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Metals Articles and Videos

Jewelry makers need to know their metals. Our articles cover gold, silver, and other popular metals and techniques and tools for working with them.

165 ARTICLES 34 VIDEOS 2 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
Hydrogen Torch System, Single Torch

Soldering with power generated by this hydrogen torch system is a terrific alternative to using pressurized fuel and oxygen tanks in your shop! This state-of-the-art system, designed to meet a full range of jewelers’ needs, is extremely…

Article
Discussion on Refiner Methods

Shawna Kulpa takes a look into the assaying methods refiners use to determine the value of a lot. This article is a discussion on refiner methods from the journey a piece of metal goes through to how much they are worth. It seems so mysterious: …

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
Susan Kingsley: Enlightened Embranglements

Susan Kingsley’s work has involved a long, determined struggle with the role of a woman artist in the field of jewelry and metalsmithing. In her new, introspective series of sculptures, she has turned to fashioning objects of utility…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
Tips for Recovering Precious Metal Particles

Most jewelers know how to handle their precious metal scraps: they separate their scraps by metal, dry out ultrasonic solutions so they just ship the metal-infused sludge, and they keep their bench sweeps separate. But what about the precious…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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?…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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,…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
Technical Briefs: All About Metals

This entry marks the beginning of a new, regular column in Metalsmith. It will deal with technical concerns of interest to a wide audience, addressing topics as diverse as vanguard technology and ancient arts. It will answer questions from…

Article
Reticulation of Shakudo and Shibuichi

For a number of years I have been exploring the use of the Japanese alloy shakudo in ways other than mokumegane. I was interested in its coloring properties and use in marriage of metal. In 1982. I started coloring it with heat rather than chemicals,…

Article
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…

Article
Copper Granulation Technique

Granulation, a technique used in jewelry and metalwork, is the decorative use of minute metal granules attached to the surface of the same metal, or, in some cases, attached to each other. In attaching the granules to a surface or to each other,…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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.…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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.…

Article
Anodizing Principles Update

Although the basic anodizing principles involved in the reactive metals have been discussed in the past, a deeper insight into the process can aid the artist in solving some of the technical problems encountered. The publication of my thesis,…

Article
Creating Colorful Jewelry Designs

When most people think of colored jewelry, their minds conjure visions of rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. After all, jewelry makers have been relying on gemstones to add color to their work for thousands of years. But there are other ways…

Article
Safer Pickle Alternative

Procrastination can sometimes lead to wonderful discoveries. Tom Arnold, owner of Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Virginia, found this out first hand, when his avoidance of a particularly nasty sizing job led him to whittle away some time…

Article
Nickel White Gold Welding

In this article I will be referring to terms that I have defined in previous articles. If you wish to read those articles in the order that they are meant to be read, contact me at lasers@mantech.info, or 619-239-5842. Nickel White Gold, (Ni WG),…

Article
Pulse Shaping Test, 14k Ni WG

The following is one method of adjusting parameters after altering the pulse shape. This article is not intended to promote pulse shaping as a means of welding nickel white gold, (Ni WG). More importantly, it is primarily intended as a report…

Article
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…

Article
Creating a Two Tone Ring

In this issue I’m going to walk you through the creation of a ring with two different colors of gold. My soon-to-be sister-in-law (Kelly) began talking to me about what she wanted in her wedding ring. Of course the first thing that stood…

Article
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,…

Article
Electric Kiln Fired Mokume Gane Part 2

In this article in the series we will go to billet forging and making a simple wedding band in a star pattern. See previous article (link below) for a short history of Mokume gane, prep work and trimming of billet forging. Processing the Billet…

Article
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…

Article
Platinum Granulation Process

Granulation, a process dating back a lot longer than I can remember, is clearly one of jewelry histories most prominent techniques for artistry and decoration. The traditional technique of granulation consists of fusing or soldering minute…

Article
Electric Kiln Fired Mokume Gane Part 3

This last installment of this series on Mokume Gane  will focus on the different Mokume Gane pattern techniques and the different tools used to achieve these patterns. Links of previous articles are provided below. Mokume Gane Pattern…

Article
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…

Article
Platinum Consideration Factors

Jurgen J Maerz of the Platinum Guild International USA outlines factors to consider when adding platinum to your line of manufactured jewelry. Technical education is the key successfully manufacturing platinum jewelry. Platinum is often…

Article
Electric Kiln Fired Mokume Gane Part 1

This is the first part of a series on Electric Kiln Fired Mokume Gane. Here we will focus on a short history of Mokume gane, prep eration work and trimming of billet forging. The first time I laid my eyes on a Mokume Gane piece I was hooked on learning……

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
CAD/CAM Systems for Metals and Jewelry

If you are involved with computers you know how rapidly things are changing, prices are sinking and capabilities increasing. Computer use in increasing in the jewelry field and at some point, probably sooner than you think you will see computers…

Article
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…

Article
Gold and Silver – The Noble Metals

Gold and silver have long been esteemed as the king and queen of metals, for good reason. No other members of the mineral family surpass these two metals in nobility.

Article
Niello Metal Mixture

Niello is a deep black metal mixture that is fused onto metal for decorative effect. Though worked on three-dimensional objects, the effect might be considered graphic because it relies primarily on shape and pattern. The contrast of the…

Article
Cupric Nitrate Patination of Metals

This patination solution gives you a range of greens, olives, browns, black, turquoise and yellow-greens on many metals because it is a surface finish. It is quite adhesive and controllable. You do however need adequate ventilation.

Article
Metals For Enameling

The most commonly used metals for enameling are pure copper and fine silver. The fine silver is primarily used for jewelry because of its cost, color and the advantage of not producing a firescale coat like copper does when it is fired. The copper…

Article
Metals Safety Information

Goldsmiths work with metals. Our bodies react to metals, their dusts, salts and oxides. The metals that jewelers come in contact with include gold, copper, silver, zinc, iron, steel, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, titanium, niobium,…

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Testing Precious Metals and Alloys

The purpose of precious metal testing is to determine, first, whether a given sample is precious or base, and, second, to determine what proportion of an alloy is precious. Sophisticated equipment is used in a precious metal laboratory to…

Article
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…

Article
Gold Jewellery Tarnishing

Tarnishing is superficial corrosion of the carat gold surface and is evident by a usually dark discolouration – the tarnish film. Pure gold, of course, is not susceptible to tarnishing and this property is generally not greatly reduced by…

Article
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…

Article
Metals Suitable for Enameling

The purpose of this article is two fold. First, we receive a number of inquiries as to whether or not certain metals can be enameled. This article will answer most of those questions. Second, we have all read statements such as, ‘Gilding metal…

Article
The Metal Underneath

In this article, I will discuss the basics of metal preparation for the enameling process. Some experienced enamelists may disagree with part of this. But remember, these are general rules from a metallurgist’s point of view, not an enamelist’s.…

Article
Refining Gold Jewelry Scraps

When questions arise about manufacturing quality gold jewelry, manufacturers are eager to talk shop with their peers and industry experts. They want to know if they are using the right alloy for a specific application, casting at the appropriate…

Article
Maximizing Refining Returns

Platinum jewelry manufacturing presents some very different concerns when discussing the collection of materials for refining purposes. The assumption that methods used for gold and silver collection and recovery can be used for platinum…

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
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
Inquartation and Parting Refining Process

The small-medium scale refiner (typically up to 3-4 kg per batch) tends to adopt the Aqua Regia process as being a relatively straightforward technique, capable of producing gold with a purity in excess of 99.9%. The essential steps in the…

Article
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,…

Article
Alloys – Look on the White Side

In the jewelry industry, it’s rare to have an alloy without drawbacks, particularly when the alloy is not yellow. When designing alloys, there are a number of hurdles to jump. First, color is absolutely critical. Unfortunately, we alloy designers…

Article
Working With Niobium

Niobium has many properties that make it an excellent candidate for fabricated parts. Of particular interest to jewelry manufacturers and designers are niobium’s hypoallergenic nature, formability, and the broad range of anodized colors…

Article
Casting Gold to Platinum for the Jewelry Industry

The principle of bi-metal casting is really very simple: A wax model is invested, cast and finished. A secondary wax is created, which is going to become part of this piece. The wax is attached to the first casting, re-invested and the metal is…

Article
Transformation of Metal into Metaphor

The origins of metallurgy are shrouded in mystery, contributing to the mythology that dev eloped around the metalsmith’s art. With some variations this tradition existed in ancient China , Africa , and Europe but stemmed from roots so archaic…

Article
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.…

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
Soumak on Metal

Soumak is a textile technique which is commonly found in the weaving of rugs in the Middle East. The technique has been around for a couple of thousand years and primarily has been used in cloth. As I learned various techniques of weaving in gold…

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Platinum Durability vs Scratching

There is a major difference between durability and scratch resistance. Platinum is very durable. When scratched, the scratch actually displaces the metal, leaving ridges on the edges of the scratch. This is where durability comes in. Whereas…

Article
Cloisonne Cup – A Noble Chalice

Who has not dreamt of that nobly shaped chalice, enameled all over with immaculate transparents… maybe just one fine gold line winding around its outside… so elegantly understated, so utterly simple… That is poetry. It would neither…

Article
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…

Article
White Metals and Alloys Testing

In practice an experienced eye will usually be able to determine by color and luster whether a piece is made of silver, a base white metal such as nickel silver, or a precious white alloy such as white gold or platinum. If this can be determined…

Article
Cold Forging of Karat Gold Findings

Cold forging in the karat gold jewelry industry has sometimes been referred to as stamping, coining and die striking. This process has been used throughout history in the making of coins and medals as well as jewelry. Cold forging basics will…

Article
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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The Price of Gold

While gold’s mystique is indisputable, we must resist being so entranced by its luster that we fail to recognize and consider the realities of gold at the beginning of the twenty first century. The ecologic, economic, social, and political…

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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…

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Choosing the Right White Gold

The popularity of white gold has us all looking to the most perplexing gold we use. Perplexing a variety of ways. Why would we want to ‘colorize’ gold at all? Design creativity of course, but the color purists (you know who you are) have their say…

Article
Lamination of Non Ferrous Metals by Diffusion

We have been interested in Mokume-gane for a number of years. The only information we could find was by the soldering of different metals, cutting in half, resoldering to increase the number of layers and then exposing those laminates by punching…

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Enameling On Fine Silver Metal Clay

Enameling on pieces made from Precious Metal Clay is a joy! The clay is malleable and will take any shape or texture: it handles like ordinary clay before it is sintered. After the sintering, the material is usable in a variety of enameling techniques.…

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Shaping Non Ferrous Metals

The motivation for undertaking this research was to establish a more expedient process to achieve volumetric forms in non ferreous metals. With the availability of commercial seamless tubings it seemed logical to develop working techniques…

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Coil Metal Corrugation

While researching ancient design I have been fascinated with basic shapes from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, ancient Celts, pictographs and petroglyphs. Did you know that zigzag or wave pattern was the earliest symbolic motif recorded?…

Article
Contemporary Metal Furniture

In cast iron we recognize only the machine-made copy of a copy; in wrought-iron we feel the presence of the thought which the craftsman has stamped upon his work. One brings us face to face with matter; the other with mind… Purveyors of cast…

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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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Metal Salt Etching, Resists and Resist Removal

Metalsmiths and enamelists have used ferric chloride for several years as a safer alternative to nitric acid for copper and brass etching purposes. Although it is generally thought of as etching with an acid, ferric chloride is actually a…

Article
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…

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Optimising Gold Alloys for Manufacturing

Standard yellow gold alloys which are based on gold-silver copper can be used for many production processes. They could be called ‘all-purpose’ alloys. However, optimising the alloys for the particular manufacturing process…

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Metal Rolling and Drawing

Rolling can be thought of as a local, or isolated, deformation process during which thickness is decreased, length increased, and width remains unchanged. Drawing is different from rolling in that the pressure of drawing it not transmitted…

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Aluminum: Welded and Wearable

The purpose of this paper is to acquaint the reader with the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing aluminum as a material for construction of wearable ornaments. In high-purity form aluminum is soft and ductile. Most commercial uses,…

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Heat Treating Metals

Heat treatment changes the microstructure of a metal or alloy. It is a process that may be applied after casting, or during or after fabrication. Since mechanical properties, such as strength, ductility, hardness, and toughness, and chemical…

Article
Coloring Techniques for Metalsmiths

Jewelers are a restless and inquisitive group. Not content with producing sumptuous jewelry, they spray it with chemicals, dip it in acids or torch it. Just to see what happens. On a good day, what happens is colored metal. However, the unpredictability,…

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Alloying Gold for Granulation

An alloy is by definition a mixture of two or more metals to create different strengths and colors. For granulation, the following formula is preferred. It is important to start with pure metals. Even trace amounts of impurities can result…

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
Platinum Alloy Applications for Jewelry

Today, platinum is enjoying its renaissance. In the U.S., platinum consumption has risen by more than 700% since 1990. More jewelers are carrying platinum jewelry, and consumers are becoming more aware of the most noble of all metals. Many…

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The New MJSA/WGC White Gold Color Index

Have you ever noticed how white gold varies in color? Many folks think white gold is the same color as rhodium because all the white gold they ever saw was plated with rhodium. Others who have bought very inexpensive white gold have seen the “real”…

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Introduction to Japanese Alloys

Japanese artists have contributed significantly by using their unique alloys in innovative combinations. Perhaps the best example of this is mokume-gane, a lamination process in which layers of various alloys are manipulated to create…

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Producing Semi-Fabricated Platinum Products

It is also vital to know the basic forms of semi-fabricated Platinum product that are generally available and how to best use them in completing a jewelry project. This article addresses three forms of semi-fabricated platinum product: sheet,…

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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…

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Colored Karat Golds for Investment Casting

In modern melting and casting technology, the need for products able to front competition in the field of quality and price encourages the development of new alloys that can guarantee better performance. Most significant innovations have…

Article
Testing Platinum Enhanced Gold

Following the release of its Sterling with Platinum alloy, ABI Precious Metals in Carson, California, has developed yellow gold alloys that contain platinum. Having had success casting the Sterling with Platinum, we were curious to see…

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Testing the X1 White Gold

When it comes to white gold, my customers want the brightest, whitest white they can get — and some are not willing to pay the premium prices palladium can command. So where do manufacturers turn for a bright white alloy that doesn ot require…

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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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Working with White Gold

White gold jewelry is a hot fashion trend that does not show signs of cooling off any time soon. Manufacturers are producing it, retailers are buying it, and consumers are demanding it, but none have a clear definition of what alloys can truly…

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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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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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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…

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Fine Matte on Metal Surfaces

A micro-waterjet device can be used to achieve fine matt finishes on precious metal surfaces. Parts required for this are: jet or wet lap hammer, slow-running compressor, vacuum apparatus, and pressure sprayer.

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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…

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Gold of Africa: Jewellery and Ornaments from Ghana

Now this is a truly attractive book. One of those coffee table type books dripping with gorgeous National Geographic quality photos, or maybe Smithsonian quality – and all about metal and gold objects. Besides being a beautiful book full of…

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Changing Metals Market Pricing

As you may have noticed (Id be astonished if you hadnt), prices for gold and silver, platinum too, are on the rise. First, a word of advice: Dont panic, it doesnt mean we are going to have to price ourselves out of our markets. Now if only we can convince…

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Argentium Sterling Road Testing

Invented in 1996 by Peter Johns, a professor of silversmithing at Englands Middlesex University, Argentium[R] Sterling Silver, like traditional sterling silver, is at least 92.5 percent pure silver. But unlike traditional sterling,…

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Platinum – Sterling Alloy

Throughout the history of jewelry making, metalsmiths have strived to perfect not only their artistry, but their materials as well. In this ongoing quest, innovative metallurgists have produced new white metals in an attempt to combine…

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Palladium Q&As

Its no secret that palladium has captured the attention of the industry. In 2005, purchase of palladium for jewelry use worldwide shot up by 54 percent, according to Johnson Mattheys Platinum 2006, and this past year has seen a proliferation…

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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…

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How to Make Your Own Locket

Before photography, lockets were decorated with miniature, handpainted portraits — a luxury few could afford. The advent of affordable photographic miniatures propelled the locket to the forefront of jewelry fashion during the sentimental…

Article
Using Coils To Bend Tubing

Many tools sold in model/hobby stores can be used for jewelry making. During a recent visit to a hobby shop, I found these tube bending coils, which model makers use to build models that require bent tubing. Jewelry makers will find these coils…

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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…

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Messages on Jewelry Designs

As many and varied as the reasons may be to publicize a message or to make a very personal statement, the manners in which one can go about accomplishing it are equally manifold. Some people sit down and write a book — others design jewelry.

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The Secret Life of Solder

Understanding why solders melt and how they flow is fundamental to mastering soldering techniques. The alloys we use every day to solder our work undergo some amazing transformations as we heat them. If you can stay with me through this article…

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Pickling Notes

Jewelers treat soldered objects with dilute acid solutions to remove oxides produced from heating and soldering as well as glassy flux residues. This process is called pickling. I believe the term comes from the chemical jewelers once used…

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Casting Notes for Silver Lost Wax Casting

Casting of silver can be fairly easy and these notes are the results of my experience through trial and error as well as instruction from an experienced jeweler and instructor. Mark Ruby the instructor for the Fort Collins Senior Center was…

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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.…

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Joseph Trippetti – Cloisonne on Steel

When Joseph Trippetti returned from the Army in 1946, he studied for three years at Philadelphia College of Art and the fourth year at Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts in England, where he majored in silversmithing. He has been enameling…

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Causes & Prevention of Defects in Wrought Alloys

Much of the recent literature on defects that occur in jewellery manufacture is focused on those occurring in lost wax investment casting. However, defects can also occur during casting of ingot and its fabrication into sheet, tube, wire…

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Recycling Gold from Electronics

With over 300 tonnes of gold used in electronics each year, end-of-life electronic equipment offers an important recycling potential for the secondary supply of gold. With gold concentrations reaching 300-350 g/t for mobile phone handsets…

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The Trouble with Pyrite

The first reference that I have that links copperas with the collection of fossils is found in the ‘Life and letters of Edward Lhwyd (second Keeper of the MUSEUM ASHMOLEANUM) Oxford March 28th. 1695’. Below is an excerpt from ‘A Museum of the…

Article
How To Make Leaves from Metal

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…

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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…

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Photoetching Metal Using Photocopy Transfer

Photoetching metal is simple AND FUN! Etching can be used for printing processes, as an artifact of art, or for roller print embellishment. It involves a mordant (acid) to etch an image onto metal and a resist to repel the mordant. A resist can…

Article
Touchstone Method for Testing Karat Gold Purity

There are a few scientific methods for precisely determining karat gold purity, some destructive (fire assay) and others nondestructive (X-ray florescence). Both methods require costly equipment, special procedures and a well-lit and…

Article
Debunking Three Myths About Sawing

In thinking about the daily tasks that I undertake at the bench, I realized how easy it is to fall back on old habits, and to make assumptions and generalizations, particularly about the accuracy of things that I was taught early on in my career.…

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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
Coloring Titanium Sculptures with a Torch

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…

Article
Working With Alternative Metals

With the high price of gold, jewelry makers are looking to incorporate alternative metals into their lines. I frequently work with palladium and stainless steel in my shop. The following are a few tips and tricks you can use to work more effectively…

Article
Enameling on Sterling Silver

I enamel on various metals making a variety of pieces from post earrings to 5″ x 8″ framed enamels. The enameling techniques I use for sterling silver are cloisonnE, champlevE and plique-a-jour. When I began enameling in 1971, it was accepted…

Article
Different Coloured Gold Alloys

From ancient times, gold has been used mostly in decorative items, and the colour of gold plays an important role in this application field. Different methods have been developed to objectively characterize the colour. This paper describes…

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
Kliar Vibrant Colors for Metal Jewelry

Adding vibrant colors to jewelry can involve any number of methods — from careful enameling by hand to the high-tech physical vapor deposition (PVD) process. But what if you could use a simple method similar to rhodium plating in your shop…

Article
Hard 22 Carat Gold Alloy

The jewellery market is looking for harder high-carat gold alloys that are more resistant to wear and scratching. Current research is addressing this need, and this paper discusses the development of a hard 22 carat gold alloy for jewellery…

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,…

Video
Casting

Video showing how the casting process is made.

Video
Smelting Iron in Africa

Smelting iron from ore by a smith family in West Africa. The only complete, high quality video of iron smelting in Africa. Making charcoal, digging ore and flux, building the kiln, firing the kiln, sacrifices, smelting the iron, forging the…

Video
How to make a silver metal clay pendant

Watch this short video from www.mastered.co and learn how to make a silver metal clay pendant. The full course is available here: https://www.mastered.co/courses/6?utm_source=Ganoskin&utm_medium=video&utm_campaign=SMC……

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Palladium Melt

How to use a TIG torch to melt scrap 950 TruPd for an ingot. Follow Ganoksin Guide to Industry Web Sites Mfr.#8 Lindsey Jewelers.

Video
Anneal Your Metal

Melissa Muir demonstrates and discusses how to properly anneal metal with a torch…

Video
Touchstone Method for Testing Purity in Karat Gold

There are a few scientific methods for precisely determining karat gold purity, some destructive (fire assay) and others nondestructive (X-ray florescence). Both methods require costly equipment, special procedures and a well-lit and…

Video
Silver refining

A micro-scale experiment explaining some principles related to the refining process of silver.

Video
Loop in Loop Chain

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. Learn an old technique to create a contemporary look! Make a beautiful chain made of interweaving loops-a method developed by the Greeks and Romans. For more projects and jewelry-making know-how, visit…

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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
Fibula Brooch

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. Create a piece of history! The Greeks and Romans invented the first safety pin to hold up their togas, and now you can create your own brooch with the same technique. The curly-cue spring mechanism, along with…

Video
Mokume Gane Washer Ring

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. With your Swanstrom disc cutter, a mallet and a ring mandrel, you can create simple, beautiful rings in minutes. Make a continuous, seamless ring out of a sheet of mokum gane, the Japanese alloy metal made…

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Metal Work with the microfold brake

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. Are you ready to try an innovative, new technique created by Jack Berry that you can employ for your jewelry designs? Learn how to make a pair of microfold earrings and be prepared to get hooked on an exciting…

Video
Wire Fibula Brooch

A Beads Baubles and Jewels project. Add some pizzazz to your Wire Fibula Brooch! This is your opportunity to get creative and add a variety of different design elements. Refer to the Sheet Fibula Brooch step-by-step video for a basic tutorial…

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Spinning

Spinning a silver chalice base. Ditchling, East Sussex…

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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…

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Daniel and Jurgen discuss platinum alloys – Part 2

One fine day at Fine Gold in Ontario, CA, Daniel Ballard (PMWest) and Jurgen Maerz (Dir technical education- Platinum Guild) were doing some test castings at Fine Gold. They were both doing “high speed” three hour wax to cast work.…

Video
Daniel and Jurgen discuss platinum alloys – Part 1

One fine day at Fine Gold in Ontario, CA, Daniel Ballard (PMWest) and Jurgen Maerz (Dir technical education- Platinum Guild) were doing some test castings at Fine Gold. They were both doing “high speed” three hour wax to cast work.…

Video
Gold Refining – Part 2

The latest in “Daniel And Roberts’ Demonstration Series” is a two part video. Part one is the preparation and acid dissolution of the gold and Part Two is the precipitation of the pure gold back into a useful form. As usual…

Video
Gold Refining – Part 1

The latest in “Daniel And Roberts’ Demonstration Series” is a two part video. Part one is the preparation and acid dissolution of the gold and Part Two is the precipitation of the pure gold back into a useful form. As usual…

Video
Pouring Sheet and Wire Ingots

Jay Whaley demonstrates how to use a convertible steel ingot mold, melting dishes, and a new wire handled ingot pouring tool, to create sheet and wire stock in sterling silver. An acetylene torch is used in this demonstration to melt and pour…

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Making 950 Platinum Ruthenium Alloy

Filmed at Kraftwerks from PM West, Robert Lumabao demonstrates how one refiner makes beautiful and reliable platinum casting grain. By utilizing hydrogen, a spectacular light show of molten platinum is carefully blended with pure ruthenium.…