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Metalsmithing in Kalispell, MT – Glacier Metal Arts Studio

Class Descriptions

(All classes taught by Karen Chesna unless specified.)

Information retrieved from: www.glaciermetalarts.com on 4/21/2013

Glacier Metal Arts Studio

860 North Meridian Suite B3

Kalispell, Montana 59901



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Basic Metalsmithing I 

(Beginner Level) (6 Hours)

In 6 hours you will learn the metalsmithing fundamentals- how to transfer a pattern, saw, pierce, file, sand, texture and polish- as well as how to cut and dome a disc and make a simple rivet.  Practice your new skills as you make a pendant or pair of earrings.

Class fee: $95- includes copper, brass, wire and sawblades.  Silver (optional) is available for an additional charge.



(Beginner, Intermediate) (4 Hours)

Are you a beginner who wants to learn to solder but are afraid to try it on your own? Have you learned the process but still find it difficult/frustrating to get your metal pieces to hold together or, worse, constantly melt them? Are you confused by the different torch types discussed in the jewelry books and magazines? This class will walk you through the entire process- techniques, equipment, safety and soldering science- as you perform a series of exercises designed to present you with typical soldering situations, including a hollow form that can be worn as a pendant. Learn solder placement, metal support, heat control, resists, and tricks to make the process fun!

Class size limited to 4 per session.

Class fee: $60- includes solder, flux, copper and brass. Silver (optional) is available for an additional charge.


Make a Ring 

(Beginner, Intermediate) (3 ½ Hours)

Learn to size, measure and construct a simple textured band ring with piercing and/or a copper overlay. The skills you learn in this class will allow you to make accurately sized rings out of any gauge/shape metal.

Class fee: $45- includes copper.  Silver is available for an additional charge.


Enameling Basics

(Beginner) (4 Hours)

Colorful, quick, simple enough to satisfy a beginner and complex enough to engage a serious artisan for a lifetime, enameling has been a part of human culture for thousands of years.  Walk with history as you learn to lay down color on metal.  This class, the first in a series, will cover safety, metal choices and preparation, dry sifting, wet packing, and sgraffito as we kiln and torch-fire our pieces.  Class samples make great pendants and earrings!

Class fee: $60- includes copper and enamels.


Bezel Setting Workshop

(Intermediate) (4 hours)

A bezel is a simple, clean-looking setting that can be used to hold a stone, flat-backed found object, enamel, button, piece of wood or more.  Learn how to choose bezel strip, size the length, solder effectively, set a cabochon-cut stone and troubleshoot. Students will make either a silver pendant with a bail or a simple silver ring. Basic soldering knowledge is highly recommended in order to get the most out of this class.

Class fee: $50 plus materials (silver and stone).  Students may choose from our selection of cabochons or bring in their own materials and use them if the instructor deems them suitable for this project/skill level.


Magic Twist Forged Bracelet 

(Beginner) (3 Hours)

Learn to hammer with control to move and flatten metal, then pull, shape, and voila! a beautiful bracelet will appear. This class will also cover filing, sanding and polishing for comfortable, smooth ends and a beautiful shine on your piece.

Class fee: $40-includes copper.



(Beginner, Intermediate) (4 Hours)

Produce an image or a raised design on your copper or silver by chemically removing select areas of metal.  This sheet can then be formed, soldered, enameled, etc. We will learn about and use mordants and resists as we create components suitable for almost any jewelry application.  Chemical safety, electro-etching, image selection and sources for supplies will be discussed.

Note: Please bring a pair of safety goggles and wear old clothes to class.

Class fee: $60- includes copper, chemicals, special resist paper with images. Silver (optional) is available for an additional charge.


Open Studio

(All Levels)

Complete unfinished projects, practice your new skills, have access to a bench or specialized piece of equipment you have used before, or just enjoy creating in the company of other metalsmiths.  GMAS will periodically offer designated days where people who have taken our classes can come in and use the studio space and equipment on a first-come/space available basis. Please note that although the studio will be monitored, this is not instructional time so questions should be kept to a minimum.

Fee: $10/hour or $30/day


Mentored Independent Study

(All Levels)

To assist those who are working on projects that may be at the edge of their skill level, GMAS is forming small (4-person maximum) supervised study groups.  With the guidance of their instructor, members can plan their individual projects, get technical advice, troubleshoot and work, knowing help is at hand.  The group environment offers opportunities to see different demonstrations and to discuss a wide variety of metalsmithing problems- we always learn from others’ challenges! Students are expected to have basic metalsmithing and soldering skills and should bring their own project materials. Groups meet one 3-hour day per week over the course of 4 weeks. Please call for more information or to sign up for a study group.

Fee: $120



We offer a variety of classes and workshops, both technique and project based, including but not limited to:


Basic/Intermediate Metalsmithing


Chain Making

Cold Connections

Critique Sessions



Enameling (kiln and torch fired)

Etching and Patinas





Ring Making


Stone Setting

Surface Texturing

If you do not see a technique you would like to learn listed here, please give us a call.

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