Home Upcoming Events Southwest Silver Jewelry Intro to Silversmithing with Jamie Halpern and Susie Sawin G230724

Southwest Silver Jewelry Intro to Silversmithing with Jamie Halpern and Susie Sawin G230724

This class is full, please call 505.685.1000 ext 4156 or 4330 to be placed on a waitlist.

Southwest Silver Jewelry – An Introduction to Silversmithing
Learn the basic skills of Southwest-style silversmithing in the awe-inspiring Ghost Ranch jewelry
studio. Experience hands-on work in sawing, soldering, stone-setting, and finishing beautify
jewelry in an inspiring environment. Wearable (and sellable) pieces of art will be made. For
beginning or experienced students. Serious-minded youth 14+ are welcome.
This is a hands-on course in learning the basics of silver jewelry-making and stone-setting.
Techniques are demonstrated but learning comes from actually doing the work. Problem
solving is a significant part of this learning process. Studio work will be supplemented by
demonstrations and discussions and guest instructors. Students will learn to safely use the basic
tools of silversmith work. Students will leave with multiple pieces of wearable jewelry art and a
discovery of their own creative potential.
The fully-equipped Ghost Ranch jewelry studio provides a wonderful opportunity for students
to learn the skills and techniques of silver jewelry-making in a beautiful location with a long
history in the creative arts. Ghost Ranch is a place of beauty and serenity that nurtures the
creative spirit. Silversmith students come away from this class with unimagined creations, a
proud sense of accomplishment, and a personal connection to the arts of the Southwest.
The studio is equipped with all the needed tools, supplies and equipment. Students may bring
their own hand-tools, stones, and silver supplies, if desired. NOTE: Sliver metal and some
special rocks used in class projects can be purchased at the Ghost Ranch studio. Students
should expect to spend between $100 – $200 on silver for the week – this cost is NOT included
in the class fee. All other materials, including most rocks used in class are included in the course
Learning Outcomes:
– Students will learn basic skills needed to construct silver jewelry: sawing, soldering,
stone-setting, and polishing/finishing
– Students will learn to safely use silver-making tools: saws, torches, hammers, rolling
mill, Foredom flex shaft, sanding belts, grinding and polishing wheels
– Students will acquire confidence in their creative abilities and skills
– Students will learn about the history and styles of southwest jewelry-making
– Students will create wearable and sellable jewelry art

Lodging options (includes meals)
Private Room $1228
Dorm Room (communal bath) $778
Camping $478

*Lodging cost applies to first person only.


Please use the options below to find helpful information regarding Ghost Ranch Workshops and Retreats

If you need shuttle service, please reach out to Kevin at White Buffalo Shuttle 831.359.8077 | nivek@cruzio.com

Virtual Events: Payments made for Virtual Events are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend the event, recordings will be made available to you after the event. For events with multiple sessions, every attempt will be made to make the session(s) available to you before the next scheduled session.

In-person events: Written notification must be received no later than 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop in order to receive a refund, minus a $150 processing charge. No refunds can be processed after that time. We reserve the right to announce a change in leadership or cancel any program 31 days prior to the first day of the workshop. In this event, you may transfer to another workshop without charge or we will refund the full workshop payment. (Many participants have found it helpful to purchase travel insurance). If the cancellation is received less than 31 days prior to your start date, your funds can be left on deposit for another Ghost Ranch workshop or future stay during this calendar year, but you must know the exact dates of your next stay. Or you can choose to make it a tax-deductible donation to support Ghost Ranch. This cancellation policy does not apply to January Term.

Ghost Ranch Scholarship Request

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Ghost Ranch scholarship. The typical scholarship amount is $100-350. We are able to grant more scholarships in the winter, spring and late fall seasons than we are in the summer months. 

You will receive a copy of your scholarship form after you submit it and should hear back from Ghost Ranch about your application within a 10 working days. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Robin Keck, robingk@ghostranch.org.


We understand there are some with special dietary restrictions. In order for us to best serve all, prior notice of any special needs is required.

Because we are a cafeteria style foodservice and our number of guests can be quite large, we are unable to accommodate individual meals for any guest. We are, however, always looking to be sure that we have an option that will fit one or more common and crossover restrictions.

Any severe allergies are taken most seriously, yet we cannot promise there will be no cross contamination in the assembling of products here. We highly recommend some personal option be brought along. We do have a few public refrigerators available, but there is no access to a kitchen or cooking.

We are also unable administer any medication, so please have your personal Epi-Pen” readily available.

We are glad you are planning to visit the ranch, and want your trip from beginning to end to be smooth.We rely on White Buffalo Shuttle for our guests. Kevin Spitzer picks up at the Sage Inn in Santa Fe the afternoon of the first date listed, and returns to the Sage Inn the morning of the last date. His phone number is 831.359.8077. Email is nivek@cruzio.com

The best way to get to Santa Fe Sage Inn is Groome Transportation. They are very helpful in assessing your flight info and getting you on the right shuttle at the right time. 505.474.5696/ groometransportation.com


Click here to see a full list of FAQs

What day/time does the workshop start and end?

In-person workshops begin with check-in at 3:00 p.m. and a ranch orientation in the evening on the first date listed for the course and end at 10:00 a.m. with checkout on the last date listed.

Virtual workshops will have a varied schedule that is identified within each workshop description.

What is the difference between a room with private bath, a room with semi-private or shared bath, and a room with communal/dorm bath?

Private bath refers to the type of bathroom, not single occupancy

Private Bath Room: There is a bathroom in that one room that is not shared between or with any other rooms. The highest rate tier of Ghost Ranch lodging.

Semi-private/shared: There is a bathroom between two rooms that is shared by the occupants of the two adjoining sleeping rooms. These rooms will only be used as family or group suites, not to be shared by unknown neighbors as in the past.

Communal/dorm: There is a communal bathroom/shower in the lodging building and participants will need to exit their room to reach these facilities.

Click here to learn more about lodging at Ghost Ranch

  • The ranch Dining Hall serves three meals a day on a fixed schedule. We offer a vegetarian option at each meal. While the Dining Hall offers gluten-free items and vegan dishes at some meals, we cannot guarantee that these options will be available for each meal.  Let us know about this need in your registration notes. If it is necessary for a guest to eat a specific diet or if a guest has food allergies, the surest option is to bring personal food items to the ranch. There are refrigerators available for guest use in a few common/public spaces. 


  • Jamie Halpern
    Jamie Halpern

    Jamie Halpern is an accomplished silversmith, lapidary artist and metalsmith instructor. His work reflects southwestern art and jewelry-making styles and is influenced by travels throughout the United States, the South Pacific and Europe. Working with silver and colorful semi-precious stones through metal fabrication and inlay, and through his teachings with beginning and advanced jewelry students and artists, Jamie celebrates creativity and personal exploration and nurtures artistic expression. His jewelry is sold through private commissions. He has taught silversmithing and lapidary art at Ghost Ranch for a number of years to rave reviews and testaments to how professional pieces can be crafted with focused time. Examples of Jamie’s work can be found at: Jehalpernjewelry.com.

  • Susie Sawin
    Susie Sawin

    Susie Sawin is an artist, dentist, and mom. She started her study of silversmithing and lapidary arts under the wonderful instruction of Dale Smith and Judith Foster here at Ghost Ranch. Over the past 8 years, Susie has continued to explore and refine her skills both at the ranch and at her studio in Columbus, Indiana. She loves the confluence of technical challenge and artistic freedom that comes when silver and stone is brought together in a piece of work. Susie’s jewelry has been featured at local galleries and shows around her hometown and examples can be seen online at keepinghillecoart.com.


Jul 09 - 15 2023





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