: Techniques for 3-D Jewelry & Sculptural Forms in Steel Wire

12/10 Drawing in Space: Techniques for 3-D Jewelry & Sculptural Forms in Steel Wire

Regular price $75.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $75.00 USD
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8 in stock

Sunday, December 10, 2023 
11:00 am - 2:00 pm PST

Instructor: Nisa Blackmon

All Levels

Zoom link and instructions for joining the call will be emailed 1 day prior to class.

The class supply list is below and contains links to buy the supplies you need.

This class will be recorded, and the recording will be available for students to access through their Little Metal Foxes accounts for a full month after the live class.

Steel wire is a ubiquitous, humble material that quite literally holds many parts of our world together! It is also inexpensive, strong yet lightweight, fast and easy to work with and will develop beautiful surfaces when patinated. In this course, the instructor will demonstrate methods for working in three dimensions with linear mild steel materials, such as binding wire and cold-rolled square stock, to fabricate jewelry and small sculptural objects. Specific topics & skills covered will include: forming, making joints and connections, silver-soldering, cleaning and application of several different patinas for steel, as well as sealing surfaces. Students wishing to expand their repertoire of materials or increase the scale of their jewelry and metal creations will enjoy this excursion into the ferrous world!

Student Level: Suitable for all levels; basic metals/jewelry skills (ex: sawing, filing/sanding, soldering) are recommended but not required.



Supply List for Students

The links below will take you to or other suppliers. To see prices for precious metal items, you need a free Rio Grande account. Registered Little Metal Foxes students can access the Rio for Schools program for significant savings (discounts and flat-rate shipping). This site may contain Amazon and other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Recommended Tools

Steel-specific Consumable Supplies:

NOTE: Do NOT buy any galvanized or zinc-plated steel products!!

  • Steel wire: 16 ga, dark annealed, rebar tie wire or “baling” wire. Buy one coil, lg or small.
  • Steel wire: 19 ga, dark annealed, general-purpose wire. 50 ft. coil. Amazon: Hillman Group
  • Square steel stock: 1/8 inch (0.125”) square, cold-rolled, mild steel (1018) bar stock. Buy two 24 in. lengths or one 4 ft. length.
  • Silver wire (stick) solder – “Hard,” 22 ga, one 12-inch piece. Rio Grande
  • Handy paste flux (white), Rio Grande:
  • Muriatic acid (31.45% hydrochloric acid), 1 qt. Try to buy this locally if you can (hazardous to ship)! Ace Hardware, Walmart, Menards, and all the big box hardware stores should have it. If you can’t get a quart bottle, gallons are readily available. Don’t buy muriatic substitutes, “user friendly” or ‘green’ versions!
  • Cheap, plain motor oil, 1 quart (or less!). Easy local purchase -- you might even have some out in the garage! You will only need a little bit to begin with (an ounce or two), so borrow some if you can (store in a small glass or plastic jar with a tight-fitting lid).
  • Optional: Birchwood Casey Perma Blue (Gun bluing patina), 3 oz. bottle. You don’t need to buy the “Super-Blue” version.
    • Birchwood Casey direct
    • Walmart
    • Sporting goods stores (that carry hunting supplies) and outdoor outfitters may also have this product: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports, etc.
  • Steel wool pads, #1 (medium) or #2 (medium-coarse). Available at any hardware store.
  • Red shop rags or some old crappy hand towels or cloth rags (re-usable options) or blue shop (paper) towels or regular paper towels (disposable options)

General Consumable Supplies:

Steel-specific Tools:

  • Heavy duty wire cutters (I recommend Channellock 337 diagonal cutting pliers, 7 inch)
  • Vise-grip pliers, Lowe's (can be purchased after class)
  • Bench vise, Ace Hardware (can be purchased after class)
  • Standard #2 cut mill bastard file (6” or 8”) – get an inexpensive one, and dedicate it for use with steel.
  • Set of needle files – inexpensive, dedicated for use with steel
  • Steel brush, fine #113171, Rio Grande
  • Acid-resistant gloves, re-usable, long cuff (~13”):
  • Various glass dishes with upright walls to safely contain the diluted muriatic acid pickling solution. I find small, round dishes, beakers, loaf baking dishes or small square casserole (baking or storage) dishes to be the most useful sizes. Check out your local thrift stores for these (less expensive).
  • Solderite pad #502064, Rio Grande

General Tools:

  • Large rawhide mallet or hard plastic flat-faced forming mallet (ex: Delrin)
  • Steel bench block or anvil or other flat, steel work surface
  • Large bracelet mandrel (avoid those with high-polish, mirror-finish surfaces)
  • Round-nose pliers (a sturdy pair, not a tiny soft-jewelry-wire-bending pair)
  • Flat-nose pliers
  • Jeweler’s saw
  • Heavy jeweler’s saw blades (#2, 1 or 2/0)
  • Tube-cutting jig, Rio Grande
  • Torch using acetylene, oxy/acetylene, with medium & large tips (regular Smith #1 & 2)
    • OR hand-held butane “table-top” torch (make sure it is rated for soldering, reaching 2000° F or higher) and butane fuel
  • Steel T-pins (for use with soft fire brick)
  • Third-hand cross-locking tweezers, with stands; recommend you have 2
  • Optional: "Lazy-susan style" Pumice pan w/ pumice gravel


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