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Taught by Mark Nelson
Online Class

Foundations in Silversmithing

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Gain the skills to confidently craft silver jewelry, with trade secrets from Rio Grande's Mark Nelson! You'll learn best practices for silversmithing jewelry, from expert soldering setup to heat control, torch use, stone-setting and finishing techniques. First, find out how to cut, solder and shape a perfectly fit silver bezel. Then, learn sizing and forming techniques as you sweat-solder two sterling ring shanks together for a dynamic, double-banded design. Practice proper solder placement as you securely attach a handmade backplate to your bezel, and pick up Mark's expert tips for sawing, filing, and embellishing a decorative brass or copper element. Discover simple techniques that deliver professional-level results — and enjoy a ring that showcases your new skills!


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 2h35m

Included in this Class

1. Design & Solder a Bezel

1. Design & Solder a Bezel

Meet Rio Grande Event/Education Coordinator Mark Nelson and preview the techniques you'll learn to make a striking silver ring. Gain a deeper understanding of how to plan your project, from selecting materials to sketching out designs. Then, learn the proper way to cut, solder and shape a bezel to ensure the perfect fit!

2. Forming the Ring Shank

2. Forming the Ring Shank

Learn how to create a double-banded ring shank that will enhance any design. Mark walks through each step of the process, demonstrating how to accurately measure, cut and form the bands before sweat-soldering them together for a tight, strong seam. Plus, learn a simple trick for preventing firestain.

3. Soldering the Backing

3. Soldering the Backing

As you fabricate the backplate for your ring, discover what kinds of metal and gauges work best for different types of jewelry beyond this project. Then, with Mark's guidance, learn proper solder placement and practice soldering the bezel to the backplate for professional-quality results.

Recommended with this class

  • Cabochon
  • Acetylene torch, such as a Smith Silver Smith torch
  • Bezel rocker