Jim  Richardson

Jim started making jewelry in 1977, which led him to many jobs in the jewelry industry. From being a polisher in a silver jewelry manufacturing facility, to years as a bench jeweler, Jim has kept learning new skills and perfecting old ones. Throughout the 1980s, his interest led him to study with a series of modern masters and innovators in the jewelry and blacksmithing fields. In 1995, Jim earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Even before earning his degree, he has been supporting himself for years working within his chosen craft. Jims love of teaching reflects clearly in the work of his students. His innovative teaching style, wealth of knowledge and enthusiastic approach make his classes fun and richly informative. Currently, Jim lives and works near Athens, GA, where he makes jewelry for private clients and does occasional shows. His interests include ancient metalsmithing techniques, innovative modern tools and traditional blacksmithing.

Class List

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Metal Forming - Jim Richardson
In this class we will learn several types of metal forming techniques including fold forming, synclastic and anticlastic raising along with the use of dies to give volume to metal. This is a fast-moving energetic class where ideas spring forth as we hammer out a wide variety of samples in copper. While learning forming techniques are the focus, there is the opportunity to make finished work. Students can expect to leave with a large collection of metal forms and an understanding of how metal reacts through stretching and compressing. We will be working in copper supplied by the instructor, but other metals are available or you can bring your own. Class fee including copper sheet.

Lab Fee: $250.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Consumables Fee: $0.00
Prerequisites: Silver I or Instructor Permission

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Silver I - Soldering Intensive - Jim Richardson
Through a series of exercises the student will gain an understanding of how solder works and why. We will address the different types of solder and the variety of

Lab Fee: $250.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Consumables Fee: $0.00
Prerequisites: Strong Torch Skills

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Silver II - Recycling Silver - Jim Richardson
Learn several different ways to pour ingots to make sheet and wire from your scrap silver. We will cover mixing metal and pouring ingots from silver and its alloys to make stock that can be used for jewelry. Drawing wire will be covered as well as using different shaped draw plates and use of the draw bench. Aspects of forging and using the rolling mill will also be addressed in relation to the metal we recycle. Although this class is not about making finished jewelry, it will be an option should you choose that direction. Students should have good eyesight, and steady hands. Bring your own metal, silver and gold can be used, or purchase silver from the instructor. Class fee includes use of alloy metals, crucibles, chemicals and torches.

Lab Fee: $225.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Consumables Fee: $0.00
Prerequisites: Strong Torch Skills

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Silver II - Rings - Jim Richardson
Through a series of progressively more complex rings, students will learn aspects of construction and style along with ornamentation and stone setting. Students will practice methods of making different types of rings which allow creativity while learning sound technique. We will discuss many facets of ring making, from proper sizing and practicality to manufacturing and marketing. Also addressed will be current and historical styles and how to include gems in your work. Additional focus will be on surface design and soldering methods along with basic forming practices. You will be taking home at least three different style rings but most students create significantly more once they begin to apply the construction techniques and understand shortcuts and fabrication principles. Class fee includes tool use, designs and solder. Bring your own silver or purchase from the instructor.

Lab Fee: $275.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Consumables Fee: $0.00
Prerequisites: Strong Soldering and Torch Skills

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Silver III – Stone Setting - Jim Richardson
This class will cover several of the more popular methods of setting gemstones in metal. We will learn tube, flush, bead, bezel and prong settings using silver and copper. The focus will be on understanding and practicing techniques rather than creating finished pieces of jewelry. Students will go home with an understanding of different styles of settings along with several sample pieces to inspire future creativity. Our practice pieces will be constructed in class so soldering skills are necessary as are steady hands and good eyesight. Magnification is recommended. All materials, tools and stones are supplied but students may bring their own gems for some projects. Lab fee includes metals, stones and tools.

Lab Fee: $325.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Consumables Fee: $0.00
Prerequisites: Strong Torch Skills

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