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Jewelry classes in phoenix az

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Showing posts with label How-to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How-to. Show all posts

Picture of the Day!

Debbie came into the studio a few weeks ago never having even pierced out a design into metal. Last week she finished our ball ring and set an aqua cab on top to give to her granddaughter. That's pretty quick progress isn't it? She changed up how we normally do the silver ring and at first I wasn't sure how good it would look, but I love it!
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September Gem Show

We're going to be at the JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show this September teaching workshops as well as showing jewelry. If you'd like to sign up for a workshop or just say hello, check out our schedule here. We're all very excited for the opportunity to teach as well as show our new lines. So drop by and tell us what you think of our jewelry!
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Metalsmith Bench Talk LIVE

I had the chance to speak with Jay Whaley on Metalsmith Bench Talk LIVE this weekend at the SNAG conference. Here it is if you're interested in listening! We talk about Harold Studio, where it came from and where it's going. The whole session is great! My interview starts at the 36:35 mark.


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Wedding band session. Greg and Kimberly's grand day.

Last Sunday, Greg and Kimberly came in to make wedding bands for each other at the studio. They met while out country dancing and have been together ever since. It was a lot of fun and even Kimberly's daughter had a hand in helping!



Kimberly was nice enough to send pictures of the experience to me to put up here and wrote:
"Thank you for the wonderful experience you have given both of us. We
appreciate your time and patience. We now have another memory to
cherish."

Thanks for coming to Harold Studio you two! I'm so glad you have a great memory in making the engagement bands. Now you can brag to your friends about how your ring is made by your fiance!

Are you interested in making wedding bands for each other? Contact us at Harold Studio for more information.
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How to make your own wire: Part II

With the ingot made from the recycled silver, I next proceed to draw it down to the size I want and while doing so, lengthen my wire considerably!
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I start off by rolling the wire through the wire section of the rolling mill. I generally pass it through between 2 and 3 times before I anneal the metal again. If this isn't done, the metal WILL crack and start to flake off. I've learned through experience that it isn't worth it trying to pass the metal through "just one more time".  After rolling the metal down to about the diameter I want, I move to the draw plate because the wire section of the rolling mill made the wire diamond shaped and I want circular wire.
Note: While the rolling mill isn't necessary to drawing down wire, it will make everything go MUCH faster. As in, shaving off as much as an hour or more of your time. But, if you don't have a rolling mill, don't live in Phoenix where you can visit Harold Studio and use ours, or just want a good workout, you Can make wire without a rolling mill by following the next few steps.

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The 4 things needed to draw down wire are: 1) lubricant(I recommend bur life),  to ease the friction when drawing down the wire 2) A draw plate, which has holes going in small increments from big to little. Draw plates can come in circular, square, triangular and half round shapes. 3) A vise to hold the draw plate 4) Draw tongs which have teeth to grasp onto the metal. Draw tongs mar the metal but are necessary because they keep a grip on the wire. Anything else will slip.

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The first thing you will need to do is taper the wire. This can be done by filing it down or by using the rolling mill. It is only necessary to taper about an inch.

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Tapering the wire allows it to go through a smaller hole than the wire would be able to go down at its current size. It takes a little bit of muscle to draw wire because you have to make sure the tongs stay clamped while pulling something through a hole that is too small for it.
Repeat the  process of annealing and tapering after every 2-3 holes. Annealing allows the metal to go through the holes in the draw plate easier and prevents  the wire from breaking off due to brittleness or work hardening.

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My wire I made from recycled silver! The whole process took me about 30 minutes and was greatly reduced due to the fact that I had a rolling mill.
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How to make your own wire: Part I

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Metal prices are very expensive right now and I have more scrap metal than I know what to do with. So today I made some sterling silver wire at the studio. What you need to make your own wire is a crucible, ingot mold(mine is a reversible so I can do sheet as well), torch and draw plate.

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First step is to choke the torch(acetylene) by wrapping your hand around the turn on valve so that no oxygen can come out. This creates a sooty substance which floats out of the torch. I use the soot to coat the inside of the ingot where I plan on pouring my silver. You will know if you are choking the torch right if black substance starts coming off the flame and if the flame is mostly yellow(as opposed to blue).

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Secure the ingot so that the wire will be even by tapping the top of it with a hammer after you have tightened the two ends together. Then heat up the ingot. This secures that when you pour in the metal it will not splatter back at you out of shock from going to molten hot to cold. The ingot and the metal need to be roughly the same temperature.

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Heat up the crucible then put your scrap silver into it.

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Wait until your silver is like a liquid round puddle. If the metal is dirty or taking longer than expected, adding a pinch of borax helps to clean it off. Pour the metal down the hole in the ingot.

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OK, that was the easy part. Next post I'll go over drawing it down.
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