UnEarthed – Sand Casting with Sapphires – Intermediate

Learn to sand cast faceted stones in this continuation of Kirra-lea Caynes popular UnEarthed series. Students already familiar with the ancient art of sand casting or who have attended the UnEarthed Beginners course can now build on their skills and learn several new techniques for adding bling to sand-cast jewels and small objects.

Fascinated by raw materials and natural phenomena and with her passion for contemporary jewellery, Kirra-lea presents a truly inspiring day of fun learning and making in our beautiful workshop.


At A Glance

  • $465 inc GST
  • Materials Included
  • One Day - 7 Hours
Find Dates and Book a Spot!

A really in-depth class where you were able to get loads of practical practice and come away with wearable pieces. Kirra- Lea is an engaging and encouraging teacher and so very generous in sharing her experience and knowledge. Square Peg is a wonderful venue - a most welcoming and non-intimidating space to get inspired and hands-on with jewellery making. Thank you!

Marianne, 2021


Sand-cast Faceted Stones. If you have been lucky enough to attend an UnEarthed beginners class and learned how to cast in place rough sapphires, and would like to develop your skills further, add new techniques to your repertoire or just have a great day making more jewellery for your collection, the Intermediate level class is for you.

In this one day workshop, Kirra-lea will guide you through the process of designing and sand-casting jewellery pieces or small objects with cast-in-place faceted stones. Learn three new techniques for setting faceted gemstones in place. Learn flush, bead and claw setting.

During the day you will have time to make at least three pieces of jewellery, each using one of the introduced setting techniques. You can then either spend some time cleaning and polishing your pieces ready to wear or you can continue playing and casting more to be finished later in your own time.

What To Expect

What You 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.
  • Learn how to flush set, bead set and rub-over set faceted gemstones.
  • You will be given three projects, each project will be your own design concept exploring and applying the demonstrated setting styles.

What You Will Make

  • one pendant with flush cast faceted stones
  • one pair of earrings with grain set faceted stones
  • one ring with rub-over set faceted stones

Class Size

Small Class Size. To ensure our students have the best learning experience this workshop is capped at 8.


What is Included

  • 30g of sterling silver
  • A variety of synthetic faceted stones. Sand casting cut stones can be tricky so best to start out with the synthetic stones supplied before using natural gemstones
  • An extensive array of objects to mould and cast. Students can bring along their own small hard objects to cast.
  • 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 teas, coffee and yummy biscuits.

What to Bring

  • 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.
  • You also have the option of bringing your own metal, and gemstones to add a more personal touch to the experience. Any gemstone that is 7.5 or higher on the Mohs hardness scale should be suitable for the cast in place process.
  • Note that 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.
  • A notebook and pen/pencil
  • An apron, please note that we are working with clay, so it can get a little messy.
  • Your ideas and creativity
  • Lunch


  • 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!
  • Enrol early and take advantage of our payment by instalments option to spread the payments out over three payments. This option is offered at check out.
  • 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 send us an email to register your interest and to go on a waitlist. mail@squarepegstudios.com.au

Related Workshops

Bezel Setting

Wax Carving for Jewels | Stone Setting Workshop

Gypsy Setting Workshop

COMING SOON! Kirra-lea has developed an advanced level workshop for experienced sand casters, this will include resizing, casting in place findings, casting multiple among other tips and tricks. If this would be of interest to you please register your interest. mail@squarepegstudios.com.au

Fantastic class and you walked away with completely finished pieces! Kirra-lee was a wonderful teacher, very engaging & knowledgeable. Square peg studios were well equipped and the small class size was perfect. Would highly recommend the sandcasting course.

Zoe, 2021

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

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. Kirra-lea 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

Course Dates

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