UnEarthed – Sand Casting with Sapphires – Beginners

A sand cast silver bulls head with raw sapphires incast sitting in the flask after casting

SquarePeg Studios is proud to bring you UnEarthed, a special workshop presented by guest tutor Kirra-lea Caynes.

In this one day workshop, Kirra-lea 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.

Kirra-lea leads several one-day workshops designed to cater to novices with no previous jewellery experience and more experienced jewellers who are interested in adding to their skillset.


At A Glance

  • $480 inc GST
  • Materials Included | Pay in Instalments Available
  • 9 am - 4 pm | presented twice a year (March and October in 2023)
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


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.

Students complete the beginners’ workshop inspired, with a sense of accomplishment and with jewellery pieces of their own creation. Having completed the beginners level workshop students can return to learn more tricks, learn to set faceted stones and make more fabulous jewels in the UnEarthed Intermediate workshop.

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.

What You Make

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

Class Size

To ensure our students have the best learning experience this workshop is capped at 6.


What is Included

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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

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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