Learning Center

Metal Forming

Metal forming is a basic jewelry making skill. Our articles cover topics from calculating the amount of metal a project needs to hammering techniques.

171 ARTICLES 7 PRODUCTS
Product
Fretz® Hammers

Created especially for jewelers by expert metalsmith and tool designer Bill Fretz, the Fretz® line of tools is precisely designed for excellent ergonomics, maximum durability and impeccable results…

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How to Mount Objects in Metal Frames

For the illusion of “floating objects” Helen I. Driggs shares her technique, a step by step guide, on how to mount objects in matel frames. ******************** Bi-directional tabs are a decorative way to secure delicate objects…

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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……

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De-oxidized Sterling Silver Alloys

Sterling silver alloys typically contain about 7.5 percent copper, an addition that not only provides strength to the otherwise pure silver, but also helps the alloys to tarnish fairly quickly—a traditional frustration for jewelers…

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Chunghi Choo: The Energy Qi

Chunghi Choo captures her joyful creativity in sensuous forms and beguiling surfaces, but, despite this sumptuousness, simplicity harmony and tranquility are always integral to her work. Born in Korea, she took a B.F.A. at Ewha Women’s…

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Process Oriented Metal Education

Art school is in some ways a difficult place to learn to be a metalsmith. Traditionally, it took industry from three to seven years of concentrated time to educate a goldsmith. This is because, as Jamie Bennett puts it, metals are “process-oriented…

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Claire Falkenstein: Never-Ending Universe

Claire Falkenstein is a master of linear metal sculpture. Hers is not an art of solid form, as relating to space and mass, but of a cursive gesture – a scribble in the air. It is essentially a public or display art and is directed not to the private…

Product
Durston 80MM Combination Mini Rolling Mill

Durston is the foremost manufacturer of rolling mills throughout the world. They are recognized for their reliability robust construction high quality and fine finish.These are exactly the same as their standard models but without the…

Product
Durston Ring Stretcher/Reducer

High precision ring stretcher/reducer featuring a six spline mandrel and 12 polished countersunk dies. This high-quality ring stretcher ensures exceptionally accurate ring sizing. Its countersunk polished steel reducing plate will…

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Oval Set

Cup-shaped cutters used to form a decorative bead or fine row of cuts on any piece of jewelry. Set of six contains sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and a chuck holding handle.

Product
Garland Rawhide Mallet 6oz.

Heads are made of the finest quality specially treated rawhide which will not mark or scar metal. Handles are made of hardwood. Made in the USA.

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Brass & Nylon Mallet with Detachable Face 4.2oz

Faces can be changed to provide any combination desired. Faces can also be replaced when worn. Sold with two different faces and a wrench to tighten or remove collars. Faces are brass and nylon.

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Hermann Jünger: German Goldsmith

From 1988 to 1989, German goldsmith Hermann Jünger was celebrated in his native country with a major retrospective of his work since 1945. More recently, in the spring of 1990, a new series of necklaces by Jünger was the subject of an exhibition…

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Helen Shirk: Patterns of Growth

Last fall, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee hosted a retrospective of the work of Helen Shirk. Nearly 70 pieces, from her early silver work in the late 1960s, to her recent patinated copper and brass vessels, confirmed…

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Dirk Van Erp: Arts & Crafts Coppersmith

Due to a recent comprehensive exhibition at the San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum, we reintroduce to our readers the handwrought copper work of Dirk Van Erp, a leading handcraftsman in the American Arts and Crafts Movement, who opened…

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A Replica of the Sutton Hoo Sword

Considered to be one of the richest and most important archaeological finds in Great Britain, the Ship Burial known as Sutton Hoo was found near present-day Woodbridge, in Suffolk, in 1939. Coins from the burial mound date the site no later…

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Ancient Etruscan Metalsmiths

Looking down the long corridors of time, the ancient Etruscans emerge as a powerful people whose economic and social development was founded on their metal industry. Over the centuries, however, the ancient Etruscan metalsmiths were gradually…

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Richard Reinhardt: Discontinuous Continuity

Richard Reinhardt’s best-known pieces today are silver bracelets, constructed in concave or convex forms that curve smoothly and logically in a circle. Intermingled with these simple forms are forged, applied wires that gently…

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Lois Betteridge: Stretching Material Limits

The core of life’s work in fine artisanry is the unfolding of a personal style within the cultural milieu of one’s time. Exploration, experimentation and sensitivity to material characterize such development. Over the past…

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Learning Metalwork from Shumei Tanaka

I stood on Kawaramachi Street in downtown Kyoto. Kyoto, capital of Japan, home of the emperor from 794 to 1868, center for the three great schools of the tea ceremony, city of Noh drama, Ikenobo flower arranging and enigmatic Zen Buddhism. I…

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Recent Sightings: Metal Book Art

This article series from Metalsmith Magazine is named “Recent Sightings” and here Bruce Metcalf talks about art, craftmanship, design, the artists, and techniques. For this 1989 Spring issue, he talks about working with…

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Mary Lee Hu: The Purpose and Persistence of Wire

Mary Lee Mary Lee Hu has worked with wire – looping, wrapping, weaving and most notably twining—for the past 22 years. Yet within these seemingly narrow technical confines, Mary Lee Hu continues to invent new forms. This continuing…

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Heat-Induced Web Textures on Anodized Aluminum

In late 1981, I began working with anodized aluminum, drawn to its light weight, availability and low cost. In developing a simple studio “facility” for anodizing aluminum, I focused on experimenting with both color applications…

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Designing Contemporary Flatware

No single item is more used yet more neglected than flatware. It is used in one form or another by the average person many times a day, not only for eating but also for preparing and serving food. But few people, even those concerned with designing…

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The Representation in Contemporary Metals

My recollection of the first piece of metalwork I owned is of a pin consisting of two poodles connected by a silver chain. This, the use of representation at its most banal, probably floats somewhere in all our early memories of jewelry. As I grew…

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Fads and Fallacies: Pocket Knives

The term fashion does not immediately bring to mind knives. But wait! The 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog offered 131 varieties of pocket knives. They were classified as: “men’s,” “ladies’,”…

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The Contemporary American Custom Goldsmithing

About five years ago, Robert Fairbank, John Reynolds and I created a “living entity” called Goldsmiths 3 in Concord, Massachusetts. Our name simply reflects what we are: three goldsmiths, custom-designing and handcrafting…

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The Metal Shop Tin Men

Metal shop tin men seem to be as American as L. Frank Baum’s tale of Dorothy and company in the land of Oz. Throughout this century, tin men have surfaced as a conspicuous folk art form, and because of their longevity within the genre an inquiry…

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How to Repair a Hollow Rope Chain

I took in a broken hollow rope chain bracelet for repair this week. The bracelet had caught on a desk drawer and broke. I didn’t think it presented any special problems (outside of being hollow) until I looked further and noticed a couple…

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William Underhill: Organic Geometry

William Underhill came to bronze pots just as his teacher at the University of California at Berkeley Peter Voulkos was leaving clay ones. After a decade of stacking, slashing and cantilevering pots—attempting to stretch their skins into…

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Roll Printing Technique

Roll printing, or texture transfer, has been around a long time. The ancient Greeks and Romans used various dies and, of course, every well-appointed Sumerian had a cylinder seal with which to authenticate his signature. Both of these employ…

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Recent Signtings: Pluralism in Metals

This article series from Metalsmith Magazine is named “Recent Sightings” and here Bruce Metcalf talks about art, craftmanship, design, the artists, and techniques. For this 1987 Spring issue, he talks about pluralism in metals…

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Contemporary Applications of Area Inlay

The use of area inlay, called damascening or woven inlay, is common in the ancient metalwork of Iran, India, Japan, Spain and other countries. Since most applications require the use of ferrous metals as base materials, area inlay is not often…

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Metalwork in Japan

My study of metalwork in Japan began with the words, “First you will make a ring.” The teacher ceremoniously handed me a sheet of silver, a saw and a few files. I waited for an explanation but none was forthcoming. How was I to proceed?…

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Damascus and Pattern Welding

True damascus steel is made by a casting process utilizing very high carbon steel. The material is held at or near the temperature of fusion for an extended period of time. This causes the formation of large, high carbon dendrites in a matrix…

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The Work of Gary Noffke

Preparation for writing this piece began, I guess, when I was six or seven years old. At that age, my whole world was confined to a small yet comfortable apartment in Brooklyn decorated in the material evidence of my parents’ modest means.…

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Florence Resnikoff: New Esthetic Potential

Florence Resnikoff delights in the use of color. Vibrant and glowing, muted and moody, color for her involves extending beyond  traditional metal and stone in washes of purple, rose, peacock blue gray—the expanded palette she achieves…

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Master Metalsmith Ruth Penington

At the age of three, Ruth Penington created an apron for her doll, undaunted by the complexities of a pocket, hem, belt, lace edging and insertion of a blue ribbon. Today, seventy-five years later, an artist, designer/craftsman and teacher,…

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Technical Briefs: Dealing with Firescale

Technical Briefs deals with technical concerns of interest to a wide audience, addressing topics as diverse as vanguard technology and ancient arts. It will also answer questions from readers and respond to suggestions, always trying…

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Bi-Metal Casting to Titanium

Titanium and the other refractory metals other the metalsmith a new range of exotic colors – colors that are beautiful and subtle. The saying “less is more applies to titanium since the colors are created by the refraction of light…

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Master Metalsmith Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery surrounds himself in a silent optimism that does not simply ignore adversity, but rises above it. His generous spirit has turned blight to bounty and earned him untold respect and admiration. He is an accomplished artist,…

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Aluminum & Aluminum Anodizing

This article is based on technical information taken from my personal notes and experiences, shared information from the Penland Anodizing Symposium (Fall 1985, Penland, NC: Invited guests: Christine DePaul, Garret DeRuiter, and David…

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The Silversmith Mandate: Looking at the Future

The following are excerpts from a panel discussion chaired by Lois Etherington Betteridge at the Society of North American Goldsmiths’ conference in Toronto, June 1985. The panelists included: Gary Griffin, Head of Metalsmithing, Cranbrook…

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Pirotechnia by Vannoccio Biringuccio

The following text was written by Vannoccio Biringuccio, an Italian master craftsman in smelting and metalworking, born in Siena in 1480. Its publication date of 1540 predates Cellini’s autobiography, by about 20 years. And while…

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Fusion Patterns

This paper describes a process that combines techniques researched by others with a few well known facts about the properties of certain metals. This information was applied to a metal fabrication process specifically designed to extend…

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David Paul Bacharach – Weaving in Metal

David Paul Bacharach is a part of the growing contingent of American metalsmiths who are challenging the Modernist tradition of vesselmaking (see “American Holloware, Changing Criteria” by Jamie Bennett, Metalsmith, Summer…

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Anodizing Aluminum

While I was in graduate school at San Diego State University I became interested in the anodizing process. I had been working with aluminum in jewelry for a while when Arline Fisch brought back some basic anodizing aluminum information from…

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The Art of Doublée Making

Historically, a wide range of techniques has been used to clad or coat silver or base metals with gold. These processes are based on efforts to balance three factors: cost, physical properties and appearance. Rolled gold or gold-filled stock…

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Susan Hamlet: Culture Of Materials

“Culture of materials,” an expression originating from the early 20th-century teaching of Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin, defines the artist’s deliberate examination and selection of materials for use…

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Master Metalsmith Alan Adler

I first discovered Allan Adler’s Silversmithing Shop about 23 years ago when I arrived in Southern California to begin my metalsmithing teaching career at California State University, Long Beach. His shop was located on Sunset Boulevard…

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Gary Griffith’s Jewelry and Constructions

When Gary Griffith wrote this poetic meditation (see below) on the status of his work for an exhibition at the Helen Drutt Gallery in Philadelphia in 1981, he was at a turning point in his development. His hesitancy to designate his work as sculpture…

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Metal Spinning Part 3: Tooling

As skill develops in spinning, it becomes more important to have a sense of what forms can be produced. To fully appreciate the range of shapes possible, a thorough knowledge of tooling is needed. “Tooling” denotes the specialized…

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Toolmaker’s Tools of the Trade

The word “technology” is defined as the totality of the means employed to provide the objects necessary for sustenance and comfort. Although the average person would probably not put a hammer in the same category with the computer,…

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Gallery Directors’ Role on Metalsmithing

In the world of fine art, galleries wield enormous power. Galleries such as Castelli, Knoedler and Marlborough, through the artists they choose to show, dictate which artists and styles are “in” or “out,” which…

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Master Metalsmith Robert von Neumann

This article was completed just weeks before Robert von Neumann’s accidental fall and subsequent death on April 23, 1984. Books and artifacts – from Eskimo masks to Picasso prints, from anthropology to art history – as…

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American Holloware Changing Criteria

The expressions which have come to identify the pre- and post-World War II generations – Me decade, suburban frontiersmen, spoiled baby boomers, generation gap – are clear if perhaps overly stereotyped images. While encapsulating…

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Book Review – Silversmithing

Silversmithing is a big topic. While I have a few reservations about this book, my overall response is that it handles its content with thoroughness and detail. Let me deal with the shortcomings first. Silversmithing By Rupert Finegold and…

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Jonathan Bonner: Whimsy and Vision

Jonathan Bonner is a pleasant young man with a quick smile and an easygoing manner. If you saw him in the grocery store you might think he was a teacher or a doctor. If you walked by his house in an older, well-kept section of Providence, you probably…

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Rendering Design and Process

This is the second in a series of articles on the art and skill of rendering jewelry and small metal objects. Here we show the stages of rendering from pencil roughs to finished pencil renderings with color to full-color renderings, and discuss…

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Gorham Masterpieces in Metal Exhibition

Gorham Company was 45 years old when its 2,000-ounce “Century Vase” celebrating the nation’s centennial won great acclaim at the Philadelphia Exposition Over the next hundred years Gorham maintained its prominent…

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25th Sterling Design Competition

This article features the 25th Sterling Design Competition held at Lever House, New York City on May 30-June 19, 1984. First Prize Winner, Mark E. Fortune, Teapot The 25th Sterling Design Competition, sponsored by the Sterling Silversmiths…

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James Evans Jewelry & Small Objects

This article is a review on the Jewelry & Small Objects Exhibition by James Evans held at the Prime Canadian Crafts, Toronto, Canada on May 28-June 9, 1984. A search for “linearality” is James Evans’s definition…

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1984 Metals Invitational Exhibition

This article features the  Metals Invitational Exhibition held at the Southwest Texas State University on February 15-March 8, 1984 by various artists. The Southwest Texas State University Metals Invitational was conceived about…

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Randy Long: Works in Metal

This article is a review on the Works In Metal Exhibition by Randy Long held at the Fine Arts Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana on November, 1983. Randy Long began her new position as Assistant Professor of the metals department…

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Book Review – The Complete Metalsmith

Many fine books have recently been published for the serious student of metalsmithing. Tim McCreight’s new book is a tasty smorgasbord of diverse and varied metalsmithing skills. At first glance, the book is clearly an important new…

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1983 SNAG Platinum Jewelry Design Competition

This year Johnson Matthey Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of platinum group metals, in cooperation with the Society of North American Goldsmiths inaugurated the annual “SNAG Platinum Jewelry Design Competition”…

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Doneghy Collection of Southwest Indian Silver

At a time when the country is still reeling from the vogue for Indian jewelry displayed around the necks of rock stars, like the chains of the Lord Mayor, and on the blue jean shirts of admirers of “the Santa Fe look,” it is refreshing…

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Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Metalwork

Quoting the scholar, Nyozekan Hasegawa, Masataka Ogawa Calls Japan the country of “the culture of hands.” Over the centuries, no hands have been stronger or more skillful in carrying on the traditions of distinguished craftsmanship…

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Masterpiece in Metal by Adolphe Himmel

Among the most distinguished known surviving pieces of New Orleans-made silver is this tureen made by Adolphe Himmel. With its swelling rococo-revival body decorated with grapevines, grape clusters and leaves—both cast and repoussé—it…

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Martha Glowacki & Fields of Reference

Martha Glowacki’s works are sculptural abstractions on the theme of landscape. They demonstrate her interest in the imposition of order on the randomness of nature and her discovery of pattern, both natural and manmade, in the landscape.…

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Metal Spinning Part 2: Techniques

This article is the second of a three-part series on Metal Spinning by James Seavey discussing the techniques in developing spinning skills. The process of metal spinning involves the entire body. As with any hand-forming process, it is the…

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Towards a New Iron Age Exhibition

Three weeks before “Towards A New Iron Age” was to open at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, it arrived in a huge truck from its prior location at Southern Illinois University. An exhibition of this size (18,000…

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The Seven Korean Metalsmiths

Five thousand years of Korean goldsmithing was interrupted from 1913 to 1953 due to the Japanese invasion and the Korean War. In looking back, goldsmithing or metalsmithing programs in Korea’s colleges and universities formerly…

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Master Metalsmith Dorothy Sturm

Entering the enameling studio, one is struck by its openness. Light fills the space. Shelves are lined with organic vessel forms and dense architectural silhouettes. Glass and pools of color illuminate the density of these shapes, creating…

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Alternative Metalsmith Pat Flynn

There is something of the alchemist’s magic in Pat Flynn. Like those artful wizards of long ago, he changes common materials into objects of value and delight. Rusty nails, chips of slate, slivers of ivory snatched from discarded piano…

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Master Metalsmith John Prip

One observation on the career of John Prip (more often called Jack) is the way in which the man and his times have grown together. In some people this might be a coincidence; in others it would indicate an ability to perceive and adapt to a trend.…

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Claus Bury Architectonic Propositions

Claus Bury’s rejection of his immediate past, a long standing European tradition in goldsmithing, and his defection to the fine arts by the end of the 70’s, points out a major weakness in the crafts: its inability to accommodate…

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Making a Metal Brooch Frame

This is a metal frame for a brooch which can be made without any soldering. Findings can be glued or riveted to the back of the frame. Fig 1. Bend over frame made from silver sheet You can enamel directly onto the frame or you can use it to glue……

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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…

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Organic Geometric Bracelet

Always preferring a combination of metals in her jewelry, Sydney Lynch of Sydney Lynch Jewelry Inc. in Lincoln, Nebraska, discovered a way to achieve that look cost-effectively using a bi-metal of 22k yellow gold backed by sterling silver.…

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Alishan Halebian’s Imperfect Perfection

Alishan Halebian’s sphere is a metaphor for light and life. Beginning with the concept of a sphere, Alishan Halebian of Alishan in Irvine, California, created a double-sided 65 mm diameter pendant/ring with design elements that are…

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The Creation of White Gold

White gold presents unique challenges. Who among us has not struggled with white gold at one time or another? Some of those challenges sparked an important collaboration of every level of the trade, from alloy producers who make of millions…

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Jewelry Designs: Raindrops Pendant

Welcome to Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs, where we will detail all of the steps involved in adding a new piece of jewelry to our line. In this issue we will be working with our latest design. I’ll take you through every phase of production,…

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Jewelry Designs: Maya Pendant

Welcometo Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs, where we will detail all of the steps involved in adding a new piece ofjewelry to our line. In this issue we will be working with our latest design. I’ll take you through every phase of production,…

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Forged Ring Shank

This article describes step by step instructions how forged ring shank is done as described by Bradney W. Simon. For this solid shank we’re going to forge the shape out of a solid piece of platinum. The bottom of the ring across the finger…

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Jewelry Designs: Hope Pendant

Welcome to Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs, where we will detail all of the steps involved in adding a new piece of jewelry to our line. In this issue we will be working with our latest design. I’ll take you through every phase of production,…

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Laser Welding Channel Repair

In previous articles we have looked into the “art” of prong repair using the laser (Full Prong Replacement and Tipping Prongs. This is the final article in the series on laser welding prongs but is by no means the last word on the…

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CAD/CAM: Creating a Class Ring – Part 1

Advanced Jewelry Technologies (owned by this author) and Rio Grande are introducing a new CAD CAM system designed to make it far easier to make class rings, family crest jewelry, and corporate jewelry. This kit not only streamlines the concept…

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Jewelry Designs: Titan Pendant

Welcome to Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs, where we will detail all of the steps involved in adding a new piece of jewelry to our line. In this issue will we will be working with our latest design. I’ll take you through every phase of production,…

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CAD/CAM: Creating a Class Ring – Part 2

These step-by-step instruction manual guides the process (see procedure for making the class ring). With a core product to produce, endless variations are possible. The system consists of two components. These components are ring making…

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How to Make a Plique a Jour Fairy

This is a HIDI, (How I Do It). It is not the only way to make a piece like this, there are probably better ways, but this one worked for me. I also assume you are familiar with all the basic goldsmithing techniques. Figure 1 – Completed Plique-a-Jour…

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The Plique a Jour Technique with Torch

Plique-a-jour, in French, means “applied to carved spaces” or “membrane where daylight passes through”. The ‘plique-a-jour’ enameled jewelry is endowed with gleam and delicacy. This technique,…

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CAD/CAM: Modeling Project in JewelSpace

CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) is bringing a new efficiency and profitability to the jewelry workplace. Who is better to use this technology than the bench jeweler with a working knowledge of jewelry construction? In…

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How to Resize Platinum Rings

This article offers instructions on how to resize platinum rings whether for a size smaller or bigger, as well as, repair bench tips and tricks. Rings are among the platinum items that jewelers most frequently receive for repair. To make a platinum…

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Jewelry Designs: Athena Pendant

This gemstone-encrusted shield is named in honor of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare who was worshiped as a patroness of the arts and crafts. She is always shown with her magic shield. Welcome to Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs,…

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Resizing Damaged Rings

This page provides some helpful tips when it comes to resizing damaged rings with stones. Read on for more. When sizing rings with stones that may be damaged from heat, hold the stones under water while soldering. To do this, place a metal…

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Metal Conversion Chart

The metal conversion chart below will help you determine the amount of metal needed to create a piece of jewelry in a different metal. To use, weigh the piece of jewelry. Then find the present metal along the top of the chart and look down the column…

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Chain Making Project

This project is for beginners that wish to become silversmiths, part time or full time. Keep in mind that there are many ways to do this faster with the use of mechanical tools, but you are doing this project to learn how to use your frame saw and…

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Dealing with Fire Scale

Fire scale or fire stain is a reddish purple toned ‘bloom’ or ‘stain’ that appears on silver/copper alloys such as sterling silver when they are heated in the presence of oxygen. It even occurs in gold alloys with high copper contents. As it generally…

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Basic Chasing Tools

As well as being used for chasing they may also be used as punches to make textures. A stamp or texturing punch can be struck onto an annealed blank tool to get a negative impressions of its end. Each texturing tool can then produce its own negative.…

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Scoring and Bending

Scoring and bending is one of the most important ways of constructing jewellery. Scoring is a method of obtaining very sharply defined bends in metal sheets. The angle of the bend is determined mainly by the amount of material removed from the…

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All About Jump Rings

Jump rings may be made most easily by using a small hand drill with various sizes of mandrel. Take a broken burr, old needle file handles or a piece of drill rod and make a slit near the end. (I would use a separating disc to do this). Or one may drill…

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Basic Jewelry Construction and Soldering Principles

A short review of construction and soldering principles would be a good idea at this point. They’re fairly basic. Principles of soldering (or what most of the world terms ‘brazing’ but jewelers call ‘soldering’) include: make sure that all…

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Small Scale Double Making Procedures

Double is a German word of french origin meaning rolled gold or gold fill material. I use it for the gold-fill material described here to differentiate it from the commercially produced sheet. Hand made double has different qualities than…

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Learning Metalsmithing Process

An art school is in some ways a difficult place to learn to be a metalsmith. Traditional systems of industry education took from 3 to 7 years of concentrated time to educate a goldsmith. This is because metals, as Jamie Bennett puts it, are a ‘process…

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Carat Gold Solders for Jewellery Making

In many countries, regulations govern the caratage of gold solders used to make jewellery and, with few exceptions, gold solder alloys should be of the same caratage as the jewellery. One problem with the production of solders is to ensure…

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Fit to be Sized

Before sizing any ring, examine it carefully and compare it to the information on the job envelope. If you see any damage or potential problems that are not marked clearly on the envelope, inform the store manager or sales clerk who took in the…

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Precious Metal Refining

The principle of this ancient, valued procedure is described here because of its historical interest, and with the thought that young people coming into the field should be aware of the basic procedures of the trade, even though they may not…

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Benchtop Hydroflux Welders

Connections are an important part of jewelry manufacturing. We make them with suppliers, with retailers, even with the people who buy and wear our jewelry. But some of the most important connections are those we make between metals. Whether…

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Fine Silver Granulation – Part 2

Granulation involves placing and fusing tiny balls of silver on the surface of the backsheet in a preplanned design. The mixture of Hide Glue, flux and water is used to temporarily hold the granules in place until they are fused.

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Fine Silver Granulation – Part 1

Granulation is the process of fusing tiny metal spheres of silver or gold, in a decorative pattern, to a surface of the same metal. It is an ancient technique that produces a beautiful, delicate effect. When making Granulated jewelry, all connections…

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Michael David Sturlin’s Two Strand Crocheted Chain

With the quartz as the central focal point of the ‘Reflecting Pond Necklace,’ Sturlin had to design a chain that could support its weight. He started crocheting 18k red gold wire—75 feet of it to be exact—to create a two-strand chain.…

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Chain Strength and Quality Evaluation

In recent years, we have witnessed a growing concern of manufacturers and retailers regarding the quality of the jewelry products. Closer attention is being paid to such issues as general aesthetic appearance, surface finish, color consistency,…

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Multi-Metal Lamination

Multi-metal Lamination is a type of ‘faux’ married metal which produces a freer, more ‘painterly’ effect than the hard-edge, highly graphic, married metal. It is a technique in which designs may appear to float over other shapes and patterns.…

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Copper, Brass and Bronze Advanced Etching

This method of etching uses a prepared ferric chloride solution which also contains hydrochloric acid. This ‘etchant’ is not a pure acid, but etches copper and copper alloys (like brass and bronze). It will not work on silver. It is available…

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Understanding the Working Titanium

Because titanium behaves somewhat differently than the standard metals in the goldsmith’s workshop some special attention to its working is in order here. When sawing, begin the cut with a very light stroke, and increase the pressure only…

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Avoiding Melting Soldered Seams

Soldering is a delicate and sometimes difficult process especially when you need to solder very close to a previous solder seam. Without extra care, you can easily melt that prior seam and dislodge the parts. One solution is to drop down a temperature…

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The Art of Gold

‘The Art of Gold,’ curated by Michael Monroe, is the first major survey of contemporary American goldsmithing. The traveling exhibition was organized by the Society of North American Goldsmiths and toured by Exhibits USA. Comprising 79…

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A New Platinum Sterling Silver

It took about two months of experimentation to get the formulas for Platinum Sterling Silver just right – Robinson created alloys containing 5 percent, 3.5 percent, and 1 percent platinum. But he’s the first to admit that combining silver…

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Bladed Sargasso Server by Andy Cooperman

Andy Cooperman’s Sargasso Server, a contemporary sterling silver fish slice, evokes life in the sea. The blade resembles a squid’s tapering, almost conical head, trailed by silver and gold ‘tentacles’ that form the handle. These long, interwoven…

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The Work of Michael Boyd

Jewelry artist Michael Boyd fills his cup with newfound forms and shapes. Well known for his contemporary roll-on cuff bracelets of colorful stones and mixed metals, Boyd captured me from the start with his architectural designs. While Boyd…

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Art Toys for Adult Toddlers

One can get tired of it all and want to be entertained, but the media outlets for distraction can look old hat and boring. So why not turn to art for a bit of uplift and fun? Why not abandon the daily grind, in which one has made all that life – draining…

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Firescale Prevention During Vacuum Casting

Firescale has been the scourge of sterling silver casters since the first silver was poured into a mold. It has been a thorn in the side of silver fabricators. Fortunately there are ways to prevent fire scale while silver soldering. This paper…

Article
Argentium Sterling Silver

Standard sterling silver is not a perfect material to work with firescale adds extra production costs and the tarnishing characteristic discourages potential customers. Firescale-free, highly tarnish-resistant Argentium Sterling…

Article
Book Review – Beginner’s Guide to Enamelling

The book is based on a workshop for beginners given by the author some years ago called ‘The Second Coat’. The publisher limited the book to 64 pages and wanted step-by-step projects. Since the book is about enameling and not metal working, the…

Article
Award Winning Cufflinks by Bill Holman

These cufflinks designed by Bill Holman were award winners in the AGTA 2004 Spectrum design competition. They are 18-karat yellow gold and feature Drusy agates with a 24-karat deposition layer over the exposed crystal formation. The small…

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The Jewelry of Steff Korsage

Jewelry artist Steff Korsage followed her own determined path to find her own distinct voice, making hollow forms from metal – as individual beads and elements in eye-catching jewelry. One night in 1992, Steff Korsage had an auspicious dream.…

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Chain and Bracelet Catches 1

The first requirement of all catches is that they secure neckpieces and bracelets in such a way that they will not fall off the wearer. Once this is accomplished, there are other concerns that should be addressed. Making catches requires a high…

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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…

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950 Palladium: Making a 3-Stone Ring

When heated to high heat soldering temperatures, some 950 palladium alloys will develop a bluish-purple surface discoloration. It is easily removed by briefly and mildly heating the piece with a neutral flame. When palladium is heated to…

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950 Palladium: White Metal Alloys

Of late, an increasing number of white precious metal alloys have been introduced into the jewelry marketplace in answer to industry cries for a true white counterpart to the ever popular yellow gold. The search has been on for a workable white…

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Architectural Portraits of Vicki Ambery-Smith

For nearly 30 years, Ambery-Smith has been using architecture as an inspiration for her work. Her name has become synonymous with finely wrought precious metal jewelry, boxes, and condiment sets whose inspiration lies in Renaissance, Palladian,…

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950 Palladium: Fabricating Custom Earrings

This article examines manufacturing procedures used to hand fabricate 950 palladium earrings. These custom earrings designed by Lainie Mann feature cultured mabe pearls and pink sapphires set into hand formed and fabricated 950 palladium.…

Article
Platinum Jewelry Advanced Joining Techniques

Joining is a very important production technique in the field of jewelry production. Therefore it is useful to know, what kinds of different joining techniques are possible. This paper will give you a rough overlook on joining techniques…

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Manufacturing a Free-Form Pendant

This article features the manufacturing steps for a one-of-a-kind free-form pendant designed and created by Barney Jette. The center stone is a one-of-a-kind chrysoprase carving by Steve Walters, Ramona, CA and is highlighted by a cultured…

Article
950 Palladium: 22K Granulation Wedding Band

This band was designed and rendered using Gemvision Matrix jewelry
design software. The 22-karat granulation beads measure
approxiametely 1.0 millimeter and have a small space between them.
The 22-karat granulation…

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Platinum Alloys – Features & Benefits

In this presentation I attempted to provide you with information on platinum alloys to help you make an informed decision as to which alloy to employ for your manufacturing venture. There are several alloys I did not mention, mainly because…

Article
950 Palladium: Selling Points

Designers and manufacturers have embraced 950 palladium alloys for a variety of jewelry manufacturing products. At the recent JA Jewelry Show in New York, most prominent among the new 950 palladium products were bridal lines featuring a…

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950 Palladium: Superior White Color

Striking differences between elements such as color, tone, texture, reflection, refraction, pattern and shape create contrast. Contrast not only enhances the qualities of each juxtaposed element, but can also create a pleasing balance…

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950 Palladium: Setting Fabrication

This simple pendant design will be made with 950 palladium wire. Tack-welding technology will be used to temporarily hold the prong wires prior to soldering to the lower bezel gallery wire. The trillion shaped Danburite weighs 6.4 carats…

Article
Introduction to Weaving Metal

Textile techniques are traditionally worked with fibers such as linen, cotton and silk. However, they can also be applied to metal.
I weave high karat gold and platinum sheet and wire by hand. The process of weaving creates fabric. I shape…

Article
950 Palladium Bridal Jewelry Manufacturing

Retailers have been converting bridal inventories from white gold to palladium as manufacturers expand the selection of new palladium jewelry designs. In addition to stocking palladium pieces, they have been custom making bridal jewelry…

Article
Manufacturing Mokume Gane Jewelry

Mokume gane translated from Japanese means “wood eye metal”. This rare metal lamination process was developed and used by Japanese craftsmen in the 17th century for the adornment of samurai swords. Today, mokume gane jewelry is growing in…

Article
950 Palladium and Tahitian Pearl Earrings

These 950 Palladium earrings were designed by Tom McLaughlin of Lennons Jewelers, Syracuse, NY. The top portion of the design is bead set with small round brilliant diamonds on one side. When worn, the bottom portion swivels and is bead set…

Article
950 Palladium: Casting Procedures

With the jewelry industrys acceptance and increased use of new 950 palladium alloys for jewelry design and manufacturing, its fundamental to have a general understanding of related casting procedures. In this installment of the 950 palladium…

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950 Palladium: Manufacturing Tips and Techniques

The “other white metal” is making its presence known and it wont be long before light, bright and white 950 palladium products find their way to your workbench, either as merchandise from your store or customers jewelry taken in for service…

Article
Common FAQs for Metals Suppliers

Behold the metals supplier, lord of all things shiny. He fills your crucible with casting grain and makes sure youre always one sheet ahead of the game. But perhaps more important than his ability to make metal magically appear at your door in…

Article
How to Make a Pewter Sake Cup

Pewter, an alloy of tin, antimony, and copper, dominated European tableware for half a millennium until it was eclipsed by porcelain in the early 19th century. Now, almost two hundred years later pewter has entered a renaissance in the hands…

Article
3 Ways to Use 2-Part Epoxy Resins

Available in a wide variety of formulas, epoxy resins are used in jewelry making as adhesives, as coatings, and for casting. This reference article outlines the safety requirements for mixing and working with epoxy resins and introduces…

Article
950 Palladium: Laser Welding Techniques

According to Frank McAllister, the quantity of individual pieces of jewelry made from 950 palladium has surpassed the same for platinum products in the recent months. McAllister, CEO of the Stillwater Mining Co. calculated this based upon…

Article
950 Palladium: Finishing Procedures

Practicing specific procedures for pre-finishing and polishing of 950 palladium will make a stunning difference in the final presentation of this fine jewelry product.
finishing palladium This 950 Pd wedding band design was made…

Article
950 Palladium Bench Guide

The palladium bench guide reviews the working characteristics of palladium for the jewelry bench staff and provides an overview of the unique advantages and benefits of palladium jewelry for managers, sales professionals and consumers.…

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950 Palladium: Successful Design Considerations

Well designed 950 palladium jewelry plays to the strengths of this unique metal — the aesthetics of its light, bright, white color, weight and ‘#39;feel’#39;. It’#39;s a joy to create a beautiful piece of jewelry which delights the wearer,…

Article
950 Palladium: Unique Manufacturing Process

This Unique Settings ring is an excellent design for palladium with heavy, low-profile prongs for the 1.50 carat center diamond, ample wall thickness for setting the baguettes and supporting the overall structure and sufficient room for…

Article
950 Palladium: Gemstone Setting

Setting gemstones in 950 palladium alloys is a bench jeweler’#39;s dream. Stone setters will agree that the combination of palladium’#39;s malleability, superior strength and the near absence of memory (spring-back) when it is bent or…

Article
950 Palladium: Manufacturing Methods

Palladium, long used as a luxurious jewelry metal, has recently experienced renewed interest largely due to its purity, natural white color and affordable pricing. Modern 950 palladium alloys containing various trace elements are superior…

Article
950 Palladium: Stock Mountings and Findings

The reintroduction of white, bright and light palladium for use in the jewelry industry has quickly introduced an expanding assortment of palladium stock items offered in a variety of palladium alloys. It is very important to know about the…

Article
950 Palladium: Custom Made Components

When making custom jewelry with any alloy, certain components within the piece are often hand made to enhance the final product. In the two 950 palladium pieces featured in this article, a handmade chain and a bracelet catch are custom made…

Article
Tricks for Hollow Rings with Miniature Stakes

Make the inner band the desired size first. 18 or 20 gauge is about right. Next make the bezel or inlay unit if it is an integral part of the design. Cut a paper template of the desired ring shape from stiff paper that fits over the inner band. The top…

Article
Making Silver Whistles

Okay, so this is a bit esoteric. I mean, how many people do you know that make silver whistles. It all started with a commission from a captain of a racing yacht. He had lost his whistle and he wanted me to make one that also had the shape of a Christian…

Article
Pat Pruitt’s Stainless Steel Jewelry

Pat Pruitt of Paguate, New Mexico, has been working with stainless steel for over a decade. Three years ago, he decided to seriously commit himself to making fine jewelry from it, saying, Let me see what I can do with this, how far I can take it.…

Article
Textile Techniques in Jewelry Making

Fabrics and precious metals would seem to be total opposites, like hot and cold or yin and yang. However, despite their obvious differences in hardness, they do possess similar properties-specifically, both are pliable and elastic, and…

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 Art of Anticlastic Raising

Transforming a single sheet of metal into an undulating organic form using only a hammer and stake is the art of anticlastic raising. When the hammer hits the piece of sheet metal resting on the stake, the metal rises into curves or coils, its…

Article
Ensuring the Best Refining Experience

Today’s record metals prices have probably encouraged you to be more diligent than ever about capturing every last bit of precious metal dust in your shop. With gold in the $1,600 to $1,700 range at presstime, never before have your old polishing…

Article
Alexandra Hart – Crowning Achievement

Putting a spin on tradition, Alexandra Hart of Alexandra Hart in San Diego crafted Broollopskronan, or Bridal Crown, a regal wedding headdress. The commission from a half-Swedish bride for something unusual but still traditional had Hart…

Article
Book Review – Introduction to Precious Metals

About 15 years ago a friend showed me a copy of the first edition of Mark Grimwade’s Introduction to Precious Metals, and I immediately knew I wanted my own copy. Since the book was already out of print and I could not find one, I begged my friend…

Article
How to Hammer Metal

Stand straight, facing the work. Once you get yourself into this correct body posture, use your feet to move yourself so that your arm is comfortably bent to slightly greater than a right angle, with the face of the hammer resting on the metal…

Article
Additive Manufacturing in the Jewelry Scene

Did you ever imagine you’d see the day when a finely woven mesh bracelet with thousands of tiny links could be grown in one piece, on a machine, using 18k gold powder? Well, that day has come.
It’s jaw — dropping, really.

Today,…

Article
Key Metal Forming Terms

Some of the nomenclature used in forming will be familiar but some might be new. Air pocket, Anticlast, Axis, Axial curve/Axial line, Bay, Bouge (booj), Compound curve form, Course, Cross peen, Furrow, Monocurve form, Planish, Radial Curve/Radial…

Article
Casting an Orchid Flower

Everybody scampers for executing orders in a rush against all odds to satisfy customers or – if you’#39;re lucky – to make customers smile with a piece you’#39;ve created with your craft.
But how about yourself? Why not take the time, unwind…

Article
Basic Sawing Techniques

In this article, we will continue our Back to Basics Series with an article on Sawing techniques.

Article
Bypass Shank Ring Assembly

Rings with by-pass shanks are right hand and left hand specific and are not interchangeable. When creating a ring with a by-pass shank, the side of the shank closest to the hand should come from the side of little finger. The ring will then sit…

Article
Basic Filing Techniques

Over the years, bad habits creep into our work procedures. Periodical review of our techniques is needed to assure us that these “bad habits” are not allowed to continue to effect the quality of our work. In this article, we will continue our…

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