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Showing posts with label metalsmithing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metalsmithing. Show all posts

Arizona Artist Series: Susan of Wallace Chambers Design Q&A

sterling silver spiral ring


How did you get into metalsmithing?

I had an uncle who made a living as a watchmaker. He also had an interest in stones and made some jewelry. When I was in elementary school he would take me along to hunt for rubies, and on one occasion he bought me a handcrafted Sterling dogwood flower ring. I thought this was so amazing! Later on I became aware of art shows, and grasped the fact that I could actually make a living designing and making jewelry.


What inspires you?

I would have to say beauty. I relate to the fluid nature of metal, and am totally in love with the drama of fire. I find clarity in looking for design, and it is usually a subtle, very unplanned idea that starts my process.

csterling silver cuff



What is your design process?

Very simply, I make it up as I go along!


What is your favorite tool?

I like working with my foredom ..... the finishing process I find
rewarding as the piece is becoming a whole.

Sterling silver twisted pendant on black cord


What is on your bench right now?

 I have been working on silver earrings with raw sea
glass. I decided to make unbacked bezel setting, and still have finishing to accomplish
on them.

sea glass earrings, ring mandrel, projects in process

Do you have any upcoming shows? 

I just finished my season in the Seattle area, where I do a Farmers Market on Saturdays.
My current goal is to focus on my website, and host my own online shows.


Where else can we find your work? 
In Arizona I have work for sale at Taliesin West, in The Frank Lloyd Wright Store. In
Washington I am working on a collection for SAM, Seattle Art Museum for the
spring/summer 2019 season.

https://www.wallacechambersdesign.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WallaceChambers?ref=search_shop_redirect


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Arizona Artist Series: Jen Lin of Hello Pecan Designs Q&A


Green Turquoise Shadow Box Ring


How did you get into metalsmithing?

I have always enjoyed learning and doing anything art and crafts related. I also admired all the pretty silver and turquoise jewelry out there, but had a hard time finding rings or cuffs that fit. I remember thinking maybe someday it would be cool to be able to make it myself. Two years ago, I was looking for a creative outlet to balance out my life and randomly searched the internets for a local metal-smithing class. I found Harold Studio, took the awesome Jewelry 1 class, and have been hooked ever since.  

What inspires you?
Lots of things - a lot of the times just looking at the stone itself sparks some idea for what it could become or what style would fit it best. I had lots of fun looking to nature and the National Parks for inspiration for several pieces. Sometimes running low on supplies (rarely happens right...) generates ideas. It ends up being a semi-fun challenge to see what I can try to create using what I have left until I can restock! 

Turquoise Shadow Box Ring

What is your design process?
I like when I can sit there with the stones I want to work with, along with whatever metal I happen to have on hand in front of me. I arrange things and mix and match all the pieces until I hit upon something that I like and want to wear myself. 

What is your favorite tool?
It's a toss up right now between the fresh stack of yellow bristle polishing discs and the buttery smooth metal file. 

What is on your bench right now? 
Currently on a ring kick and have a couple of different ones going on right now - some simple turquoise ones (my favorite), a few multi-stone rings, a Jasper one. Also finishing up an little cuff. 
Double Band Turquoise Ring

Do you have any upcoming shows? 

Annual Fall Festival of the Arts on October 28, Noon-4pm at the AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park, Tempe. 


Where else can we find your work? 
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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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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
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A metalsmith and her wall hangings

Arizona Artist Series: Melanie Channon Q&A

Melanie Channon is a scientist who makes beautiful wall hangings that will leave you breathless. 
One of her pieces, Octopus is currently being featured at Arizona's Herbergur Theatre's Face Off Exhibit with some other amazing artists until January. 

Metal and stone wall hanging of an octopus
You can see more of her work on her instagram



How did you get into metalsmithing?

  I took a class at Harold Studio in February 2013 and immediately fell in love with manipulating metal.

What inspires you?

  Metalwork made for religious purposes and/or royalty in the middle ages.  Pieces like reliquaries and crowns that were obviously time consuming and painstaking to make.  I really admire the dedication it took to make them.  I strive to reflect that kind of dedication in my pieces, even though they are not for religion or royalty.  

What is your design process?

  I try to think of things that I personally like (skulls, animals, characters) that would accommodate a lot of metal techniques (gems, rivets, etc.) and interesting details (textures and patterns).  But really some of what I consider to be my most creative design ideas have come from the logistics of trying to put the piece together.  For example, some of the designs that I do with rivets were partly out of necessity to attach the different components together.  

  However, I also purposefully try to use different techniques for each piece, both to challenge myself, and to distinguish the style of the pieces from each other. So, sometimes the image or character that I come up with is from what I think would be a cool image that is suited to whatever new or different technique I want to use.

Metal and stone owl wall hanging



What is your favorite tool?

I think this changes around a little depending on what I'm working on.  But, because I do so many rivets I really love my flush cutters.  I paid a little more for a decent pair, and I'm really happy I did. https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Italian-Flush-Cutters-TR5000R/111105 I also love all of my stamping/chasing/repousse tools.  Some of which I've made myself and some that I've purchased.  I probably like the ones I've purchased a little more, just because I'm not that good at making them yet, lol.  I also could not live without my miter cutting jig; I can't even cut a bezel straight without it. https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Economy-Miter-Cutting-Vise-and-Jig/112700

What is on your bench right now?


Coincidentally, both my flush cutters and my miter cutting jig, along with various sizes of drills, a center punch, a small ball peen hammer, a large half round file, safety goggles, metal scraps, and my medusa piece (but I'm actually not working on Medusa at the moment; I'm working on signature tags for my skull and owl pieces).  Plus, all the other stuff that normally lives on my bench: all my other hammers, other files, stamping/chasing/repousse tools, pliers, saw, flex shaft accessories, bench block, wood block for drilling, etc.

messy bench with metal and tools scattered around

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Here are a couple charts to use!

chart to use to determine size of band
Add caption
compare metal gauge to inches and mm

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Ho Ho Ho

The Christmas Party was a great success!  Fun was had by all and we really appreciate all of your support!  We will be closed for the holidays from Wednesday, December 24 - Thursday, January 1.  We will reopen on Friday, January 2.  We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We have lots of classes starting in January.  Take a look:

Jewelry 1:  Mondays 6-9pm, starts January 5
Jewelry 2:  Tuesdays 6-9pm, starts January 6
Jewelry 3:  Wednesdays 6-9pm, starts January 7
Treasure Box:  Sundays 12-3, starts January 11
Stone Setting:  Tuesdays 6-9pm, starts January 20
Cloisonne:  Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25, 9-5
Filigree:  Saturday and Sunday, January 31- February 1, 10-3
Wire Wrap Bracelet:  Tuesday, January 6, 6-9pm
Wire and Sheet Making:  Saturday, January 10th, 1-3
Finishing:  Saturday, January 10th, 3-4:30
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New Treasure Box Classes Starting

The last treasure box class was such a hit that we have added 2 classes to the calendar.  The class is 4 weeks and you will be given the materials at the first class.  You will then design and create a piece of jewelry using the materials we give you.  The class is tons of fun and we keep you guessing about what the materials will be until the start of the class.  Each class uses different materials so if you taken it before this class will be totally different!  Here are a couple of pictures of projects completed in the last treasure box class!

You can sign up for the class here:
http://haroldstudio.com/collections/x-classes/products/treasure-box-4-week-class


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