Silversmith+Jeweler

A Blog for the Silversmiths + Jewelers.

I'm excited to announce that NC Black will be visiting us in November for a green etching workshop. NC BLACK Co Galvanic Etched and Anticlastic Formed Cuff Bracelet Workshop Galvanic etching is an electrolytic process, the principles of which have been known since the early 19th century, and the original process was patented in 1840 and called electro-etching. This workshop will demonstrate the galvanic process on a small scale for studio applications. Students will learn to electrically etch with minerals bronze, copper, and sterling silver. This is the ONLY non-industrial etching technique available that allows All the etched silver material to be recovered. The projects in this class include several image transfer methods as well as resists and intaglio techniques that will be used to create several etched bracelet blanks. After students etch a bracelet blank in each material, they will then learn to anticlastically raise them into cuff bracelets using NC BLACK Co's end h...
We started a new round of Jewelry I two weeks ago and here are two of the projects we have worked on. The focus was piercing and riveting. Loads of fun! ...
Oftentimes people in the industry refer to small stones(usually diamonds) in jewelry as Melee. So what exactly is Melee and how is it classified? Melee are little stones, usually no bigger than 2.6mm in diameter. They are most often used in pavé work but you can also see them in channel settings and flush settings as well. ...
This past weekend at the studio, the lovely Liz was working on a new wedding band for herself. She wanted to make a ring that carried meaning and was a reflection of her lifestyle and beliefs. I think she accomplished all of these things. Way to go on a great looking ring Liz! ...
I have had several people inquire about a cabochon ring making workshop and finally finished a couple of demos this last weekend. Be on the lookout for a 1 day workshop for these! ...
Photographer, blogger, creative lady extraordinaire and personal friend Tiffany Egbert took some photos at the studio the other day and was nice enough to mention us in her blog kittenpawsvintage . Thank you Tiffany! This afternoon I had the pleasure of hanging out at Harold Studio and taking a few photos of pretty jewelry for them. Harold Studio is a unique studio in downtown Phoenix run by the lovely Johanna Ingram for professional and recreational jewelers to take classes or rent out space for all of their jewelry making needs. They have a ton of equipment there and it's a great resource for local jewelers or people interested in making pretty things. Such a cool concept, I don't think there is another studio like it in Phoenix. Above are a few pieces Johanna made and also examples of the kinds of jewelry you can take classes to learn how to make (ooh lala!) She's also hoping to start a class where engaged couples can come and make their wedding ...
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! 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...
This week Harold Studio hosted its first ever birthday party! It was the perfect day to have one too. Everyone was able to make personalized charms. Many created charms with their own names or baby's names on them. Both kids and adults loved them! It was a fun and positive experience, celebrating a birthday through creativity and everyone coming out of it with a charm they made themselves. Add Comment   Ring Clamp 03/04/2011 0 Comments   Edit | Settings | Delete One of the cheaper and most useful tools I own. I use the ring clamp for almost every piece of jewelry I make. Having control over what I'm making is so important, this tool helps me file straighter, pierce better, and polish quicker. One of my favorite things to do with it is clamp my piece and anchor it against the bench pin. Doing this makes everything I do more accurate. Try it and you'll see just how more effective it is than holding whatever you're filing in your fi...
One of the cheaper and most useful tools I own. I use the ring clamp for almost every piece of jewelry I make. Having control over what I'm making is so important, this tool helps me file straighter, pierce better, and polish quicker. One of my favorite things to do with it is clamp my piece and anchor it against the bench pin. Doing this makes everything I do more accurate. Try it and you'll see just how more effective it is than holding whatever you're filing in your fingers. I almost forgot, less chattering of the file! Need I say more? Use your ring clamp!...
Using a mixture of 1 part Alum spice to 2 parts water. It works quickest if you heat the solution up(I use my studio crock pot). After about 30 minutes the drill bit should be completely gone! Alum is a spice commonly found in grocery stores. The great thing about using alum is that it is natural and safe. Something you can use to spice up your food as well as create jewelry? That's a no brainer to me. ...
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. 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). 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 h...
Fire agate. My favorite gemstone. Not sure if it has anything to do with my penchant for all things brown. But this stone is absolutely beautiful. Don't let my mention of the color brown fool you. There is much more to fire agate than brown, which is more of a backdrop to the other beautiful colors which give it its "fire". In many ways, fire agate is like opal. Do you ever notice how when moving a piece of opal, flashes of red or green usually come up? This is similar to fire agate. Usually, when cut right, the fire will appear as bubbles coming up to the surface in green, yellows, reds, and more rarely purples and blues. It is most commonly found in Mexico, California and the great state of Arizona....
It can be difficult understanding about gold and its value when it comes to karat. Especially when it comes to those places that pay cash for gold. Karat, not to be confused with carat(which is a unit of weight for diamonds), is a unit of purity for metal.It can be a surprise to find out that the money offered for a heavy 14 karat gold chain is only a fraction of what one thought they would get for it. The karat value (usually 14k, 18k, 22 and 24k) is a mark given to indicate the purity of the metal. It can be measured by dividing the karat by 24. 24 karat gold is 100% pure gold. There aren’t any other alloys (metals) mixed in with the gold to dilute it. So, something stamped 14k would mean that it is 58% gold with 42% other metals mixed in. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the gold is diluted down. Sometimes different alloys are added to make the gold easier to work with or even to change the color of the gold. ...
http://www.azcentral.com/business/news/articles/2011/01/10/20110110phoenix-jewelry-studio-serves-business-incubator-artisans.html...
The micro forming workshop was amazing this weekend. NC Black far exceeded all my expectations for the workshop. There is a high bar set for the next workshop that is hosted at Harold Studio! Thanks for a wonderful time....
Just got this message in from Mike. It made my day and I thought I would share it. Thanks Mike! Hi Jo, Thanks for inviting me to the free studio time. I’m working on getting some funds some way, I started working on a blog and posted ads, about jewelry repair or manufacturing. I’m thinking of making a logo for now to keep me busy and working on my custom jewelry bench. I’m inspired by you and enjoy talking and learning about jewelry with you. You’re Awesome!...
Had first open studio this evening. It felt so good to be able to work at the studio. I can tell a lot wonderful things will come out of Harold!...
Just got in a big shipment and started unloading and putting everything together. Among the goodies stood out the new workbenches! They required assembly so I have been straining to get them put together but I know it will be worth it. They are so sturdy and perfect for the studio. It is weird to see a workbench without any dents or file marks on it. They sure are a blank slate and will soon have a history to them....
The last few weeks have been extremely hectic with Harold Studio. But, I have the keys and equipment is starting to come in! I can't wait to share the studio with everyone else who has a passion for Jewelry making like I do....