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Jewelry Studio Articles and Videos

Your studio setup impacts your jewelry making. Our “My Studio” articles will help you equip and organize your workspace most efficiently.

82 ARTICLES 4 PRODUCTS
Article
Kinds of Alloys

This segment from the 2017 MJSA Journal November issue is dedicated to metals, tools, software and more that aids jewelers and designers in their quest to create their masterpieces.  In this article we talk about Alloys. See related topics:…

Product
Jeweler’s LED Task Lamp with USB Port

This jeweler’s LED task lamp provides full illumination across your bench or work surface. Includes a built-in rheostat, allowing you to adjust the light’s brightness and a handy USB port, convenient for charging any USB-compatible…

Article
Plique-a-Jour Pictorial

This article Amy Roper Lyons offers two things: a Plique-a-Jour pictorial and three safety tips when handling or working with enamel. 1) Lyons has mixed her enamel powders with water and Klyr Fire (an adhesive), and they are now ready to apply…

Article
Studio Visit – Patty Spiro

Although Patty Spiro of Live Oak Studios in Chipley, Florida, doesn’t earn a living making jewelry full time, you wouldn’t know that by looking at her studio. She and her husband have transformed a spare bedroom in their octagon-shaped…

Article
MJSA July 2017 New Products

Every month MJSA choose new products that they feature on their monthly publication. Here are the three MJSA July 2017 New Products. Tune Up Kits Designed for use with the Foredom flex shaft, these 32-piece Tune-Up Kits allow users to install…

Article
Studio Visit – Milt Fischbein

Safety is key in Milt Fischbein’s studio. Milt Fischbein of Milt Fischbein Metal Arts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, recently moved his 20-year-old business into a new studio location. While he reused most of what he had in his original…

Article
MJSA June 2017 New Products

Every month MJSA choose new products that they feature on their monthly publication. Here are the three MJSA June 2017 New Products. Foredom Mobile Work Station Developed for use in small or crowded workspaces, the Foredom Mobile Work Station…

Article
A Conversation with John Marshall

John Marshall was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1936. After serving in the Armed Forces and doing construction work, Marshall began his college study in 1958 with one year of business administration. By 1960 his attention had been redirected…

Article
Studio Jewelers Sabbatical

Studio Jewelers Sabbatical. You know the feeling. No matter what you do there’s never enough time! Well, after 17 very long years I finally managed to “buy” some. Here is how, and why, I did it. Where it will lead me, only time…

Article
Tom Markusen: Holloware Maker with Integrity

It may surprise some, judging from Tom Markusen studio output, that the production objects are handmade, without the use of dyes, props or molds. The objects are smithed straight from the forge, from red to black heat, from the mid-section…

Product
Stuller Custom Jewelers Workbench

This all-wood constructed workbench has a solid Surell surface which is heat-resistant and easy to maintain. Light sanding will remove burns stains or minor scratches. It is fully-skirted and its quality hardwood construction will withstand…

Article
Equipment Maintenance Guidelines

  You pride yourself on your pristine shop. Your equipment is laid out for maximum efficiency, your tools are stored in a logical, user-friendly manner, and you can monitor workflow effectively because you are so organized. But when…

Article
Metalsmith ’86 Winter: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1986 Winter), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers and answers provided by Linda Weiss-Edwards herself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, Here is a…

Article
Metalsmith ’85 Summer: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1985 Summer), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers and answers provided by Linda Weiss-Edwards herself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, In the fall…

Article
A Metalsmith’s Guide to Toronto

In the Ojibway language, Toronto means “meeting place.” At this site on the northern shore of Lake Ontario 18th-century French and English traders met native Indians to barter for fur pelts. Today Toronto is a city of over two…

Article
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…

Article
The Goldsmiths: Studio & Shop

Reviving the virtually dead enameling technique plique-à-jour, which means “the light of day as seen through a membrane,” has been a challenge to Jean Sampel and Susan Noland since the late 1960s. Their interest in this technique,…

Article
Metalsmith ’84 Summer: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1984 Summer), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers about book on metalworking safety. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, Can you recommend any…

Article
Photographic Images on Refractory Metals

The following article explains photo techniques used to transfer images onto refractory metals. These findings were developed during my graduate studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. Traditionally photo resists…

Article
Metalsmith ’84 Spring: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1984 Spring), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers about using sumac and the effects of gas ozone. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, I frequently enhance…

Article
Metalsmith ’83 Fall: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1983 Fall), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers and answers provided by Linda Weiss-Edwards herself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, I…

Article
Metalsmith ’83 Summer: Health Hazards Q&A’s

This article page is from a segment of the Metalsmith Magazine (1983 Summer), “Health Hazards”, discussing questions from readers and answers provided by Linda herself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Linda, You are doing a…

Article
Successful Artists Collaboration

When Theo Janson and Vanessa Compton moved into the winding basement studio space on Toronto’s Markham Street in May 1978, they were not thinking that a short four years would find them moving again to a larger windowed storefront, that…

Article
A Metalsmith’s Guide to Los Angeles

This Metalsmith’s Guide to Los Angeles can be useful to metalsmiths who are new to the Los Angeles area or to people who have been living here and developed an interest in the metalsmithing world. The information is based on the experience…

Article
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…

Article
Large Scale Enameling at The Enamel Foundation

The Enamel Foundation provides the furnace and offers the use of their standard workshop tools, equipment and workshop enamels. (A word about workshop enamels, considering the investment of time and expenses, one might want to supply his/her…

Article
Jewelry Companies Help Save the Planet

Green. What was once seen as a fringe-element rallying cry has grown into a planet-changing initiative that touches countless aspects of our daily lives. Jewelry Companies Help Save the Planet One Step at a Time From the simple act of recycling…

Article
3 Tips to Overcome Workplace Dysfunction

My kids are grown now, but I still recall how effective they were at pushing each other’s buttons when they were young. They knew just how to rile one another up to create a diversion, assuage boredom, or engage in some drama. As we grow older…

Article
Teaching Enameling at the International Enamel Studio

One of the main tasks of the International Enamel Studio is to save our 1000 year-old enamel art and techniques and the other one is to help young talented people. Laszlo Gyegyadesz, director organizes courses for talented young people. Endre…

Article
Green Bench Tips – Part 1

This is the first in a two-part series on green bench tips shared by jewelers who are taking an eco-friendlier approach in their shops. Small changes at the bench can make a difference. Window to the World Jennifer Dawes, Dawes Design, Santa…

Article
3 Jewelers, 4 Tools Testing

Editor’s Note: Want to know how to make a bench jeweler’s day? Send him a box full of new tools and tell him that if he plays with those tools for a month, you’ll let him keep ’em. That’s just what we did. When planning…

Article
Large Scale Enameling at JSW Studio

After a long break we have restarted the JSW Enamel Studio, Vashind, Mumbai. A major effort was made in October 2004 to set up this facility for large scale enamel on steel with the combined efforts of Ms. Sangita Jindal and Ms. Veenu Shah of…

Article
Sansone Studio: Famous Enamel Works

Sometime around 1989 or 1990,I got a call from a friend, Steve Kissler, who owned a small gift shop in Old Town, Mariemont, Ohio. The store was called The Shaker Seed Box and featured furniture, boxes and accessories made in the Shaker style.…

Article
Studio Enameling with Jaime Frechette

It’s hard to believe how quickly this year has flown. My kids are already half way, through their first quarter of school. I have completed my last art fair of the year and I am really excited to begin my next venture. I was approached, at…

Article
Sansone Studio: Ancient Enameling Techniques

Artists Joel and Pamela Sansone are maestros of glass. Walking into the Sansone’s Studio is like stumbling upon a surprise, a vibrant gem, tucked in an obscure corner next to a dance studio and across the street from St. Mark’s-…

Article
Working Posture for Craftsmen

Many craftspeople have posture and body position problems. Ramazzini, the founder of occupational medicine and author of a groundbreaking book on diseases of workers published in 1713 writes rather cruelly (and the man was a great humanitarian…

Article
Organize Your Workspace

How you set up your shop, your working procedures and workspace can affect your safety, comfort, stress level and efficiency of making. If your shop is well planned you will be more efficient. The more efficient you are, the faster you work and…

Article
Studio Safety Evaluation

Just as a professional would do, it may be a good idea to conduct a walk-through of your shop. The kind of things you would look for and comment on include…

Article
Jewelery Workshop Ventilation

Ventilation means removing noxious materials, dusts and fumes from where you can breathe them in. It is about taking away the chance for you to breathe in chemicals and particles that can damage your lungs. Ever seen people riding around with…

Article
Dusts in the Jewelry Workshop

Dust is small particles of a material. There are dusts you can see in the air; these can be breathed in, and because the particles are fairly large, they end up in the upper portions of the lungs. Some can be cleared from the body by its natural mucus…

Article
Maintaining Good Workshop Air Quality

Four areas in the jeweler’s workshop produce harmful substances that MUST be properly removed from the shop in order to maintain the jewelers’ health. The toxic particles produced are generally chronic in nature. This means that immediate…

Article
Structuring for Efficiency in the Studio

Being more organized, and planning how you use your time will mean that you will spend less time on some jobs and you will therefore have this time available. I tell my students that they need to plan their time and work fast, smoothly and efficiently…

Article
The Teachers’ Role

I believe the teacher’s role is as a guide, an instigator, a devils advocate as well as instructor. A teacher should provoke the student to constant re-examination of their work, guide the student to objectivity and clarity in conceptualization…

Article
Separating Work and Home

Often craftspeople start out making craft objects in their living space, a kitchen, a living room, and sometimes continue working in them even when they have grown to the point that they need a separate studio. It is not wise to share one’s living…

Article
How Jewelers Approach Work Materials

This diagram shows how jewelers approach working in the field in terms of how they relate to the material. The approaches chosen will ‘filter’ the results available, that is that what kind of work you do is partly a reflection of the way you approach…

Article
Safety Issues and Litigation

After writing my recent safety book something unexpected happened. I had a number of calls from lawyers about safety issues. These guys were suing jewelry store owners in different places in the US. The litigation was on behalf of the store’s…

Article
Studio Lighting Considerations

How you light your shop, illuminate your working area, experience the reflection from surfaces and the paint you choose for the walls all have an effect on your ability to work in your studio. Poor lighting can strain the eyes, contribute to…

Article
Organize Your Bench

The next time you sit down at your bench, don’t think of it as just a bench. Think of it as the cockpit of a plane. That’s right, a plane. Sure, there are differences: Instead of dials, switches, and throttles, you have files, saws, and burnishers.…

Article
Proper Use of Liquid Metals

Applying liquid gold, palladium and/or silver in the final firing of enamel pieces is something that can frequently raise the appearance of a completed piece up to the spectacular. More enamelers should use them, but they should also learn…

Article
Studio Visit – Gary Noffke

Remote by design, the home and studio of Gary Noffke do indeed take you to that ‘other place.’ Once you have cleared the formidable driveway, you are on a rise that resonates with the echoes of the active creek below. The smell of fresh ginger in…

Article
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…

Article
Studio Visit – Andrew Goss and Sandra Noble Goss

Some artists leave the big city reluctantly, chased out by high rents. For Owen Sound, Canada-based jewelers Andrew Goss and Sandra Noble Goss, living away from an urban center was a conscious choice that has driven their careers. The pair…

Article
Maximizing Bench Work Profitability

Jeffrey Johnson has two stores, 18 bench jewelers, and over 100 employees-and he still has time to work at the bench. ‘I wouldn’t be who I am without the bench,’ he says. That’s why he’s got one set up in his office among leather arm chairs, file…

Article
Studio Visit – Doug Wilson

Sarah’s Way is the name of the short dirt road leading up to Wilson’s studio and home. He, his wife mixed-media artist Jennifer Morrow Wilson, their eight-year-old daughter Sarah, and ‘Dog’ the dog live here. It is a two-story wooden frame home…

Article
Studio Visit – Jeffrey Herman

Jeffrey Herman is an accomplished silversmith, master of holloware repair, and the founding director of the Society of American Silversmiths. His live/work space includes areas devoted to each of these specialties. The front door opens…

Article
Studio Visit – Abrasha’s Studio

Abrasha occupies about 300 square feet of neat, well organized space. Unlike many jewelers, who make do with garages, kitchen tables, barns, and industrial offices, often characterized by a lack of light, he enjoys a corner office with large…

Article
Studio Visit – Daniel Brush

The intimate bond between Brush’s creative and personal life is evident upon entering his Manhattan loft. The kitchen and dining area abut a well-equipped machine shop, while bedrooms peak out from behind a white gallery wall. The loft’s…

Article
Studio Visit – Metalpeople

Artist’s with shared sensibilities and needs often come together to form co-operative studios in order to reduce overhead, share equipment, and develop a greater sense of community. In 1989, with these goals in mind, Paulette Werger, Lynn…

Article
The Patina Studio

It is impossible to pretend that a single description of tools, materials, and equipment will suit all needs. Obviously these elements will depend on the scale of the work you do, the layout of your studio, and the resources at your disposal.…

Article
Studio Visit – Christina Smith

Keeping a life in balance isn’t easy, and for the studio artist it’s a push-pull between dealing with the outside world and making time and space for creativity. California artist Christina smith manages to do both, at the price of working a…

Article
Build an Advanced Jeweler’s Bench

This sophisticated bench costs a little more and is a bit more difficult to make than the one on the preceding page, but the extra effort will be repaid by years of efficient work. Use this pattern as a starting point, but feel free to make changes…

Article
Build a Basic Jeweler’s Bench

This bench has been designed so it can be made from easily available materials without sophisticated woodworking equipment. People with woodworking skills might use these ideas as a point of departure.

Article
Safety Notes for Jewelers on Pitch, Chasing and Repousse

An ancient system of working metals, this procedure uses steel punches to manipulate the metal while it is fixed onto a pitch or tar-like material. There are traditional pine-resin pitches and modern petroleum-based ones. The petroleum-based…

Article
Studio Visit – Tom Joyce

The anvil anchors his studio. Rows of hammers and tools along one long wall communicate with the storage of rolling stock on another. Hung from the ceiling, a forged iron spike pierces a fluted-edge home of newspaper. That is a Joyce sculpture,…

Article
Innovative Approaches to Small Shop Success

When most of us talk about innovation, we are talking about new tools and techniques. But innovation is not exclusively about technology. It is about the way technology is used. A look behind the scenes in many small shops proves that new technology…

Article
Metalsmithing Health Hazards

Very little research has been done on the medical problems of artists as a direct result of occupational health hazards. Most research has been done for industrial-type situations. In many cases, industrial workers have greater volume of…

Article
Patination Safety Considerations

Jewelers use so-called -oxidising- solutions to darken metals like silver, copper, brass, nickel silver, bronze and, with specialized mixtures, on gold. Metalsmiths patinate both large and small objects, as well as jewelry. We usually…

Article
Studio Visit – Cynthia Eid

Consisting of three small rooms crammed with tooks, boxes, and books (including a spare bathroom complete with shower stall/patina spray booth), the studio is part and parcel of Eids home. This is not a grand sanctuary, it is the workspace…

Article
Studio Visit – Daniel Jocz

Upon reaching the porch of Daniel Joczs Cambridge studio and home, I recalled having been there briefly for a party during one of Mass Arts successful symposiums more than seven years earlier. Jocz and I met again at Haystacks New Works workshop…

Article
10 Key Ingredient of Retail Success

After 30 years in the jewelry industry working as a bench jeweler, sales professional, manager and owner, Michael Gerwig had a very clear image of how he wanted to establish and build his new store in Fayetteville, AR. He envisioned Michael-Seigler…

Article
Studio Visit – Fred Fenster

With barely a square inch unoccupied, Fensters studio is tightly
packed into that basement space. The setup reflects the breadth of
his love affair with metal, with areas designated for spinning and
other lathe work, forming,…

Article
The Jewelers and Asbestos

Asbestos is a real problem for jewelers. When I was first a student in 1974, we had a bucket of loose asbestos fibers under the soldering bench; we would take a handful and moisten it with water to form a clay-like blob to hold things together for…

Article
Sand Casting Safety Notes

Sand casting is used extensively for large-scale casting, such as engine blocks, and the grates that one sees around trees in cities on sidewalks, and sand casting used to be the primary method of casting in the jewelry field, and still, in some…

Article
Organizing a Jeweler’s Studio

For Howard Woods of Eagle, Idaho, a jewelers studio should be a place of beauty – organized beauty – that fuels creativity. An inspiring painting of a Southwest landscape by one of his favorite artists, Lon Megargee of Arizona, hangs above the…

Article
Calculating ROI for Tool and Equipment Purchases

Whether youre running a 15-person workshop or a 400-worker factory, you should know before buying whether a piece of equipment will provide an adequate return on investment (ROI). In other words, “Is this going to pay?”.

Article
How to Refuse Big Orders

Refusing a big order may sound like a business mistake, but sometimes saying no pays. Sales do not equal profit, It is incredibly easy to not make any money. Breaking a deal down into its crucial components, whether its the sales price or conditions…

Article
Jeweler’s Workday: Sitting and Looking at the Bench

In the Jewelers Bench Book, the MJSA/Ganoksin project published in spring 2008, there is an extensive look at what happens in the working space, where you sit and move as a goldsmith. Two of the areas addressed including sitting and looking…

Article
105 Jewelers Bench Comments

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…

Article
Studio Visit – Nanopod Hybrid Studio

At Nanopod Hybrid Studio in Toronto, owner and chief alchemist Tosca Terran forms metal and glass into elegant adornments of otherworldly beauty. Under her leadership students learn to manipulate materials, and follow her path in the creation…

Article
Studio Visit – Namu Cho

Set in a deeply wooded area of Bethesda, Maryland, Namu Chos brick house at first appears to be similar to those of his neighbors. Yet this resemblance stops abruptly at his front door, hand carved with an imposing image of two eagles, the larger…

Article
Studio Visit – Jack and Marilyn da Silva

Most jewelers and sculptors are quite satisfied to have one studio of their own. Between them, Jack and Marilyn da Silva have four — each have one for their day jobs, Jacks Metals Design Studio in El Sobrante, California is a third, and then there…

Article
Novell Design Studio

At Novell Design Studio, efficiency, quality, and service get a jolt of passion
You can hear the passion in Bruce Pucciarello’s voice when he talks about what it means to keep his jewelry manufacturing operation in the U.S. When you walk…

Article
Gregore Morin’s Studio Makeover

Many jewelers modify their studios to be more efficient. Gregore Morin renovated his studio not only for efficiency, but also for beauty and tranquility. With walls only partially dry walled and a ceiling with no drywall and insulation hanging…

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