Wesleyan PottersWesleyan

Metalsmithing J101 - Introduction to Goldsmithing: High Karat Gold & Argentium

2 Seats Available





9/23/2023 to 9/24/2023

Meeting Times

  • Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Many artists who wish to work in gold are finding the cost prohibitively expensive due to the rising cost of metal. However, it is possible to combine gold with another less expensive metal such as silver and still achieve the lush richness of a high karat gold piece without the painful price tag. Argentium silver in particular is an excellent choice. Argentium shares many of the same working properties as high karat gold and can be used as the foundation of a piece. 18k, 22k and 24k gold can easily be fused or soldered to it and it can be patinated to a deep grey that sets off the gold elements beautifully. The resulting piece will have all the beauty of high karat gold but without the cost.

This workshop will focus specifically on: 

  • Properties of Argentium
  • Properties of Gold
  • How to combine the two metals using fusion
  • When to fuse vs when to solder

If students wish to include stones in their pieces, bezel making/setting will be covered. Bezels can be made from 22k, 24k, or Argentium, but note that Argentium bezels will need to be hammer set, not handset. The goal is for students to gain enough of a foundation in this session to be able to return to their own work-space and practice at their leisure. 

We ask students to bring: 

  • 20g or 22g Argentium sheet - 3" X 6" minimum (note that Rio Grande requires one dimension to be 6").
  • 16g, 18g, and/or 20g Argentium round wire - 6" of at least one gauge.
  • 18g and/or 20g 22k round wire - 6" should be enough. No need to bring both guages.
  • If student intends to set a stone: 
    • 26 - 28 gauge Argentium and/or 22k sheet from which to cut the bezel.
    • 8mm - 12mm round or oval cabochon. Stone MUST have a flat bottom. Do not bring a faceted stone. 

Index cards may be handy to draw your designs.

Additional Notes


  • Tuition $300.00
  • Materials Fee $25.00
Total: $325.00

Note: Registration has ended