Learning Center

Step-by-Step Tutorials

This How To’s category is a collection of procedures to guide and aid jewelry makers and jewelry enthusiasts on from customizing and modifying tools, metal forming and manipulation, to creating other works of art.

171 ARTICLES 6 VIDEOS
Article
The Creation of The Quickening

In the early 1980’s, I made a drawing based on the theme of transformation, a sudden, intuitive grasp of reality – an epiphany. When it came time to make a new enamel to enter the Enamelist Society exhibition “Surfacing,” I had an epiphany,…

Article
Single File

A step-by-step guide to single-row pavé settings   Single-row pavé, which consists of a single row of small diamonds set into a narrow strip of metal, is a beautiful use of melee and one of the most popular setting styles today. While…

Article
Guide to Fishtail Settings

One of the most popular setting styles today, fishtail settings are one of the few setting methods that show off melee really well. It gets its name from the fact that when viewed from the side, the prongs flare out into two sections that resemble…

Article
Securing Curved Stones for Easy Drilling

Securing curved stones when drilling can be a bit difficult. I use recycled ceramic china, beach pebbles, sea and river glass, and pottery shards in many of my cold connected pieces, which means I need to drill holes— a lot of holes. Very often,…

Article
How to Create a Basic Link Chain

Making a simple or basic link chain to display your pendant designs is a great way to add further value to your work, and it can be a fairly easy process. When I make my own chain, I like to use 16 gauge (1.3 mm in diameter) wire. This gauge……

Article
Preparing 3D Acrylic Photopolymer Patterns

Editors Note: This article is excerpted from “A New Method for Preparing 3D Acrylic Photopolymer Patterns for Investment Casting,” a paper by James Binnion that was published in the proceedings of the 2016 Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry…

Article
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…

Article
Step-by-Step Guide to Upsizing Rings

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

Article
Creating Beading Pliers Accessory Bezel Settings

Sometimes, holding on to really little parts is the greatest challenge of my day. I use tiny cabochons almost daily for rings and stone-on-stone work, and I can’t tell you how many 5 mm bezels I have mangled or lost trying to sand, polish,…

Article
Step by Step Guide to Fishtail Settings

One of the most popular setting styles today, fishtail settings are one of the few setting methods that show off melee really well. It gets its name from the fact that when viewed from the side, the prongs flare out into two sections that resemble…

Article
Creating Equal Divisions in Stone Setting

Below are steps for an easy way to create equal divisions in setting stones that jewelers need to know. Dividing something into equal parts is something jewelers do all the time. For example, you may have to set stones equally around a ring band…

Article
Practical Course in Goldsmithing

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 (Figure 1). 1 Fine-grain material…

Article
Vertical Photography Set

This vertical photography set can be constructed inexpensively to photograph small objects such as jewelry and vessels from high angles. Make the modified box of ¾” plywood, about 12 inches wide and 16 inches deep, with a height of…

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
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…

Article
Flat Topped Solitaire Setting

The Flat Topped Solitaire Setting is a popular style setting that is slightly more complicated to set than the standard solitaire mounting. I prefer this ring design as it makes the smaller stone app ear slightly larger in its overall appearance.…

Article
Creating a 14KW Rubellite Tourmaline Pendant

Steve Satow describes the procedure on creating a 14KW Rubellite Tourmaline Pendant. Creating a 14KW Rubellite Tourmaline Pendant Beginning components are two 14kw pendants, a lobster claw, a 6mm jump ring, a 16 inch strand of 6mm pearls…

Article
Customized Earring Setting Pliers

Steve Satow shows the procedure for a customized earring setting pliers using a normal setting pliers. Normal setting pliers can be modified to set stones in loose heads and earrings. Please wear your safety glasses. Most setting pliers have…

Article
Bezel Setting Using a Lathe

Bezel setting the center sapphire is normally pretty straight-forward, but I would like to share a few tricks that have helped me improve the outcome. Please follow along as I bezel set this sapphire using a lathe or a watch-maker’s lathe.…

Article
Fabricating a Free Form Opal Pendant

I received this opal from a woman who had cut it years ago. Her customer was aware it had a small chip on the corner and she was leery of setting it. I wasn’t sure if it had been kept hydrated or if it was more brittle that usual. She…

Article
Step by Step Guide to Single Row Pave Settings

Single-row pavé, which consists of a single row of small diamonds set into a narrow strip of metal, is a beautiful use of melee and one of the most popular setting styles today. While more difficult than prong or bezel setting, it is a great first…

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
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
Casting Investment Materials and Applications

The casting investment process enjoys wide popularity in the production of commercial and one-of-a-kind art metal objects. However, production practice varies widely. At one extreme, design renderings are turned over to a production…

Article
How to Construct a Portable Photographic Studio

The successful documentation of finished work is of vital concern to every artist. Excellent slides make better teaching tools, and it goes without saying that the quality of photographs weighs heavily when work is being considered for juried…

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
Art Transportation Packing Methods

Packing is hardly a glamorous subject. Yet, like labeling and billing, it remains one of those sine qua nons of your professional—without which, your business would not be. As a former gallery owner, the writer is all too aware of the problems…

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
A Faberge Inspired Mechanical Jewelry Egg

Early in 1984 Jack called to see if I’d be interested in creating an anniversary gift to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage with Ryoko. The question was posed “What can be created that Parallels the unique and creative skills…

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
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
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…

Video
Gerry Lewy Video F – Bead Setting

Gerry Lewy draws on his over 40 years of diamond setting experience to show you the technique of bead setting stones including creating the beads from scratch. Filmed in full HD 1080p.

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
Transparency Making for Photoetching

This article, “Transparency Making for Photoetching”,  is the first of two parts written by Allan Liu and Carol Webb. Check out the second part of this article series “Photoetching for the Studio Jeweler.”…

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
Photoetching for the Studio Jeweler

In photoetching a photo transparency defines the area of a metal plate to be etched. The transparency is the control unit, the program, that prescribes which parts of the light-sensitive resist will chemically harden, polymerize, to become…

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
Intro to Enameling: Double-Sided Pendant 2

For the last couple years The W.W. Carpenter Enamel Foundation has held “Intro To Enameling” workshops that are designed to walk beginning enamel students through multiple procedures in a short amount of time. Three projects…

Article
John Killmaster and “The Quickening”

In the early 1980’s, I made a drawing based on the theme of transformation, a sudden, intuitive grasp of reality – an epiphany. When it came time to make a new enamel to enter in the Enamelist Society exhibition “Surfacing,”…

Article
Enameled Spiral Beads

I was drawn to the idea of making enameled beads by Edmund Massow’s excellent article, “Enameling Copper Balls” (Glass on Metal, Issue 19, 2000). In the process of attempting to make cloisonne beads, however, I experienced…

Article
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……

Article
Intro to Enameling: Double-Sided Pendant 1

For the last couple years The W.W. Carpenter Enamel Foundation has held “Intro To Enameling” workshops that are designed to walk beginning enamel students through multiple procedures in a short amount of time. Three projects…

Article
How to Make a Bas Relief Bowl

This article, written by Dottie Wood, shares photos and step by step procedure on how to make a bas relief bowl. Read on for more details. I borrowed a kiln which had a controller that I could not figure out how to change the settings, which was for…

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
Meteorite Pendant by Jacob Albee

Like many jewelers, Jacob Albee of Jacob Albee Goldsmith in Burlington, Vermont, buys stones without always knowing what he’s going to do with them. That was the case with a near-perfect circle of agate. “It was just a very cool translucent…

Article
Pocket Watch Hinge Repair

This is a beautiful old 14k yellow gold pocket watch. The outside view of the hinge shows bowing at the ends and small tears.  Step by Step Pocket Watch Hinge Repair This picture shows considerable discoloration from rust and a hinge that…

Article
Channel Setting Princess Cuts

Recently, a woman brought in her diamonds and asked to have a ring made with them. Her requirements were very simple. She wanted her I carat princess cut to be prong set as the center stone and her small princess cut melee to be channel set on either…

Article
Design and Creation of Elesa

While at the Atlanta Bench Jewelers Conference, my friend Elesa Dillon (the national sales manager for Southern Jewelry News and Mid America Jewelry News, which I also write for) asked me to help her pick out a gemstone to have made into a ring.…

Article
Bead and Bright Setting

In the last issue of Bench Magazine I demonstrated how I would go about wax model carving for this unusual mother’s ring design. Bead and Bright Setting: The Four Bead Method The wax model has now 
been cast into Platinum with
 a 10%…

Article
Customized Head Polishing Pliers

This article describes a step by step procedure of a pair of simple pliers to become a pair of customized head polishing pliers. These pliers are just simple by pass style but are heavy enough to hold heads for polishing. They just need to be…

Article
Wax Model Carving

Recently a customer requested that we make her an unusual mother’s ring. She chose a magnificent 3.56 ct. oval blue sapphire as her center stone and this design was made for her ring. The two bezel set side stones, one an emerald, the other…

Article
CAD/CAM Techniques

The strength of Computer Aided Design &  Manufacturing is similar to that of any other tool on the bench:it is most effective when itis the right tool for the job.Gemvision’s Matrix 4.0 provides users with powerful design, presentation,and…

Article
Customized Ultrasonic Sediment Bucket

This article by Steve Satow shares a step by step procedure on how t o make a customized ultrasonic sediment bucket. These are the parts you need for this project: A Gilmore plastic ball valve (that unlike regularball valves doesn’t choke…

Article
How to Set Baguettes

Baguette stones have four corners and a rather deep pavilion. Because of this you must handle these stones with special care at all times. You must make sure that all the bearings being cut are totally in line with the long girdles of this shape…

Article
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…

Article
Laser Repair: Emerald & Diamond Ring

It seems like a lot of laser repairs involve emeralds. I recall the Indiana Jones movies where “Indy” comes face to face with a snake (or snakes). “Snakes, I HATE SNAKES!” Have you ever been overheard saying, “Emeralds,…

Article
Jewelry Designs: Grace Pendant

The Grace Pendant was designed specially for the Heart Gala, a benefit for the American Heart Association that Stacey and I strongly support. The graceful curves of this white gold heart pendant embrace a pink sapphire that is accented with…

Article
Grinding and Shaping Onglette Gravers

This article contains the following detailed steps to give you a better understanding why grinding and shaping onglette gravers are necessary and important. One of the most important aspects of diamond/stone setting is the correct preparation…

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
Laser Welding Sizing a Two-Tone Band

Sometimes you get a job like this one. Your customer has a platinum and 18k yellow gold wedding band that doesn’t fit anymore. In this case (unlike most of us who have been married a while) the customer needs to have the band made smaller.…

Article
Jewelry Designs: Steeplechase Pendant

As a traditional symbol of good luck, this piece is inspired by the horseshoe. It is dedicated to the power and grace of the race horse including those of our very own Iroquois Steeplechase. Welcome to Stacey Rhodes Jewelry Designs, where we…

Article
Laser Welding Solid Back on Opal Ring

This article is a step by step procedure in Laser Welding Solid Back on Opal Ring. The customer wanted a solid back on a ring in which the center stone wouldn’t take heat or where you would have to butcher the mounting to remove the stone.…

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
Tool Alterations

This article describes the different tool alterations that any bench man needs to know and learn as guidance for their work and workmanship. These are simple chain nose pliers that are trimmed like in picture then the tip bent. After the seat…

Article
How to Make a Bezel

There are several ways to make a “box-setting” for enameled work pieces. This is one way on how to make a bezel. The piece you are setting should be finished, because every piece gets a bit larger during enameling. Don’t make…

Article
Making a Cloisonne Pendant Using Torch Fire

Cloisonné is a French word that means ‘to be confined,’ ‘to be cloistered.’ Traditionally, the cloisonné technique consists in making the contour of a picture by fixing very fine metallic threads on the piece…

Article
Intro to Enameling: Cloisonne Pendant

For the last couple years the W.W. Carpenter Enamel Foundation has held “Intro to Enameling” workshops that are designed to walk beginning enamel students through multiple procedures in a short amount of time. Three projects…

Article
How to Quickly Dome Irregular Forms

With this procedure you can dome nearly all regular or irregular shapes or forms, as long as the edges or the corners of the form are not too tight. The procedure worked well with copper sheet up to 5 mm and fine silver sheet up to 8 mm thickness. Tools……

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
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…

Article
Hints on Making Tubing

This article is an extract from the book ‘Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches for Jewelers and Goldsmiths’ Not all sizes and wall thicknesses of tube come seamless from a factory or refiner. Especially when working in gold it is not…

Article
Jewelry Designs: Faceted Stones 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,…

Article
Laser Welding Prong Repairs

This article provides a step by step procedure on how to do laser welding prong repairs on a ring.  Laser Welding Prong Repairs Project Use a separating disk to grind the prong flat. Place a redi-prong on a metal surface and tap gently to…

Article
Flush Mount Diamond Setting

Flush setting, or “gypsy setting” as it is sometimes known, is a somewhat exacting and delicate setting technique. The main reason it is called flush setting, and the key to the whole process, is that the table of the gemstone must…

Article
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,…

Article
How to Draw Celtic Knots

A knot is what you create when you tangle up a piece of string and join up the two ends, which you can then deform at leisure – that is to say an imbedding of a circle into space. An interlacing is what you get when you let several people play this game…

Article
Jewelry Rendering Tools and Projects

These pages contain a list of recommended tools to jewelry rendering, as well as a series of projects that I have used in classes. You could construct your own ‘self-study’ course using them.

Article
How to Make Prong Notching Pliers

These pliers notch round prongs easily to a given depth and replace a bur for the job. They are made to suit a specific size prong and one makes similar pliers for different prong shapes, but all based on this idea. One obtains a pair of chain nose…

Article
How to Make a Wax Injector

You will require a 5 to 6 inch by 3 inch wide brass or copper tube, silver solder a cover on both ends a thicker one or double up for the base to retain the heat. Ideally the tube and top plate should be 1/8th inch thick with the base plate being.

Article
How to Make a Chasing or Forming Tool

We are assuming you are using W1 water hardening square stock drill rod, W1 tool steel. Many suppliers will sell W1 tool steel. It is often called drill rod (In England ‘silver steel’). It should be square for less work in tool making, but round…

Article
How to Make Earring Posts by Hand

Yes you can make your own earring posts. It is generally more cost effective to buy them, but making them is not a problem and there are times that it is useful to know how.

Article
How to Step-Roll Wire

One requires a taper on the end of the wire to grip it with when placed through a drawplate for drawing. One may obtain this taper in several ways.

Article
Basic Tubing Catch Fabrication

First one chooses an appropriate metal for the various parts, that is a metal with appropriate structural for it’s thickness and stress in use. In this catch there is little stress in use and therefore one can use even as soft metal as sterling…

Article
How to Do Paper Die Embossing

The annealed metal is placed in a sandwich between soft ‘pusher’ paper and a hard paper which will serve as a monoprint paper die to emboss the metal sheet. The metal maybe pre-polished which leaves any areas that were cut out in the paper polished…

Article
Basic Gypsy or Flush Mount Setting

First the stone’s diameter is measured at the pavillion and a dent is made in metal for the pilot drill (about 1mm diameter). Then the metal is drilled The metal is drilled again until the hole is about 3/4 the size of the diameter. Lubricate the…

Article
Different Methods on How to Resize Rings

A ring fits well when it is no longer felt on the finger. If in the course of time the size of the finger changes or if the ring is to be fitted for another wearer, a sizing of the ring is necessary. The first step is to determine the finger size, which…

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
22K Gold Granulation on Turquoise Earrings

Featured are the materials for turquoise, platinum and 22-karat gold granulation earrings. The turquoise is 10.25 millimeters round and will be bezel set. The platinum is Pt-900-Ir, a platinum and iridium alloy. Once the platinum fabrication…

Article
Methods of Closing Jump Rings

In high volume production operations, many jump rings need to be closed one after another. For such fast paced operations, pliers simply won’t do. Factory workers need efficient tools for closing jump rings. One such tool consists of a ring…

Article
How to Make a Tumbler

The construction process is simple enough if you have basic do-it-yourself skills. Firstly, assemble the timber frame as shown below using a length of 4×2 inch planed timber and a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood. In my case the base was…

Article
How to Modify Plier Tools

This is a great modification of pliers to give you a tool that mimics the shape of your thumb and forefinger meeting, but can get into places where your fingers are too large to go.

Article
Prong Setting Round Brilliant Gemstones

For setting round brilliant gemstones in prongs, many setters and bench jeweler generalists use a 90 degree low speed bearing bur to cut a bearing in one prong at a time. This procedure is made easy by using the Foredom AllSet with the easy cut…

Article
Bracelet Shortening and Reassembling

This Charles and Colvard created moissanite (hereafter referred to as moissanite) and two-tone karat gold in-line bracelet requires shortening by two links. The bracelet is held together by a heavy link-wire that’s wrapped around an open…

Article
Making Custom-Designed Earrings Using Welding Technology

This custom job of 14 karat yellow gold earrings with diamonds and pink tourmaline is made easy using tack-welding technology. Tacking the pieces prior to soldering enabled me to ensure proper alignment and soldering procedures without…

Article
Steps on Making a Rolled Fold Heistad Cup

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

Article
Channel Setting Tools Designed For Wax

Stone-in-place casting is growing in practice with manufacturers and retail manufacturing operations taking advantage of these labor saving techniques. Stone-in-place casting requires gemstones be properly set in the wax model prior…

Article
Steps for Graver Preparation

Gravers are small cutting tools used for stone setting, texturing, de-burring and applying decorative embellishments and traditional hand engraving. Steps required to prepare new gravers include mounting, sizing, shaping, sharpening…

Article
Steps on Making a Basic T-fold

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

Article
Colored Gemstone Jewelry Design and Repair

An experienced bench jeweler will often be able to create almost any design that doesn’t actually violate the laws of physics. But colored stones are softer and typically less durable than diamonds, and a setting designed for a diamond may…

Article
Box Clasp Fabrication

One of the most important types of closures used in jewelry is the box clasp. This clasp and its many variations are usually built into jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, and chains. However, as an exercise, this project demonstrates the…

Article
CAD/CAM Wedding Set Finishing and Setting

Computer aided design (CAD) was used to develop three designs in multiple views to show the customer. After the design was selected, the wax was milled and the ring was cast, pre-finished, set and polished. Foredom tools, equipment and accessories…

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…

Article
How to Make a Forged Platinum Pearl Ring

This project will teach welding, soldering and forging techniques. The ring is a handsome, plain design and can be applied to many applications. To make this ring, you will need.

Article
Electroforming Workshop Preparation

The size of the bath must correspond to the rectifier. You cannot have a huge bath and a small rectifier. The tank must be made of glass, polypropylene or polyethylene plastic. Plastic is preferred because there is less chance of breakage. You…

Article
Steps on Making a Chased Wedge T-fold

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

Article
Making a Platinum Wire Setting

These materials are for a platinum pendant and they include wire made of a platinum iridium alloy. This article covers a manufacturing method using tack-welding technology for making the wire setting for a pendant with a movable bail.

Article
How to Make a Three Stone Dangle Pendant

The assembly of this three stone pendant pendant appears simple but when using traditional methods to position and join the tiny parts it can be tricky and time consuming. Each of the bezel units will be connected by jump rings and will dangle…

Article
How to Modify Tools for Carving Wax

Casting is the most important method of commercial jewelry production. Even for small workshops, lost-wax casting is often the fastest method for creating a jewelry piece, especially if there is any complexity to it. However, one of the things…

Article
How to Make Foredom Handpiece Shield

This paper describes two simple methods of creating a shield to be used on the end of a Foredom handpiece. The shield will prevent grindings and dust from being slung into the face. Always wear eye protection when using the handpiece.

Article
Making a Crown Using Welding Technology

David and Diana Howard, owners of My Jeweler, Inc. in Albuquerque , NM recently worked with a local church to design and manufacture a crown to be placed on a popular church icon painting. The churchs parishioners donated jewelry to the cause.…

Article
How to Make an Agate Imitation Cabochon

This technique consists of the successive application of silver foil sheets, changing the colors of enamels among them, and then to wear away sectors, and discover each one of the colors used in the different layers. Apply the first of the layers…

Article
Jewelry Repairs with ABI Mini Pulse Arc III

This article covers routine repair and assembly projects accomplished using Mini Pulse Arc III. Tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc equipment settings will differ and are based upon the volume, amount of contact and alloy of the material you are…

Article
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…

Article
How to Make a Carrick Mat Knot

Step by Step Tutorial – Making Three-lead Four-bight Turks-head. The Turks-Head is a general class of three-dimensional knot that lends itself well to decorative uses. Materials required: 18ga Silver wire…

Article
Steps on Making a T-Fold Boat Fold

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

Article
Anticlastic Raising Basics

The word synclastic describes a form in which the dominant curves both move in the same direction. When the two dominant axes curve in opposite directions the result is known as an anticlastic form. A bowl is a synclastic form and a saddle is an…

Article
Jewelry Using a Microfold Brake

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

Article
How to Mix Industrial Liquid Enamels

Industrial liquid enamel is a versatile material. It can be used as a base coat, directly on the metal, or as subsequent coats. It can be used to coat one side at a time, or both sides at the same time. It can be applied by pouring, dipping, daubing…

Article
Making a Pearl and Diamond Ring

This illustration is of a 14-karat white gold ring for three cultured freshwater pearls and two small accent diamonds. After preparing the wax, casting and pre-finishing, the ring was prepared for tack welding. There are 5 parts to be tacked…

Article
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
Customized Stock Earrings

This project features a stock pair of earrings that are customized for cultured pearls. The request was to design earrings that would be unique, modern and functional – within a tight budget. To prepare them for the addition of 22-karat yellow…

Article
CAD/CAM Design and Model Making Services

Retailers seeking designers and model makers for fulfilling custom orders or for developing new designs exclusive to their inventories have a growing variety of options available to them. Companies providing these services through Computer…

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CAD/CAM and Expertise of David Nytch

David Nytch, proprietor of West ‘ Co. an independently owned jewelry store in Webster, NY is changing the way customers see his business. Nytch had observed that independently owned stores are often regarded by consumers as service centers…

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The Basic Techniques of Shell Inlay

To learn the art of inlay, its best to start with the basics. This project will walk you through the fundamentals so that you become comfortable enough to move on to a more challenging project. Once you master this simple circular design, youll…

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…

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Installing New Tapered Bezels

This ring is in for repair and reconstruction. When it was originally made, 6-prong settings were used to mount the customers diamonds. All prong tops are severely worn and one prong has broken. The customer has requested bezel settings, so…

Article
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…

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
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…

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How to Make a Three-Part Silver Ring

Using a relatively inexpensive metal and casting it in an ingot mold, you can create a sophisticated design at the low price point many cash-strapped consumers are looking for these days. Using silver casting grain minimizes costs and maximizes…

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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
6 Basic Wire Skills to Make a Necklace

The links in this 16-in. (40.6cm) necklace are forged so they become flat and work-hardened. The pearl in the featured necklace is held in place merely by the tension between the wire loops in the pendant. Four styles of links define the spare…

Article
Creating a Rotary Burnisher

Jewelers have been going green for many years by recycling old or worn-out tools into something new and useful. Setting burrs, normally used to cut seats in prongs, can’t be used once they become worn or damaged. But instead of throwing them…

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Creating a Whip Burnisher

A worn-out bristle brush can easily be recycled into a useful tool called a whip burnisher or rotary hammer to improve or even eliminate minor imperfections and surface porosity in castings and other metal surfaces.

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How to Make Equally Sized Beads

In this project, I will demonstrate a clever method of making equally sized beads. These beads can be used for granulation or decoration, or they can be soldered inside rings to keep the rings from turning while worn.

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Making a Bezel

Making a bezel for many stones such as an antique cushion garnet can be difficult when the mandrels on hand do not fit. With the miniature stakes the whole process is quick and easy. The side benefit is that they are more precise than only using…

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How to Modify Cross-Lock Tweezers

Often when soldering, it is necessary to use cross-lock tweezers to hold or steady the piece(s) being soldered. The pressure exerted by the arms of the tweezers can often by strong enough to deform the metal being soldered. The modification…

Article
Forged Leaf Brooch Tutorial

Use basic metalsmithing skills to create a brooch inspired by forms found in nature. Since the earliest civilizations, the leaf shape has been an inspiration for jewelry. With this 4 1/2 x 13/4-in. (11.4 x 4.4cm) brooch, you can evoke the beauty…

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…

Article
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
Basic Spiral Braiding
[Step by Step] This five-strand spiral braid is made using one of the many textile techniques that Professor Arline Fisch demonstrated at the “Textile Techniques in Metals” workshop at the Bead’Button Show in June 2006. The simplicity of…

Article
Steps on Making a Leaf or Ruffle

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

Article
Enameling Techniques for Beginners

After you learn to apply enamels by sifting, wet packing, brushing on crackle and firing the base coats, you are ready for some of the simple techniques that require only a feel for color. You can design a piece by repeating one technique or learning…

Article
How to Make Sharp Corner Cuts

Sawing is an essential skill for a bench jeweler. This article will show you a technique that will increase your sawing speed and accuracy when you need to make sharp corner cuts and reduce your likelihood of breaking delicate saw blades. …

Article
How to Make Hoop Earrings

Tom Dougherty of Studio 2015 in Woodstock, Illinois, had an interesting process to share about making hoop earrings from tubing. He learned the process from Kenneth Guth, a neighboring goldsmith and acclaimed knife maker. By all accounts,…

Article
How to Make a Riffle File

Every now and then when you are fabricating a piece or polishing a casting, a hole or hollow will pop up that needs to be filed and smoothed. You can usually get at it using a bur and abrasive tools in your flex-shaft. But when you just can’t reach…

Article
From Titanium to a Fine Piece of Artisan Jewelry

Making prong settings for items that can not be fired in place. I would like to take you on an exploratory trip by incorporating Titanium into a piece of fine artisan jewelry that is beautiful on the front, and just as interesting on the back. Because…

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How to Modify a Goldsmith Hammer

Jewelers and metalsmiths have had to make their own tools throughout the ages to accomplish different tasks at the jeweler’s bench. One tool a jeweler can’t do without is a hammer. Today, many styles of hammers, made in a variety of shapes and…

Article
How to Make a Heistad Cup

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

Article
How to Modify Prong Pushers

Many stone setters would agree that one of the most challenging aspects of prong setting is getting the prongs down tight on the stone. It’s easy to take this process for granted. If it’s done well, you might never notice. But doing it poorly can…

Article
Asscher Cut Diamond Design

When a customer brings you a 4.27 carat, E color, VS1 clarity, Asscher cut diamond, it’s tough not to be intimidated and awed. The client, one of my best customers, also had very specific requirements for the platinum bridal set that would house…

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Retracing Steps to Solve Casting Problems

A design riddled with undercuts and sharp little details just screams casting nightmare the moment the CAD file shows up. But sometimes even the most straightforward looking designs can cause real headaches for the caster. Take for example…

Article
CAD Modeling Prong Settings

If you’re designing jewelry using CAD, understanding how the piece will be cast and then set and finished at the bench can mean the difference between failure and success. When modeling prong settings, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure…

Article
How to Use the Conduction Soldering Technique

The soldering process, used extensively in all aspects of jewelry manufacturing and repair, joins two or more pieces of metal together and when done properly, will result in a virtually undetectable seam. A better understanding of the soldering…

Article
How to Modify Wooden Ring Clamps

One persistent daily challenge a bench jeweler faces is trying to figure out the best way to hold onto tiny, delicate objects while performing mechanical operations such as sawing, filing or burring bearings for stone setting.
There…

Article
How to Handle the Flexshaft

In the course of my 30 years in the jewelry industry, I can recall many instances of damaged equipment and potentially dangerous situations caused by how the handpiece is connected to the flexshaft. Here are a few observations that can make…

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
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
How to Add a Dichroic Effect to Your Enamels

Dichroic glass is simply beautiful. Often referred to as dichro or dicro, the term refers to multiple ultra-thin microlayers of metal oxides which are evaporated onto the surface of glass in a vacuum chamber. These oxides change the way that…

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…

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