silver cast findings for jewelry making

silver cast findings for jewelry making
Cast Findings

Jewelry classes in phoenix az

Jewelry classes in phoenix az
Showing posts with label jewelry classes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jewelry classes. Show all posts

Jewelry Classes & Supplies Make Great Gifts! Discover Different Ways of Giving for the Holidays.

ring clamp - jewelry saw - bench pin

Are you already browsing for holiday gifts just to avoid the madness of the holiday rush at Christmas time? Or, are you dreading it because some of your loved ones are hard to shop for?
Maybe some combination of these?

Harold Studio can help you reduce your pre-holiday stress! We offer classes throughout the year. We have options for every skill level. From beginner, to intermediate and seasoned jewelry designer.  We also sell jewelry design supplies and tools at our studio in Phoenix, AZ.  All of these make great gifts!

Here’s a list of gift ideas for the creative soul in your life.

For the Beginner Jewelry Artist:

Jewelry 1 Class --This class covers all the basics a metalsmith jewelry artist needs to know to develop their craft. Hand sawing earrings, soldering to make a ring, to creating patinas textures and more. This 8-week class will help your novice loved one become proficient at the art of metal jewelry design.

 For the Mid-level to Seasoned Jewelry Artist:

We offer a range of classes that would satisfy the intermediate to seasoned jewelry artists. From making cuffs, to stacked rings and or cabochon rings and more, the options for creativity are plenty.

Another Gift Idea for The Seasoned Artisan:

For those who’ve experience working with torches and metalsmith tools, we also offer the option to rent studio space, so individuals can work on their own projects. We offer part-time rental options.
Harold Studio's work benches

Gifts for Everyone:

No matter what level of experience a jewelry designer has, they all appreciate new, quality tools and supplies. We carry popular essentials like cabochon stones, saw blades, bezel wire, polishing discs and more. If you’re not sure what to buy, we offer gift cards, too.

Harold Studio's Gift CardWhile these all make great gifts, the gift of learning and growing in one’s creativity is priceless!

If you have questions about our classes, or our studio rental options, feel free to contact us. Harold Studio wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Harold Studio Featured Supplier Series: Gem Resources, International Provides Quality & a Large Selection of Stones to Satisfy a Range of Jewelry Design Ideas.

Gem Resources, International is a valued supplier for Harold Jewelry. We recommend them to you, because whether you are just starting out in your jewelry design education or, you’re a seasoned artisan, you’ll find a stone that’s perfect for your design idea. 
3 stack rings with gemstones

The Minnesota-based company offers a wide selection of faceted natural and lab-created gems that come in styles such as rose-cut, checkerboard and bullet. Rough-cut gems are an option in stones like citrine, aquamarine, white topaz, a few kinds of garnet and peridot to name some examples. Plus, they have natural and lab-created stone cabochons (also called ‘cabs’), which are known to be easier to set than faceted or rough gems. They also have a choice of drilled stones or drops. Some of these drilled stones come in novel shapes – like boots!

Blue topaz on quartz

Are you in search of details about certain jewelry making processes for your latest design? Gem Resources International’s website has a nice section of ‘How-to Guides.’ Also, if you want to find links to industry publications, educational institutions or guilds you’ll find these in their ‘Shop Talk’ section.

 Another benefit to shopping with Gem Resources international is their specials on stones. They run monthly specials.  One of their recent sales included half off the price of gems like - mother-of-pearl, lapis, turquoise, rose quartz, rainbow moonstone, amethyst, Australian Opal, Oregon Sunstone and Montana Agate.

Do you have questions about how a stone, or stones, you purchased from Gem Resources International will suit your jewelry idea? Do you wonder if they will work for a custom design, or a project in one of our upcoming classes? The staff at Harold Studio is happy to help you and answer any questions you may have before you start a class or a creation.

Visit our site again soon for our next ‘Featured Supplier’ blog. If you’re a gemstone fan, you’re probably pretty familiar with them, and may have shopped with them already. They are reputed to be one of the world’s largest resources for everything jewelry and jewelry design!

By: Amy Juneau

Avoid Melting Your Project. Hot Tips for Saving Your Jewelry Creation and Keeping a Cool Head in the Process.

Everyone melts their jewelry piece when in the middle of creating their design idea from time to time. Everyone. Those with years of experience do it, too.  However, we all want to do better, be more efficient in our work -  wasting less time and material.

melted bezel

Here are some tips to help you melt your creations less often:

Always focus on heating the metal, not the solder. Look to achieve a muted orange-red glow vs. a bright orange color of your metal. The latter could quickly turn your bezel or other smaller elements into a metal puddle.
Heat the metal evenly, using the outer-most part of your flame, moving your torch slowly in circular motions over your piece.
Concentrate the heat of the torch on the larger parts of your piece – the base, a band, for example, instead of the bezel or other smaller delicate decorations. Keep in mind that metal is conductive. Heat will travel throughout your piece from the larger elements to the smaller ones.
As you heat your piece, move the torch closer to the blue tip of the flame. When you do this you, you will notice that the metal will change color to a bright orange-red glow. When you see this color change, put the torch flame on the joint where you put the solder.  Watch for a liquid line of solder running along/onto the seam.

torch flame with solder pick Once the solder has flowed, pull your torch away and turn it off.
Stay focused on the goal. Yes, it sounds trite, or obvious, but sometimes it’s common for jewelry artist to start envisioning the finished piece, or other possibilities as they work and not on the task at hand. This can lead to melting a piece, too.
We hope these tips help you to keep a cool head when heating up your piece, and be more productive overall. If you want to learn more about the jewelry design process, or make specific styles, Harold Studio hosts classes every month. Learn more about them here.
torch fired with tripod


5 Useful Tips for Jewelry Artists – Because Creative Blocks Happen.

The front door of Harold Studio

After weeks of productivity and finishing jewelry pieces that make you proud, your river of creative ideas seems to freeze over. You look at your stones, stamped designs and metal patina samples in hope that they may somehow trigger a spark of an idea, or magically convey a concept because you’re making intense eye contact with them. Yet, still nothing comes to mind.

Not to worry! The following are just some ways that can help you get your creative mojo back:

Schedule time for you and Inspiration to meet.
Don’t panic. This won’t necessarily take more time from your packed schedule. You can get inspiration while on a morning walk/run/jog in nature, listening to your playlist of favorite tunes, doodling or sketching, and going to your local art museum or gallery with a friend. Inspiration is happiest to meet you when you are  in relaxed, fun situations.

A student's jewelry bench with tools and metals

Socialize/network with other jewelry designers.
This has a few different benefits to socializing with other designers. One is simply feeling a mutual kinship over the minor tragedies of bezel wire melted and the triumph of successfully finishing a challenging project. Another benefit is sharing tips that could help each other in your designs and being open to receiving constructive criticism so you can improve upon your skills.
Keep sane when working with clients. Allow time for good ideas to develop.
While it’s exciting to have client orders, be sure to allow yourself some time between the initial order and the completion deadline. Why? Working under a time crunch typically creates stress that’s not conducive to creative thinking, risk-taking and solutions.
Make time for daydreaming, and or, meditation
If you must schedule this, please do. Allowing your mind to wonder in the form of daydreaming, or during meditation is how you can access the subconscious. This can be a good time for creative ideas to flow -  when the mind stops pondering your problems.

cabochon stones and jewelry tools: stamps,  steal block, hammer and lace for texture

Try new things and processes!
This could be something as simple as a slight change of schedule. Maybe you work on your project in a different space. Or, maybe you play with mixing other materials you’ve never used before – fabric, or texture, for example.

Are you feeling more hopeful yet? Try one, a few or all of these tips and you’ll soon be in your creative flow again. You can try one of these tips when you take a Harold Studio jewelry class. It’s a great way to meet other jewelry designers! Learn more here.


Make Metal Jewelry Without Spending a Fortune on Tools. What You Need to Set Up a Work Space at Home.

You saw a pair of earrings a friend made at a local design studio and felt inspired to try your hand at it, too. However, you’d like to do it first at home because you want to mess up a few times without any curious onlookers and to see if you like the process in general. You can find supplies online, in specific tool-focused groups on social media, thrift stores, and flea markets at reasonable and or discounted prices.

Your shopping list for tools needed to make metal jewelry is as follows (most of the items on this list, minus the Dremel® drill and flex shaft and can be found for $25 or less).

bench pin sawblade and ring clampJewelry Tools for Cutting, Piercing, Rough Finishing 

A jeweler’s saw frame.
Saw blades #03, 02, 01, 0, and 1.
A wooden bench pin. Or you if you’re particularly handy, you can cut a piece of 1” board with a “V” cut into it to clamp onto a table with a C-clamp.
A set of needle files. 
Sandpapers with a variety of fine and medium grits.  
A range of drill bit types and a drill. We recommend a flexible shaft or Dremel®.  A small, household electric drill can work, too if you rather save up for one of the other types for the future.
A center punch is helpful to drilling a clean, neat hole. 
A small ball peen hammer. 
A steel-edged ruler. 
Safety gear like dust masks or eye protection/visors.
A fine point marker for drawing shapes or indicating where you want to cut your metal.
A small vise may be helpful for holding your metal still as you saw or drill it.

third hand locking tweezers with crockpot for pickle
Jewelry Tools for Soldering

A Benz-o-matic® propane-type torch can be found at local hardware stores for around $15. They are most beneficial when making small pendants or earrings (not more than 1-2 inches in width, as the torch flame won’t be large enough to heat bigger pieces of metal.
Liquid flux or flux paste.
Papermate® white-out for deterring excess solder flow on your design.
Cheap watercolor brushes for applying liquid flux to your piece.
A crock pot for keeping your pickle (an acidic compound). This cleans off oxides and flux residues.
Pickle solution is made of Sparex®, a professional pickling compound or swimming pool acid from your local pool supply store (1 tsp. to 500 ml). Some like to use a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of table salt, or pickling alum. The latter are all available at your local grocery store.
High-melting-temperature silver solders for jewelry fabrication. These are graded as ‘hard’, ‘medium’ and ‘easy.'
Soldering pick and tweezers to move the solder where you want it (vs. dirtying the metal with the oils from your skin).
hammer and various files

 Jewelry Tools for Finishing

Scotch-Brite® pads are good for achieving a satin finish. Tip: Janitors throw away the centers of floor polishing pads which are the same type of material. Call your local janitorial service and maybe they’ll give them to you for free.
Some like to use renaissance wax or similar product for protection – particularly on brasses.
Tripoli and rouge are great for high-shine results.
A buffing wheel on a mounted electric hand drill or on a polishing motor can produce the high-shine appearance quickly when used with the afore mentioned tripoli and rouge.

We hope that seeing the basic necessities of metal jewelry design listed by purpose encourages you to get started on the path to making your first metal jewelry pieces. As you gain confidence with the tools, consider checking out our classes at Harold Studio. If you’re not sure which class is right for you, don’t’ hesitate to contact us, we’ll be glad to help you.


Upcoming Classes

We have some great classes scheduled to start in the next couple weeks!  Click on the class to register or for more information.

Also, the studio will be closed this Wednesday, January 21 and will be open on Thursday from 12-3pm.

Make jewelry in spinner ring jewelry class
Spinner Ring - Saturday January 17th 1-4pm

Learn to cabochon, tube, and flush setting
Stone Setting - Tuesday 6-9pm - Begins January 20th
Learn to solder, saw, pierce, rivet, texture, patina, and set stones
Jewelry 1 - Friday's 12-3pm - Begins January 23rd
Learn the jewelry enamel technique of Cloisonne
Cloisonne - Saturday and Sunday January 24 and 25,  9-5pm


Treasure Box

We debuted the treasure box class at Harold Studio this month.  It was a huge hit!  The students were given a list of ingredients that they would use to create their piece of jewelry.  They were able to eliminate one of the ingredients and to add one ingredient of their choice.  The class lasted three weeks and started off with each participant creating their design.  The class concluded this past Tuesday and none of the students finished their design so we decided to add an additional week to future treasure box classes.  The students in this first class will be given a few studio hours to complete their projects.  Here are some pictures from all the fun!  Stay tuned for another post about their finished projects and their comments about the class!

Supplies and rules for treasure box jewelry class at Harold Studio in Phoenix
Treasure Box supplies and rules!  The supplies will change with each class.  

Treasure box supplies include copper, silver, brass and beads
A visual look at the supplies.

Looking at a jewelry design book for inspiration to create her piece of jewelry for the treasure box class.
Louise is looking at a book for inspiration for her design.  I wonder what she will make!  

Student drawing her ideas for her jewelry design for the treasure box class at Harold Studio
Patricia is drawing out her design!

Treasure box student has used her brass wire to form a necklace and her copper to do some fold forming
Lynn's supplies are taking shape!

Student designed this pendant using copper sheet, silver square wire, a red bead and brass wire for the treasure box jewelry class
Louise's pendant is coming along nicely!! I love the modern design! 

Student in the treasure box class at harold studio is using colorful beads along with domed silver sheet.
Lousie is getting creative with her beads and silver!  What is she going to do with these!

A copper cuff bracelet is being designed with beads, copper, and silver.
Ah!  Now we see what Louise is thinking!  This looks really cool!

Silver and copper are being joined together by soldering in the treasure box class at Harold Studio
Patricia has been doing lots and lots and lots of soldering!  

Hollow beads made by soldering together brass, copper, and silver domed metal pieces
Another view of Patricia's soldering pieces.  She is laminating brass and copper and putting the domed beads together to form hollow beads!  Don't forget to put at least 2 holes in your piece if you plan to make a hollow piece so it doesn't explode from the pressure.

Hollow star bead made from copper in the treasure box class at Harold Studio
Patricia also plans to put these two pieces together to form a bead.

Brass necklace with copper flowers being made at Harold Studio in the treasure box class
Lynn giving a sneak peek of the necklace she is working on.  
Pendant is made with copper that has been folded over and holds silver wire with orange beads.
Close up view of one of the flowers Lynn is making for her necklace.