Jen Cushman: Altered Tin Necklace with Steel Wire Chain

Jen Cushman
About Face; Altered Tin Necklace with Steel Wire Chain
Saturday 8th April
One Day Workshop


We’ll be working on our figurative skills by making various faces using paper clay and silicone molds then adding color, patina and glazes to highlight the details. Next, we’ll be exploring how to take vintage tins (or even new ones like the Altoids/ small candy tins) and repurpose them into gorgeous wearable art.

These skills include drilling metal, sanding, surface design and foundational cold-connection wireworking techniques. Once our tin designs are complete, we’ll focus on chain making skills using 18 gauge annealed steel wire, which also includes a handmade closure and clasp, as well as wrapped wire bead links. As a little class bonus, you’ll learn to dye white bone beads in order to match any color scheme you’re working with in jewelry.


As a second little bonus, if you bring a tin with a top that completely lifts off. I’ll demonstrate a wireworking technique to create a little hanging heart tucked away inside the belly of your necklace.

This is a technique-filled workshop where you’ll walk out at the end of the day wearing a brand new and gorgeous mixed-media necklace. There‘s enough time to repurpose and complete two upcycled tin focals, and, depending on your jewelry making and wireworking skills, there’s the potential to complete the second necklace during class.

There is nothing pre-built with this necklace. Every piece will be created and assembled by YOU!
Never made jewelry before, you say? Please, don’t worry and come join me. I always teach foundational techniques for beginners in my mixed-media jewelry classes.


Tools and Supplies to bring:

  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers (without grooves on the inner jaw.
    *Please ensure your pliers fit nicely in your hand and feel comfortable to work with. It’s very helpful to have jewelry pliers and not garage-type tools in order to form professional-looking loops.
  • 1 inch wood dowel and Sharpie marker (These will be used to make the steel chain links. If you have a pair of Wubbers large round mandrels, the task will go much quicker. While I find these pliers essential for jewelry making, they can be pricey and I do not expect students to purchase for a workshop),
  • Wire snips
  • Hammer and small steel bench block. Instructor will have a few extras for those of you who are flying in from another country or who absolutely cannot bring jewelry tools, but please know using these will extend your wait time.
  • Vintage or new candy tins to alter and upcycle. The size should be what you’re comfortable wearing.
  • A selection of beads in colors of your choosing. This is a great time to get into your bead stash and use up those odds and ends!


Kit fee: $15 includes annealed steel wire in various gauges, paper clay, molding putty, faces to mold, use of instructor’s drill, miscellaneous consumables.

NOTE: Instructor will have various bead mix baggies and tins for purchase if you just want to show up with your tools and play.
Have a question? Please feel free to email me at prior to the retreat.


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