Wirework with DVD An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping

Wirework with DVD An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping

Intermediate jewelry artists seeking new design possibilities can learn step-by-step instructions on how to wire-wrap using faceted stones, how to create pendants with any size or shape or faceted stone, how to use several methods of working with and setting faceted stones, plus mixing wire gauges and tempers to create stable and creative pieces. All the basic techniques being used are also demonstrated on the included DVD, giving you a solid base for creating the projects in this book.

In Wirework with DVD, Dale “Cougar” Armstrong showcases her classic jewelry style and shows how to create beautiful custom bracelets, necklaces, pendants, earrings, and rings in 18 projects. You’ll learn:

  • how to work with half-hard wire; when to use other tempers and why
  • Dale’s favorite tools and proper tool usage
  • using geometry in wire-jewelry functions; making the “right” right angles; shaping with and without mandrels; using “found” items for shaping; when and how to use snap-set components; choosing the right cabochons and gemstones

Wirework with DVD will challenge artists to be creative, think outside the box, and transform jewelry into their own style.

Wirework with DVD An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping

Simple Soldering eBook + Digital Download Bundle: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry

Simple Soldering eBook + Digital Download Bundle: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry

Simple Soldering eBook + Digital Download Bundle: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry
You’ve got no excuse to skip soldering! Download this ultimate resource eBook from author and teacher Kate Richbourg.

Metalworking is generally regarded as a skill that takes years of dedication, requires a large studio space, and costs a lot of money. Fortunately, Simple Soldering eBook proves that does not need to be the case. This handy digital download eBook explores of the craft of creating soldered metal jewelry, including tools, techniques, and 20 beautiful projects that beginners and enthusiasts can make at home. Plus, now you can skip the wait time and shipping fees!

Author and teacher Kate Richbourg demystifies basic soldering for any home crafter, showing how to create sophisticated, polished, and professional-looking jewelry pieces through simple soldering techniques. First, she instructs how to set up a jewelry workspace that fits the confines of your budget and living space. Detailed step-by-step instructions walk you through the basic tools and materials you need, plus how to use them. A sample chapter gives a host of introductory exercises that teach solid skills, allowing you to test these techniques on a small scale. Finally, you’ll discover 20 finished projects that include earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets, and clasps that may also include bead or wire embellishment.

Kate also demonstrates how to combine and layer techniques. She also examines common mistakes, shows how to correct or adapt them, and gives advice on when it’s time to start over. Most of all, having taught thousands of classes on soldering, Kate has a “you can do it!” attitude that shines through to help even the most reluctant jewelry maker fire up the torch with ease.

Paired with an instructional video download, Kate’s expert teaching skills will help projects come alive, right in your own studio.

With the Simple Soldering eBook + video download, the art of metal working one-of-a-kind jewelry is now at your fingertips and with you wherever you go.

Simple Soldering eBook + Digital Download Bundle: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry


Chapter 1: Getting Started
-Setting Up a Workspace
Chapter 2: Materials
Chapter 3: Tools
Chapter 4: Soldering and Fabrication Skills
-Cutting Metal
-Soldering Metal
-Finishing and Polishing Metal
Chapter 5: Creating Your Sampler
Chapter 6: Projects

Glossary of Essential Beading and Wire-wrapping Techniques
Helpful Measurements
Glossary of Soldering Terms

Kate Ferrant Richbourg is the former Director of Education for Beaducation and has led classes and workshops around the world and online. She has more than 16 years of experience teaching jewelry techniques, including beading, wirework, and metalsmithing. Simple Soldering is her first book. Kate lives in California.

Simple Soldering eBook + Digital Download Bundle: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry

General Metalsmithing Deluxe Collection

General Metalsmithing Deluxe Collection
Boost your metalsmithing when you add excellent resources and a must-have hammer set to your studio.

Make metal jewelry with this must-have deluxe collection!

Want to make jewelry, but don’t know where to start? This deluxe collection of metalsmithing resources is your answer! You will be a metalsmithing pro in no time with the hours of expert instruction included in this collection. Whether you are a brand-new metalsmith or you are looking to perfect your technique, there is something for everyone!

Bonus: This collection includes a seven-piece hammer set so you can start forming, riveting, and texturing!

You won’t want to miss out on this deluxe collection of metalsmithing must-haves featuring an essential resource book, 2 eBooks, 3 DVDs, and 7 piece hammer set for ONLY $159.00!

Hurry; there are only 50 collections available! General Metalsmithing Deluxe Collection

See what’s inside this must-have metalsmithing collection:

The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques
By Anastasia Young

This is the go-to guide and essential look-it-up resource for both student and professional jewelers of all skill levels and interests. Designer and jeweler Anastasia Young has packed all the essential information you need into one amazing volume, including traditional metalsmithing skills and working with alternative materials.

Metalsmith Essentials: Basic Fabrication
with Helen I. Driggs

Join artist and experienced metalsmith Helen Driggs in 9 watch-and-learn lessons as she shows you step-by-step how to fabricate metal jewelry pieces. Boost your jewelry-making skills with these essential techniques for getting started with metal, including how-tos in sawing, filing, hammering, forging, and much more!

Metalsmith Essentials: Artisan Bails
with Lexi Erickson

Join Lexi Erickson in this jewelry-making DVD that explores how to make a pendant necklace with perfectly balanced bails. Learn the fundamental considerations for creating functional and beautiful pendant bails for every type of necklace design including chain, cord, bead, and fiber. Go in depth and step-by-step through every process from design to finishing!

Metalsmith Essentials: Basic Jewelry Fold Forming
with Travis Ogden

Join metalsmith and jewelry artist Travis Ogden in 11 watch-and-learn lessons to expand your metalsmithing knowledge with this jewelry workshop DVD for all things fold forming! Create organic and interesting 3D formed metal shapes from flat metal sheet using simple tools as you master the fold forming technique.

10 Basic Metalsmithing Projects:
The Best of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Project Compilation eBook

Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist presents their 10 favorite basic metalsmithing jewelry projects. Create an exciting new wardrobe of silver and stone jewelry while you master the basics of metalsmithing. Boost your jewelry making skills with step-by-step instruction that will open a world of metalsmithing possibilities.

Jewelry Making Tools, Tips, and More, Volume 2
“Cool Tools and Hip Tips” Compilation eBook

Join Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine senior editor Helen I. Driggs for this new compilation eBook featuring two more years of “Cool Tools and Hip Tips.” Explore all of the different facets of metalsmithing with information on maintaining your tools, perfecting basic jewelry making techniques, and making your own steel tools.

Mini TruStrike 7 Piece Hammer Set with Stand

Add a complete collection of hammers to your studio and keep them all organized in the included wooden stand. This hammer set includes: a wide raising hammer, narrow raising hammer, designer hammer, sharp designer hammer, two embossing hammers, and a planishing hammer.

Want to make jewelry, but don’t know where to start? This deluxe collection of metalsmithing resources is your answer! You will be a metalsmithing pro in no time with the hours of expert instruction included in this collection. Whether you are a brand-new metalsmith or you are looking to perfect your technique, there is something for everyone!

Bonus: This collection includes a seven-piece hammer set so you can start forming, riveting, and texturing!

General Metalsmithing Deluxe Collection

Cheap Tricks – Tips for finding and making chasing tools By Charles Lewton-Brain

Tips for finding and making chasing tools

By Charles Lewton-Brain

In a previous article, I talked about burnishers and their importance at the goldsmith’s bench. One burnishing tool I didn’t discuss was the simple chasing tool. Every chasing tool can be used as a steel burnisher, and all the different face shapes make for a bevy of options, though curved, rounded surfaces work best.

So how do you obtain useful chasing tools? The most obvious way would be to buy a set of commercial chasing tools. Although they are generally not very functional as supplied, they can be improved by beveling all the sharp corners on the shafts and rounding off the faces so they can’t tear and rip into the metal on which they are used. The going price this year seems to be about $6 to $9 per tool.

Nice old tools are getting harder to find and, when found, are more expensive than in the past. There are still occasional caches of antique chasing tools to be found—at auctions in larger cities as the remnants of old factories are liquidated. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on antique tools, you’ll want to grind back any mushrooming that has occurred at the back end before using them. Goldsmiths have been blinded by mushroomed-over metal shrapnel flying off the end of a tool when struck with a hammer.

If you’d like to create your own set, there are a number of odd sources for tools that can be used as chasing punches.

• Concrete nails are very hard, allowing the nail head to be easily ground, sanded, and polished to make reasonable chasing tool faces, rounded forming tools, planishing tools, and other types of useful tools. Heat and air cool the back end of the tool to avoid any dangerous brittle spots.

• Some jewelers make punches and stamps from valve stems and other kinds of hard steel. I once had access to broken fencing foils and made some great chasing tools from them. The foils were made of air-hardening steel, and simply letting them cool after heating and forging hardened them up beautifully.

• Door hinge pins with round terminals can serve as medium size dapping tools. If a more oval shape is needed, they are easy to regrind and polish.

• Carriage bolts, with their large, rounded low-domed ends, can be polished as punches. Since the bolts come with the shaft fully or partially threaded, it is a good idea to smooth off the threading on both types. I usually forge the bolts square with a heavy hammer, making them more comfortable to use.

• One of the most useful tools for forming metal while chasing is a rounded oval shape. Because it requires good hot forging skills, this tool is normally difficult to make by hand. However, carriage bolts can be quickly ground and shaped into an oval.

• Staking sets are sets of round stock punched used in a special jig to install and remove gears and parts in mechanical watches. Considered obsolete by jewelers and others, these sets of 70 to 150 tools can be found on eBay for about $30. (If you bought an equivalent set of “real” chasing tools on eBay, it would likely cost you more than $300.) A number of them have rounded ends like pearl punches, and the rest can be reshaped or carved with separating dies to become chasing tools and punches.

• Available in hardware and sheel metal stores, transfer punch sets contain approximately 30 hardened round steel rods in graduated sizes. Sets can cost as little as $7—a bargain for so many steel punches. The steel is good and the ends of the rods can be shaped and rounded. Heat the back end of the rod to anneal it.

• Screwdriver sets from China are remarkably cheap, as low as $8 for up to 24 screwdrivers. Cut them up and you have a pile of tools. The slot head kind make great lining tools and tracers after minimal grinding and polishing.

• Nail sets used for pushing finishing nails into wood so they can be covered up with putty are great for jewelers. You can find them at your local dollar store. The punches have concave round ends that make circular marks in metal. However, if you grind off one-third of the end, they become curved lining tools that are ideal for making fish scales or snakeskin textures.

Source: Cheap Tricks | Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America

Something Borrowed – Jewelers look outside the industry to stock their tool box

Jewelers look outside the industry to stock their tool box

By Shawna Kulpa

Jewelry supply houses are a treasure trove of tools. Flip through any of their catalogs or comb their websites and you’ll find page upon page of useful, functional tools and equipment—all designed with the jeweler in mind.

But what about those times when you can’t find what you need, or your hunt culminates in a great tool with an unbearably hefty price tag? You could try making it yourself, but your time might be better served making jewelry. Or better yet, take a look around. Scope out the tools used in other industries—what are watchmakers, woodworkers, mechanics, dentists, doctors, and even hobbyists using? Do they have tools and equipment that you could put to use in your shop?

This month I spoke with three jewelers about some of the best finds they’ve made from outside the industry. From tools used during delicate eye surgeries to common sporting goods, these borrowed tools will have you looking at everything in a whole new light.

Garden Shears

Garden Shears

When her husband walked off with the regular jewelry shears she uses in her shop, Agnes Weessies in Orlando, Florida, looked around for a substitute tool and came across her gardening shears. “I didn’t know if they would work, but they were pretty cheap so I decided to try them,” she says, noting that they cut better than any other metal shears she has used.

“I even have a pair of Joyce Chen kitchen shears [which jewelers rave about], but I like the gardening shears even better. They’re especially great when I’m cutting edges around bezels. Because they don’t warp the sheet when I cut, I don’t have to worry about knocking anything out of orientation. I’ve used them on copper, silver, and gold, and they cut them all like butter.”

Bowling Ball

Bowling Balls

Where some see a heavy ball for tossing at pins, Weessies looks at a bowling ball and sees an anvil. Although she admists that there are lots of great, durable steel anvils available for jewelers, she says she gets some of her best results using an old bowling ball. To transform the ball into an anvil, she used a core drill to drill a hole about halfway through the ball. She then heated up a steel I beam and inserted it into the ball. “The heat melts the plastic a bit but makes a nice, tight fit,” says Weessies, who advises that you do this outside for both safety and olfactory reasons: “It’ll stink!” After it cooled, she turned it over and filled the remaining cavity with a 24-hour epoxy. Once it was set, she drilled a hole into a tree stump, inserted the free end of the steel beam, and filled the hole with epoxy.

“Now you can use the ball as an avil,” she says. “It lets you do more than if you’re pounding on steel, which is harsh. Working on the ball is almost like working on resin—it’s more gentle and giving than steel. And because the ball is made out of a heavy-duty plastic, any nicks you make can be easily sanded out.”

And when you’re picking out a bowling ball for your shop, consider grabbing a bowling pin or two as well. “They have a nice, gentle curve that I use for creating synclastic forms,” says Weessies. “They’re good for shaping smaller pieces.”

Knitting Needles

Knitting Needles

Sometimes invention is the product of necessity. Sometimes it’s the product of frugalness. And sometimes it’s the product of both. Weessies admits that her frugalness has led her to find new uses for just about everything she comes across, including some knitting needles she had lying around. In this case, it started when she lost the little mandrels for her jump ringer.

“I needed to make jump rings, but I didn’t want to go to the store and spend three times as much as I should [on new mandrels],” she says. “I took a knitting needle, cut off both ends, put it into the jump ringer, and it worked.”

She soon found that the needles’ usefulness expanded way beyond making jump rings. “You can use them for all sorts of things you’d use a mandrel for, such as making bezels. You can also use them as kind of a punch; if you’re gentle with them, just sharpen the pointed end and there you go.” Since most knitting needles are made of aluminum, they can deform with time. But because they’re so cheap, Weessies finds them a good, affordable investment, given the range of things she can do with them.

“I’ve also taken larger ones, cut off the ends, flattened them in my rolling mill, patterned them, and used them to create patterns on copper and silver,” she says. “You’re only limited by your imagination!”

Flower Frog

Flower Frog

Susan Mazon of Honors Gran Jewelry in Palm Harbor, Florida, is always on the lookout for items she can use to help organize her tools at the bench, particularly her straight tools, such as scribes and punches. Enter the antique flower frog. Made of lead, pottery, glass, or bronze, these frogs were once created to sit at the bottom of a bowl or vase, with holes molded into them to hold flowers in place.

When Maxon came across an antique domed glass flower frog that’s been in her family for generations, she immediately started thinking of the things she could do with it. She quickly realized that the frog’s cone-shaped holes would be ideal to hold tools. “When I put the tools in, they fan out,” she says. “Each tool stands up separately, even if I put two or three into the same hole. It keeps my tools separate and makes them easier to see and quickly grab.”

She uses the frog to hold her scribes, punches, antique burnishers, and anything else that’s straight and will stick up. “It’s domed, so it’s tiered so I can see everything,” she says. “It takes up minimal space, with maybe a 3-square-inch footprint. And it’s pretty, too.” What more could you ask for?

Desktop File Sorters

Desktop File Sorters

Maxon is a firm believer in the maxim that necessity is the mother of invention. She had been searching for a handy tool caddy for her bench but wasn’t happy with the options she found in jewelry supply catalogs. “I wanted something that would keep my tools at hand,” she explains, noting that she had them laying in a drawer or hanging up on a little rod she had attached to her bench. But this wasn’t satisfactory.

“One day I was in a stationary store looking for a hole punch when I passed a bunch of file sorters,” she says. “I realized that they were exactly what I needed.

“I keep all of my pliers, cutters, and nippers stored there,” she continues. “Pretty much anything that doesn’t have to stay closed. Because the holder is tiered, I can see every tool and then reach for the exact one I need. It has a small footprint so it doesn’t take up a lot of room on my bench. And because the dividers in the sorter are solid, the tools don’t spin off like they do when hung on a dowel rod.”

And the best part of her find: the cost. “They’re a third of the cost of something similar to what I’ve seen in jewelry catalogs. They’re a great deal!”

Towel Rack

Towel Rack

Occasionally Maxon is working on a project, such as making a chain, that involves using the same tools over and over again. “If you drop the tool in your drawer between uses, it can get covered up with debris or by other tools, or even get dinged,” she says. “I tried hanging them on the edge of a drawer, but they would flip off.” To prevent this, she was looking for something that would allow her to keep her tools right at hand.

Eventually she stumbled across a towel rack that she realized she could just clip onto the front of a drawer on her bench. “It has a hook on each end that goes up and clips over the top of the bench drawer,” she explains. “I just hang my tools on the rack, and I can leave them on it until the job is done.

“It’s real handy, and it doesn’t get in the way,” she continues. “The drawer still opens and closes; the tools are just hanging off the front. If I have to remove it, I can just easily lift it off. And not only does it fit perfectly, it was really, really cheap. If I have to spend money, it’s going to be on metal!”

Surgical Scissors

Surgical Scissors

Know any ophthalmologists? Find out what they do with old tools—especially surgical scissors. J Collier of J Collier Metalsmith in San Antonio, Texas, was able to acquire a set of surgical scissors from a friend, and he credits them with allowing him to expand his design repertoire. “I came up with the idea of using them while I was doing gold foil work, which is really delicate,” he says. At the time he was using an X-Acto knife, punches, and cuticle scissors, but he found them limiting.

“With the tools I was using, I was limited in executing smaller sizes with greater detail as well as some particular shapes,” he says. “In addition, the time spent using these tools was a factor. I knew there had to be an easier way.”

Because they’re designed for intricate and delicate work, Collier finds the surgical scissors ideal for working with thin, 24k gold foil—and they didn’t require any modifications. “They give me a lot more finesse in my designs,” he says. “The biggest advantage was the increase in useable foil pieces in specific shapes. Plus, repeating designs is easier with the scissors. They offer me the ability to replicate the design in my mind as well as more control over the outcome.”

Cabinet Scrapers

Cabinet Scrapers

Collier is always on the lookout for tools he can use to create unique surface finishes on his pieces. He finds it helpful to look at equipment used in other craft industries, such as woodworking, which is where he found a set of cabinet scrapers. Woodworkers normally use these for finishing: By scraping with the grain, the surface can be made perfectly smooth, and they are ideal for finishing blind corners and other obstructed areas that are difficult to reach with sandpaper.

“They’re just thin, flat sheets of hardened steel,” he explains. “I’m a curious person, and I picked them up and wanted to see how they worked on sterling silver, and I was pleased with the results I got.”

To use them, he takes a burnisher to the edge of a scraper to create a hook. “I then lay it on a metal surface and draw it toward me, peeling up a thin curl of metal, similar to a file. This creates a little stripe that I can quickly replicate to create a finish.

“Perhaps it could be done with a jeweler’s tool, but I think these scrape the metal in a pleasant way,” he admits. “And because the scrapers are available in different shapes (some curve in, some curve out), I have options to create different effects. I can choose one that’s narrow and like a groove, or instead opt for a wider one. It depends on the type of finish I want.”

Source: Something Borrowed | Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America