UnEarthed | Sand Casting with Sapphires with Kirra-lea Caynes

Beginner to Advanced

For the first time this Spring we bring you UnEarthed, a very special workshop presented by guest tutor Kirra-lea Caynes.

In this one day workshop, Kirra, with her passion for raw materials and natural phenomena, will guide you through the process of designing and sand-casting your own sterling silver jewellery pieces or small objects with cast-in-place sapphires or gemstones. 

Over three days in September,  Kirra-lea will lead three one day workshops designed to cater to both novices with no previous jewellery experience and more experienced jewellers who are interested in adding to their skill set. Students will complete the workshop inspired, with a sense of accomplishment and with jewellery pieces polished and ready to wear.

Course Skill Level:

Perfect for those with jewellery experience and those starting out on their jewellery making journey.


course details

  • $450 inc GST
  • 1 Day | 7 hours tuition
  • Beginners-Saturday & Sunday | Advanced-Monday


Kirra Lea was informative, friendly, clear, articulate and her passion for sand casting was clearly obvious.

— Participant, 2020


ABOUT THE COURSE

UnEarthed for Beginners – The UnEarthed for beginners one day workshop will introduce students to the tools, materials and processes used for sand casting with rough sapphires in place. Students will create up to three pieces of their own design and with Kirra-leas hands on assistance, finish them ready to wear.

UnEarthed for Intermediate to Advanced Jewellers – This one day workshop is specifically designed for more advanced creators who are interested in increasing their knowledge and skill in sand casting. During this workshop, Kirra-lea will demonstrate more advanced techniques like resizing and adding findings in the sand, casting with multiple sprues and in addition to the synthetic sapphires, how to cast in place faceted and cabochon gemstones!

You will leave the workshop inspired with new techniques to practice. There won’t be much time to clean up all your pieces during class, but be prepared to leave with a collection of pieces ready to finish in your own time. (For students that do not have their own home studio, SquarePeg offers Jewellery Studio Bench Access every Monday from 10am-4pm and some Sunday afternoons, Studio Sundays are from 1pm-4pm. Check the listings on the courses page) 

What You'll Learn

What You Will Learn

Sand casting by its very nature can lead to a myriad of unexpected outcomes. You can expect to learn about the equipment, tools, materials and techniques required to create unique sand cast pieces.

Kirra-lea will share all the tips and tricks that she has learned over many years of sand casting in her own studio along with the passion that she has for this technique.

What You Will Make

UnEarthed for Beginners

  • one ring with rough sapphires
  • one pendant with rough sapphires
  • additional piece/s of the students choice

UnEarthed for Intermediate to Advanced Jewellers

  • Three pieces or more of jewellery or small objects depending on design and complexity.

 

Class Size

To ensure our students have the best learning experience our Beginners workshop is capped at 6 and the Advanced workshop is capped at 8.

 


Practicalities

What is Included

UnEarthed for Beginners

  • 30g of sterling silver
  • A variety of rough Australian sapphires from Coolamon Mine.
  • An extensive array of objects to mould and cast. Students can bring along their own small hard objects to cast.
  • Note The materials provided will allow you to make up to 3 pieces of jewellery. If you need more than 30g of silver there will be an option to purchase more on the day.
  • All the consumables you need to make your projects (ie saw blades, emery paper and drill bits) as well as all the hand tools and equipment you need.
  • A selection of tea or coffee and yummy biscuits.

UnEarthed for Intermediate to Advanced Jewellers

  • 30g of sterling silver
  • A variety of synthetic sapphires.
  • Students have the option of buying faceted and cabochon sapphires. Sand casting cut stones can be tricky so best to start out with the synthetic stones supplied before using real gemstones. Any gemstone that is 7.5 or higher on Mohs hardness scale should be suitable for the cast in place process.
  • An extensive array of objects to mould and cast. Students can bring along their own small hard objects to cast.
  • Note The materials provided will allow you to make up to 3 pieces of jewellery. If you need more than 30g of silver there will be an option to purchase more on the day.
  • All the consumables you need to make your projects (ie saw blades, emery paper and drill bits) as well as all the hand tools and equipment you need.
  • A selection of tea or coffee and yummy biscuits.

What to Bring

All Students

  • Sand casting can be used to replicate almost any hard object and turn it into precious jewellery. Kirra-lea provides an extensive array of objects to mould and cast, but students can bring along their own small hard objects. Note that the larger the object the more silver will be required adding to the expense of the silver.
  • The materials provided will allow you to make up to 3 pieces of jewellery. If you need more than 30g of silver there will be an option to purchase more on the day.
  • You have the option of bringing your own silver and/or sapphires to add a more personal touch to the experience. Any gemstone that is 7.5 or higher on Mohs hardness scale should be suitable for the cast in place process. Suitability of these materials will be in consultation with Kirra-lea on the day. 
  • A notebook and pen/pencil
  • An apron note that we are working with clay, so it can get a little messy.
  • Covered shoes
  • Your ideas and creativity
  • Lunch

Safety

We take safety very seriously at SquarePeg. All students must wear proper enclosed shoes (no sandals or thongs), long pants or skirts and have long hair tied back. We provide safety equipment and training on how to use all relevant equipment.

Payment Options

Enrol below – you can secure your place on the spot!

Or, take advantage of our payment by instalments option to secure your place:

Pay a 40% deposit followed by a 30%  payment six weeks out from your course, and the final 30% payment three weeks ahead of the course start date.

Is the date you would like to join sold out?

Please register in our February 2021 waitlist/expression of interest list and you will be the first to know when our next UnEarthed classes go live. Use the date drop-down menu below to register. This ticket is free of course whilst being a handy way for us to record your interest.

Our Tutors

Why choose a jewellery making course at SquarePeg Studios?

Our courses are taught by highly experienced and passionate teachers who are practising contemporary jewellers. This is the closest to an accredited course – without the assignments, stress and cost – that Sydney has to offer. Students not only gain the satisfaction of designing and hand-making their own piece of jewellery they also have the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at a contemporary professional jewellery studio while learning great new skills in jewellery techniques and design.

Kirra-lea Caynes

Meet your tutor

Kirra-lea is a qualified jeweller with over 10 years experience in the trade, having learnt many traditional and contemporary metal smithing techniques. She is a multi-award winning jewellery designer and manufacturer, winning competitions including The Jewellery Association of Australia Jewellery Awards and Diamond Guild Australia Design Awards. She was recently won the colour category and the title of Jeweller of the Year in the 2019 Jewellers Association of Australia Design competition.

Based in Melbourne, Australia Kirra-lea works as the sole manufacturer and designer from her home studio. Kirra-lea is also an accomplished sand caster and specialises in cast-in-place rough sapphires. This unique skill has enabled her to travel around Australia teaching fellow jewellers and novices alike the ancient technique. All her rough sapphires are Australian mined by small family businesses and hobbyists. Kirra-lea also makes fossicking trips to Tasmania where she finds her own rough gemstones in the pristine North East rivers.

SquarePeg Studios is delighted to welcome Kirra-lea as a guest tutor for the first time in 2020.

Kirra-lea Rings, Earrings & Pendants

"Kirra- Lee was very confident in her approach and delivery. Clear specific instructions including safety and was happy to expand on her knowledge as her audience moved forward with their understanding."

"No question was a silly question"

— Participants, 2020


UnEarthed | Sand Casting with Sapphires with Kirra-lea Caynes

  • $450 inc GST
  • Two levels of Workshops | Beginners and Advanced
  • Beginners-Saturday & Sunday | Advanced-Monday

course dates

QUESTIONS?

Need more info?  We're happy to hear from you.


Directors: Emily Copp on 0402 697 557 or Kim Elliott on 0407 803 003