In late 2006 I put together a survey on the Jewelers bench to which many Orchidians and others responded. There were a series of questions asked, and the answers were revealing, and contributed to my understanding of the jewelers bench and its functions, supporting my writing of the The Jewelers Bench, and MJSA/Orchid in Print book.
Some of the specific answers were used in the book, but many served to buttress my arguments, or show me things I had not thought about. The answers were illuminating and, through their repetition of points they reinforced certain themes that are universal, and vital to the working jeweler and goldsmith. This article is then a compilation of these comments.... (2008) Complete Story
In late 2006 I put together a survey on the Jewelers bench to which many Orchidians and others responded. There were a series of questions asked, and the answers were revealing, and contributed to my understanding of the jewelers bench and its functions, supporting my writing of the "The Jewelers Bench", and MJSA/Orchid in Print book. In my teaching I will often ask students what they would tell a hypothetical friend, what is important to know, say about soldering and constructing a catch. What would you say that is important to keep your friend out of trouble and to ease their path? This then is the sense of the question addressed here about the jewelers bench.... (2009) Complete Story
A short while back I prepared this short photo tutorial showing how I make leaves from metal. I have use this method whenever shaping leaves that adorn my creations. The tools are minimal and the process is straight forward. The leaf shown was made from copper and I photographed the process in stages to show the simplicity of manufacture, which was less than an hour. I thought this may be of interest to someone who may be interested in making leaves.... (2011) Complete Story
The other week a friend came by the shop for some jewelry related lathe help. She was using a ring holder meant for benchwork (GRS Benchmate) to chuck her rings, both waxes and metal) for turning. While her holder worked, I thought I could come up with something better. Based on the Taig #1132 Blank Arbor, the mandrel shown here could be made with a straight shank as well, for mounting on a variety of lathes. As shown it will work on the Taig lathe, and if you turn down the end of the blank arbor for about 1/8", on the Sherline lathe as well. If you want to make it with a straight shank, you should chuck up some 1/2" rod in your lathe chuck, turn the end down to 1/4" dia for about 1" to 1-1/2", then chuck that 1/4" shank in a 1/4" collet on your lathe (Taig, Sherline and watchmakers collets all are available in 1/4" internal diameter).... (2012) Complete Story
Adding or changing the color on your sculpture Titanium can breathe new life or change the character of a piece. It is also lots of fun to see the color develop and change in front of your very eyes! The color on the surface of our titanium has a permanent oxide layer that can only be removed with abrasives. The color was originally produced with heat. It starts out silver, then gold, blue, purple, magenta, bronze, green, pink and finally gray. Subtle colors also appear and depending on the natural surface finish you may get different effects. I am always surprised when I find a new shade of blue or pink or a satin luster when I expected a metallic luster.... (2009) Complete Story