Home Jewelry Stone, Shell and Silver with Jamie Halpern & Susie Sawin – G24070301

Stone, Shell and Silver with Jamie Halpern & Susie Sawin – G24070301

Jul 14 – 20 2024

This is an intermediate/advanced course in jewelry-making and lapidary for students who already have basic silversmith skills. Studio work will be supplemented by demonstrations, discussions and guest instructors. Students will learn lapidary and silver channel inlay construction using semi-precious stones and shell. Students will leave the class with wearable jewelry art and a discovery of their own creative potential. To be fair for all students in the class, students may be asked about their silversmith experience prior to their enrollment confirmation to ensure that all students have the minimum necessary skills for this class. 

The fully-equipped Ghost Ranch jewelry studio provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn the skills and techniques of advanced silver jewelry-making in an awe-inspiring location with a long history in the creative arts. Ghost Ranch is a place of beauty and serenity that nurtures the creative spirit with a lengthy history in the creative arts. 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. Sliver used in class projects can be purchased at the studio. Note: Students should expect to spend between $100 – $300 or more on silver for the week unless brought from home – this cost is NOT included in the class fee and will be paid at the end of class.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn basic skills in cutting, setting, grinding and polishing semi-precious stones for lapidary work.
  • Students will learn silver channel bracelet construction for stone inlay 
  • Students will learn to safely use lapidary tools: trim-saw, flat-laps, genies, and other polishing tools
  • Students will acquire confidence in their creative abilities and skills
  • Students will create wearable and sellable jewelry art



  • 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 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.