Develop skills in making Handmade Jewelry from scratch by Gemologist and Jewelry Art Instructor, Mandi Wirtanen. She will be sharing her talent and 20 + years in silversmithing skills through a series of engaging workshops.
These introductory classes are perfect for anyone who wants to learn or refresh the fundamental skills involved in making jewelry and metalsmithing. From beginner to advanced, you will grow knowledge and develop skills and before long you will be creating one-of-a-kind Art Jewelry. We will be working in Sterling Silver and each student will be guided through the step-by-step process of making a variety of different projects. Skills covered will include sawing, shaping, filing, hammered textures, soldering with a gas fueled torch, and bezel setting a Cabochon stone. These exciting interactive classes will include many demonstrations and lots of hands-on work and you will be taking home your own handmade Jewelry. Tools will be provided for use in class. Additional metal, stones and tool kits are available for purchase after the class.
About the Teacher: Mandi designs timeless pieces for authentic individuals who wish to celebrate themselves and love of the arts. With a passion for design, craftsmanship, gemology and metals her jewelry is not based on a particular theme but has been a natural development of a variety of interests.
After visiting her first Gem and Bead show in Tucson, Arizona at age 10, Mandi and her mother decided to open a bead and jewelry shop called A World of Beads in 1991. While some kids play sports or dance, Mandi’s extra-curricular activities were in the bead store. She learned valuable social skills early on by teaching jewelry making to all ages. She learned beginning Silversmithing at her high school which opened a new door to jewelry possibilities. After graduating high school in 1999 she attended some college and opened a second shop by age 22. Once a year she would take "Jewelry vacations" and spend 2-3 weeks in San Francisco taking Jeweler courses at the Revere Academy. In 2007, Mandi headed to California where she earned a degree in Applied Jewelry Arts from the Gemological Institute of America and became a certified Gemologist. Returning to Cincinnati, she applied all the new techniques she had learned and began teaching Silversmithing Classes. She created a line of iconic jewelry inspired by local architecture which made her stand out as an artist in the community.
After her husband was promoted to Reno, Nevada in 2019, Mandi sold her store and moved her family West. She built a studio at home and has exhibited over a dozen juried Art shows in Nevada, Arizona and California since being here. Mandi is excited to continue connecting and sharing her passion of wearable art and teaching the art of jewelry making here in the West!