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Showing posts with label home studio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home studio. Show all posts

Arizona Artist Series: Stefanie Dicker of Bezel and Brass Q & A

Sterling Silver Botswana Necklace

How did you get into metalsmithing?

Years ago, my grandma gave me her wedding ring and told me that I could reset the stones, if I wanted to do so. I felt that the best way to honor her, would be to learn how to reset the stones myself. Ironically, I no longer want to reset the stones. I cherish the memories that I have of her wearing that ring. I want to preserve the ring and the memories.

Sterling Silver and Brass Geometrical Earrings

What inspires you?

I'm very inspired by other cultures. Specifically, Native American and Hispanic cultures. I love the story, the spirit, the richness and the detail.



Bezel and Brass Silver Hoops with Brass Dangles

What is your design process?

 I tend to be a more methodical person, so, I'm not one to "wing it".  I almost always have a plan before I start working on a piece. Usually, I end up deviating or modifying somewhere along the way. That's the part of the process that I have a tricky relationship with. I don't like uncertainty, although, uncertainty can be our best teacher.

Bezel and Brass Silver Jasper Ring

What is your favorite tool and why?

 My favorite tool changes, depending on the pieces that I'm working on. Consistently, though, I love my rotary tool. The finishing process is cathartic for me.


Bezel and Brass Work Bench with various tools


What is on your bench right now?

I'm finishing up some chrysoprase earrings and starting a collection for a salon in Minnesota.

Bezel and Brass Silver Varasite Ring




Where can we find your work?
-Local Nomad on Camelback and Central, localnomadshop.com
-late spring/early summer at Mérite House of Beauty in Minnetonka, MN
-Etsy, bezelandbrass.etsy.com


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Harold Studio Talks Torches, the Type They Use & Options for Those Who Want a Home Workspace


Harold Studio Acetylene tank and a fire extinguisher
Whether you’re a beginning jewelry metalsmith or you’ve been practicing your craft for a few years, you may be wondering which types of torches and gas combinations do what jobs best.  Harold Studio wanted to share why they use acetylene (acetylene-air) -fueled torches and also a few options if you want to set up a home studio for yourself.

Why Acetylene?

·      Because acetylene burns at such a high temperature, students and studio renters alike will always have an adequate amount of heat no matter the size or details of their project.

·      It offers the opportunity to use a range of torch tip sizes for different size projects and design situations.

·      It burns so hot, it really doesn't require an oxygen tank for most things, which means less setup costs for you. When your torch is turned on and the gas reaches the tip, most torches have oxygen holes that merge with the gas to produce an adequately high heat for most silver and gold soldering. This means one less tank, regulator and hose to buy which can really add up. Note: Acetylene is not a good gas to use when working with palladium(a platinum alloy). For that reason, we have an extra propane/oxygen setup for all our palladium, palladium white gold and platinum operations.
a torch being used to melt silver

Torch & Gas Options for Home Studios

·      While initially it can be costlier up front to purchase than other smaller torch /gas tank options, your end cost may be the same (or more, depending on frequency of use). Since the acetylene gas tank is quite large, it will last months to years longer than butane. We also recommend you have adequate and well-ventilated space for all types of torch set-ups. 

·      If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of acetylene in/near your home, you can commit to smaller torch and gas options.  Keep in mind, you’ll be limited to creating much smaller scale designs. Most people we have met start off with a butane and quickly move up to getting a proper tank/torch setup.

·      Propane and oxygen torch combinations are commonly used in home studios as well. Propane, just like acetylene should be kept in a well-ventilated studio space.

·      Butane torches are the smallest available and cheap. They are usually handheld with disposable tanks. However, they have no option to change the torch tip, you can only adjust the size a bit, and they only get hot enough to melt very very small objects such as jump rings. Even trying to solder a simple cabochon ring can prove frustrating because it is usually too big for a butane torch

Regardless of the type of torch and set-up you buy, always keep safety in mind. While we can understand you’re excited to get started, it should go without saying – home fires, accidental gas leaks, and or gas inhalation aren’t worth the risk of not fully understanding the operation of your tank(s).

Do you have questions about the torches Harold Studio uses, or want to learn how to use one? Contact us, or sign up for one of our beginner classes.



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