About Metalsmithing Workshops and Retreats
Some students have told us that they've learned more in our 1, 2 and 3 day workshops than they did during a semester of jewelry! Our classes are packed with information, tips and practical techniques - and each student receives full color handouts with step by step pictures, illustrations and instructions for the project. They're like mini-books! And most students finish their projects during class.
So often, students don't have the time to dedicate to practicing their metalsmithing, even after taking a workshop. But our metalsmithing retreats are 3 days of demonstrations and practice - enough time to start to learn, practice and commit to memory new metalsmithing techniques. Class size is limited - only 9 students - for lots of personal attention and help. Not everyone wants to become a bench jeweler, fine jeweler, stone setter, etc. Lots of students want to learn how to solder and set stones to take their jewelry to another level, to combine it with what they already know how to make, to fuel their creativity and design - to spark their passion for expression through ornament.
Professional Teachers and Authors
Joe Silvera is the author of Soldering Made Simple: Easy Techniques for
Kitchen Table Jewelers. This remains the first and most comprehensive book on the market on soldering techniques. The book was written for beadworkers and amateur jewelers, but the techniques are based on the same professional training Joe received during his degree program and apprenticeships. Anat Silvera is a professional metalsmith and teaches classes in soldering, fold forming and enameling. Guest instructors are professionals and teachers that are ready to share all of their tips and tricks for their techniques.
Not everyone wants to become a bench jeweler, fine jeweler, stone setter, etc. Lots of students want to learn how to solder and set stones to take their jewelry to another level, to combine it with what they already know how to make, to fuel their creativity and design - to spark their passion for expression through ornament. We teach traditional techniques for well crafted, quality jewelry fabrication during our workshops. My goal is to pass on the same training I received in college programs and apprenticeships, without the pressure of certification or expectations of fine jewelry. Your work will be held up to a high standard, but this is not about repetition or mimicry.
Basic courses encourage learning the craft before focusing on design and innovation. Rather than ask students to design something before they understand the process of making jewelry, like how to saw, solder or enamel. Students follow step by step as the instructor demonstrates the techniques, creating their own variation on the project. In higher level courses and intensives, they consolidate what they've learned into their own designs. Students are encouraged to create their own variations, to take the techniques shown and to combine them with others, branch out, and create new solutions. And they are given the resources to troubleshoot problems and design challenges.
Check out photos from our retreats and student work on Flickr and
Registration online is easy and available
Choose the Right Class for your Experience Level
We offer lots of entry level classes, beginner classes and classes to expand your metalsmithing skills. In the Metalsmithing Workshops section, you can find a list of classes by level inside a side bar on the left side of the page. Click on the categories to expand the list and display individual classes. For example, click on “Beginner”, to see our classes open to students of any level, beginners welcome. Level 2 classes require at least one prerequisite, and level 3 classes require a little more experience, 2 or more classes. Exact details are listed on the class description page. Just follow the link from the list of classes by level or the calendar.
Make Jewelry with Home Studio Friendly Tools
We teach students how to make their own jewelry, using techniques and equipment that are affordable, accessible and home studio friendly. Students include jewelers, designers, beadworkers and hobbyists - raw beginners and intermediates. Our classes and projects use culinary microbutane torches, biodegradable citric cleaning solutions, and the cleanest, least messy polishing abrasives. We have classes in jewelry fabrication, soldering, stone setting, enameling, lost wax casting and more techniques. Check out our classes and portfolio
of work by our students and our instructor portfolio.
Jewelry Benches and Tools for Students
Our studio classroom is fully equipped, with jewelry benches and tools, like torches, flex shafts and more, for each student to use - no need to haul your own tools to class! Plus we have more tools to share, like polishing motors, casting equipment, etc. It's a great space to work in, full of natural light, and the convenience of not having to pack and unpack all of your own equipment each day is a big plus.
Small classes. Lots of help.
Magnified views of the demonstrations.
Classes at Silvera Jewelry Studio are small, 9 students max, with lots of hands-on-help and critique to accelerate your learning. Demonstrations are magnified live on a flat screen television so that everyone can see and understand the process. Imagine seeing solder flow and melt into the join in HD clarity. Sometimes the view, like the process of setting a bezel, is so clear, it’s better on the screen than what even the teacher can see! That’s what our magnified video learning has to offer and more.
We offer one, two and three day metalsmithing workshops for intensive learning in soldering, stone setting, and lots of other metalsmithing techniques. We also offer some weekly courses, usually in the evenings. Classes are short to fit your schedule, but packed with information and techniques to maximize your learning.
Students Save on Metalsmithing Tools
All students at SJS receive a 20% discount on tools ordered online at SilveraJewelry.com or purchased in the school store, good for up to 10
days after class. Your discount code is located on your confirmation PDF
emailed when you register for classes. We offer this discount to help
students afford the supplies they need to continue practicing jewelry at
home. Browse our selection of quality jewelry tools to compare prices and options.
Location, Location, Location
Silvera Jewelry School is at 1105 Virginia Street in Berkeley, on the corner of San Pablo Ave, just a block from Cedar Street and a few blocks north of University Ave. Our building is full of other artists, including a furniture designer and vintage shop.
There are lots of cafes near by, including Cafe Leila, La Palmita and Casa Latina. We're across the street from the Golden Bear Inn and Enterprise Rental Cars. Our building has a secure back yard area with a picnic table, and we have space inside for students to stay and eat their own lunch, if they prefer.
Street parking is free all day on Virginia Street and the residential streets behind us. A spot can often be found close to our front door, or just a block or 2 away.
Learn more in less time and practice at home.