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Jewelry classes in phoenix az

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Arizona Artist Series: Roy Benjamin Harlin of Rbenjeejewelry Q&A

How did you get into metalsmithing?
I was searching for an alternative creative outlet removed from the food world that I have spent my working career in.   I needed a new medium that still let me use my hands and tell a story, but without being edible. (ring)
Brass Flower Ring with two stones

What inspires you?
The natural world inspires me the most.  I look to the scenery around me for form and functionality.  Themes are important to me.  I like to set an idea and then open up the drawing books to let the creative juices flow.  I research botanical illustrations, animal anatomy, and maps to help ground my wandering mind. (earrings)

earrings with amazonite




What is your design process?
Draw, draw, draw.  I try to draw in my books daily, even if I feel that is not consistent with what I’m working with at the moment.  It helps me keep a log of what I was feeling at the moment.  I also make prototypes for myself that I can where out and see the response I receive.  The responses help me know if the piece is liked by the collective and not just myself. (earrings)

silver earrings with topaz stones

What is your favorite tool?
I’m currently obsessed with my soldering pick.  It can be a challenge at times, kinda like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.  The benefits out way the juggling act with cleanliness on the piece.


What is on your bench right now? My bench is a bit of mess currently with some research and development happening. I will say that there is a strong presence of opal and rutilated quartz with silver and copper.


various tool, notepad and plants





Do you have any upcoming shows?
I’m doing a show at noons on September 22nd.  I will be showcasing the #MOTHER line.  It is focused on asymmetry, elements, and clean lines.

Where else can we find your work.
Currently you can find my idiot line in Tucson at Popcycle.  I will be at noons starting October.   I also sell custom on line at www.rbenjeejewelry.com

6 Tips to Create a Fair Contract (for Yourself & Your Client) When Taking a Jewelry Production Order



Saguaro earrings, twig shapes, polishing wheels
You were asked to use your jewelry metalsmith skills to make something for someone else’s product line.  It’s exciting!  Such opportunities are a good way to make some regular money for a period of time, get your name out there in a new way and work in collaboration with designers, or entrepreneurs.


However, it’s your first offer of this kind, it can also be a bit overwhelming – especially if you haven’t created anything like the particular design requested of you. You want to be fair to your client, and yourself in regards to your time and the cost of materials. What does that look like?
A contract agreement of some kind? 
Turquoise. notepad, wire, jewelry bench, necklaces and earrings

Here are some essential details Harold Studio recommends considering and including in a contract before you agree to take on the work.

1.     Arrange for a beta production period where you are paid to design and create from their specs a sample of prototypes for approval. This way, you know how long a certain piece takes to make and can also better estimate necessary details. Especially, if you’ve never created this kind of jewelry piece/design before.

2.     Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to have a solid time frame for completing deliverables for a certain number of pieces and can list a solid completion date/time frame to include in the contract.

3.     Once you know your time frame, your production fee (how much you pay yourself hourly) along with the cost of materials can be determined.

4.     Include a non-disclosure clause in your contract. This won’t necessarily guarantee that the pieces you create are fully protected from copycats, but it provides a certain amount of legal protection that sets your expectations if you plan to include 3rd parties in the production process.

5.     Cover your time and expenses, if there are requests for changes of materials, or style applied for another round of prototypes.  Note in the contract that there will be fees incurred for edits, changes to the piece. Be sure to include fees for not just your time and material, but also for any work required by 3rd party service (engraving, for example).

6.     If this piece you’re producing is going to be sold on a continual basis, determine a percentage of your share of each sold piece.  You may need to consider a lower percentage at first, until the salability of a piece is proven and include a clause that says, ‘Upon a certain number, (200, for example) of charms, bracelets, etc. sold in a 4- month time frame, the contract can be revisited for consideration to raise my percentage share of each sale.’

We hope these tips help to put you at ease and feel more confident about taking on production work in the future.  If you need specific tools and workspace to fulfill a production order, Harold Studio offers rental options based on your experience and budget. Learn more here.

Studio with work benches, tools, a polisher and supplies




Arizona Artist Series: Meghan of Girl's Run Fast Q&A

Meghan makes jewelry for runners, triathletes, duathletes, swimmers, cyclists, yogis with her business Girls Run Fast. Jewelry to celebrate your accomplishment and more.


1 silver charm with a copper bike and 1 silver charm with a runner




Meghan makes jewelry for runners, triathletes, duathletes, swimmers, cyclists, yogis with her business Girls Run Fast. Jewelry to celebrate your accomplishment and more.

How did you get into metalsmithing?

I took my first class when I was at the university working on my BFA, it sparked my interest then but at that time I could not  fit any more classes into my schedule. I got back into it and  started taking classes again  twenty years later after teaching art for many years.



Saw Frame Cut lube and filesWhat inspires you?

My life experiences and the experiences of the people in my life.  I started making my running pendants when I was training for a marathon and continue to get ideas for new pendants from events in our lives. One of my newer designs is a runner with a dog, inspired by our new dog.


Silver pendant with copper bike, runner and swimmer

What is your design process?

I begin with drawing  several designs until they develop into something I am happy with. Once I am happy with the design then I will cut the figures out of copper. The stamped designs on the background are different every time.  I create these designs on instinct without any planning.



What is your favorite tool?

My favorite tool is my saw. I enjoy cutting out the figures and challenging myself to cut them out smaller or with better detail each time.



What is on your bench right now?

Runner pendants and rings in process as well as some cabochons  I am working on making into pendants for gifts.