Core Classes

Clear Creek Academy ~ Teaching the fine art & craft of jewelry

Your education in the fundamental skills of metalsmithing is important for everything you want to make in the future. At CCA we take pride in teaching the fine art and craft of jewelry through a series of core classes that build your skill set and help you refine your technique. Each of our core classes is offered two to three times per year starting in January, April, June and September.

In addition to our core classes, CCA offers workshops in special media and techniques throughout the year, including: Precious Metal Clay, salt water and electro etching, enameling, bead crochet, keum-boo, lapidary (gemstone cutting), chasing and repoussé and more.

See the course catalog for currently scheduled classes. Subscribe to our eNewsletter for updates on newly added classes.

Introduction to Silversmithing
Be introduced to the fundamental skills of jewelry making: proper use of hand tools, torches, flex shafts, polishers and more. Learn to layout, drill, pierce, file, form, solder and polish sterling silver with individual instruction, close-up demonstrations, and hands-on experience.

Intermediate Silversmithing: Level I
Continue to build your skill set as additional techniques are introduced, including tube setting, roll printing, soldering findings, stamping, and making a step bezel. Projects may include a ring with a step bezel-set stone, earrings with tube-set faceted stones, or a cuff-style bracelet. Prerequisite: Introduction to Silversmithing (or equivalent experience and instructor approval)

Forging & Forming: Levels 1, 2 & 3
In this workshop, be introduced to what happens when metal is stretched and compressed by successive hammer blows. Prerequisite: Introduction to Silversmithing (or instructor’s approval)

  • Level 1 introduces the basics of forging and annealing.
  • Level 2 covers creating a hollow tube (spiculum) and raising anticlastic forms.
  • Level 3 expands on previously learned techniques for more advanced jewelry projects. Students may also elect to be introduced to chasing and repoussé.

Lost Wax Casting : Levels 1, 2 & 3
Experience the ancient art form of lost wax casting in a contemporary setting. Learn techniques to carve and sprue wax models and cast your projects using a variety of casting methods.

  • Level 1 introduces the variety of waxes and carving techniques and tools. Learn the entire process from carving to polishing your finished pieces. Prerequisite: Introduction to Silversmithing
  • Level 2 focuses on carving waxes suitable for stone setting and stone inlay.
  • Level 3 covers advanced carving techniques and casting organic materials.

Fundamentals of Stone Setting: Levels 1 & 2
Go beyond the basics as you build the fundamental skills for setting gemstones through a measured process that includes plenty of practice to help you gain confidence as you build this important (and sometimes challenging) skill.

  • Level 1 Focuses on hammer setting round and oval gemstones in heavy bezels and cast mountings. Includes a review of thin bezel wire and tube setting techniques, then moves on to prepare and practice use of of gravers, punches, pushers and burs.
  • Level 2 Focuses on hammer setting square gemstones and flush setting gemstones, including rounds and (time permitting) fancy-shapes.

Introduction to Goldsmithing
Learn the basics of working with and soldering gold wire as you create a 14K yellow gold pendant of your own design. Practice soldering with an oxyacetylene torch as you discover the wonderful working qualities of gold and expand your options for including gold elements in your silver work.