Learning Center

Fold Forming

Fold forming adds depth and dimension to metal jewelry. Learn this technique with the help of our how-to guides, tool articles, and project stories.

20 ARTICLES 8 VIDEOS
Article
Step-by-Step Guide to Upsizing Rings

When I ran a trade shop, time was money, and I often found myself sizing 50 to 60 rings in a day. When you’re doing that kind of volume, being able to quickly size up rings can make a big difference on your bottom line. Here’s my technique for sizing……

Video
Foldforming Overview and Techniques

Master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain invented and demonstrates foldforming in this video. Foldforming is a system of metalworking that uses the metal’s nature to rapidly make shapes that resemble chased and constructed pieces,…

Video
Preparing a Hammer for Foldforming

One of the most frequent foldforming questions Charles Lewton-Brain gets is that someone’s forging hammer isn’t working well for them. See how Charles changes a commercial forging hammer to be useful for foldforming. Filmed…

Article
Tips and Tricks for Scoring Metal

Scoring metal is incredibly important for custom jewelry construction. It enables you to reduce the number of parts in a catch or a hollow piece, which increases strength and cuts fabrication time. The term “scoring” refers to creating…

Article
The Origins of Fold Forming

In 1979 and 80 I went to study at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Pforzheim West Germany at the suggestion of my teacher Christian Gaudernak, who had studied there in the early 80’s. Mistakenly believing that everyone spoke English…

Article
The Metal Corrugation Project

The act of contraction into repetitive wrinkles or alternate ridges and grooves. When studying nature forms, corrugation is regularly seen adding innate strength to what might be otherwise considered a frail form. Corrugation has been…

Article
Metal Corrugation Vocabulary

Metal corrugation is a unique roll-formed process whereby a precise and specific repetitive surface pattern is achieved when processing thin gauge annealed 36 -24 sheet metal or wire. Metal is processed using special tools manufactured…

Article
Steps on Making a Rolled Fold Heistad Cup

Rolled folds are folds which utilize the rolling mill and it’s unique properties of equal, directional pressure on the plastic metal. Many pleated folds work well as do a series of flattened T-folds of various types. This one demonstrates…

Article
Sheet Metal Tool Modification

Sheet Metal Tool Modification, Look for: WISS Hand Seamer (as LAST resort BRAMEC or VISE-GRIP) sheet metal bending tools and modify as shown. Recommended for quick, tight crimping! I prefer the Wiss Hand Seamer Model HS-1 or as a LAST resort…

Article
Steps on Making a Basic T-fold

This article describes the steps to making a basic T-fold, one of the main categories of fold-forming. Numerous variations are possible from this simple starting place.

Article
Steps on Making a Chased Wedge T-fold

This article describes the steps to making a chased wedge T-fold. To begin with a loop is made from a rectangular piece of sheet metal. The loop is placed into the vise and the jaws clinched tight onto the loop. You can see the angle the loop is tilted…

Article
Steps on Making a T-Fold with Table Insert

This page describes the steps to using a table insert in a T-fold. A table insert is an object, or a composition of a group of objects, inserted into the table when it is made, and then trapped. Items to try include, washers, shapes of 16 gauge iron…

Article
Steps on Making a T-Fold Boat Fold

The boat fold branch of T-folds is an interesting avenue. It permits you to have a curving, concave table, and to produce shaped tables as well as other complex derivations. The basic boat is begun by making a wedge T-fold. After the first angle…

Article
The Jewelry of Cynthia Eid

Standing in her forming studio, surrounded by hammers, stakes, and photo equipment, metalsmith Cynthia Eid is experiencing a moment of excitement. Even though she has finessed metal into altered states for 30 years, this decisive moment…

Article
Jewelry Using a Microfold Brake

With a simple corrugation tool and basic metalsmithing skills, you can make these great earrings. The newest toy in my studio is a Microfold Brake. I have been having a wonderful time learning what can be done with this tool, experimenting and…

Article
Steps on Making a Plunkett Fold

One of the most intriguing, and fastest ways to make fold-forms are in the Rolled fold part of the system. Rolled folds use the special, even pressure of the rolling mill to work the metal. They are either a package folded up and put through the…

Article
Fold Forming Tool List

These are some of the metal ‘ tools that you will find useful in fold-forming. Ear muffs or plugs and safety glasses.

Article
Scoring and Bending Procedures

Silicon carbide separating discs are superb for scoring metal for bending, particularly when the metal sheet is less than 4 or 5 cm across. While I was originally taught to use discs for catch building which involves only straight lines I discovered…

Article
The Different Kinds of Line-Folds

Line-folds offer a large area of exploration. In addition to the use of line-folds by themselves, it is valuable to understand them because the principles involved will show up again in many other folds. If we were making a family tree, line-folds…

Article
Steps on Making a Leaf or Ruffle

This fold is an example of forging on the open side, and introduces how to use hardness dams in foldforming. Dams are work hardened spots, lines, or patterns within the sheet. This form illustrates the way we can use hardness dams to direct the…

Article
How to Make a Heistad Cup

Fold-forming is a hand-working technique applied to single sheets of metal to create surfaces and three-dimensional forms quickly without soldering. It relies on the metal’s plasticity and ductility to make hundreds of complex forms resembling…

Video
2015 Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition

The 2015 Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition winners were announced on JUL 24, 2015 by the Center for Metal Arts in downstate New York. This video shows winners and Jurors’ Choice selections from among entries received from artists…

Video
Fold Forming

Expand your jewelry-making skills and give your pieces stunning dimension with the Rueger Fold technique that allows for several design variations. Read more about Fold Forming.

Video
Forming a Copper Leaf

Creating interest and dimension in copper through forming, bending, hammering, texturing and flame coloring. by George Goehl…

Video
Best of Foldforming Competition

Winners of the inaugural Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition were announced on Aug 6, 2012 at the 5th Annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference hosted by the Center for Metal Arts in downstate, New York. This video showcases the winning entries…

Video
BBJ 1201 – Fold Forming

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. Expand your jewelry-making skills and give your pieces stunning dimension with the Rueger Fold technique that allows for several design variations. Additional instructions on this project and other…

Video
Large Scale Fold Forming

this is a video featuring the fold forming process with Large Scaled non ferrous elements. THIS is my first video upload……so bear with me as I figure out what works best. This video is low res 🙁 …..I’ll be resizing…