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Jewelry classes in phoenix az

Jewelry classes in phoenix az
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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? 

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.



Jewelry Tools for the Intermediate to Advanced Metal Jewelry Artist. Harold Studio of Phoenix Has Some Recommendations.


You were excited to see that at least a few of your projects finished in your introductory level jewelry class was successful, now you’re ready to expand what you learned. Here are some tools that will help you add interesting and fun details to your work.

Center Punch – is a simple tool used to do as its name implies – it ‘punches’ or makes an indention in metal. This makes it easier for your drill to stay centered when making a hole in the metal. Since it stabilizes the drill, you’re less likely to damage the metal as you drill. Drilled holes can be a design element in and of themselves. However, they’re often utilized as a connection point for other jewelry parts – like a bail on a necklace, for example.
center punch tool

Rolling Mill – A rolling mill serves multiple purposes. It can flatten/thin out sheet metal and wire. It can also be used to apply texture and designs to your piece. Durston is one of the most respected manufacturers of rolling mills on the market. No matter which brand of rolling mill you purchase, be sure to purchase one made of high-quality hardened steel—this ensures that the mill can not only make quality, even forms but will also work for a long duration that’s worth the investment.
Rolling Mill and Hydraulic Press on work bench
Metal Stamps
Metal stamps make a lasting impression - literally!  They do take practice and finesse to get a nice even design. There are hundreds of stamp patterns, symbols, and design elements you can add to your jewelry creations. A tip - If you hit your stamp multiple times in the same spot, it may result in distorted or double images on the metal.
moon stamp, 2 circle design stamp, ohm stamp

Casting Molds
Making jewelry with a mold is a method used to insure that your jewelry ideas can be accurately recreated again whenever you’d like in the future. Your original mold can be as simple as a ring with no stone, or embellishments or as elaborate as an intricately detailed statement necklace.

If you’ve not yet tried your hand at these tools, Harold Studio in Phoenix offers classes and the option to rent studio time where you’ll be able to practice with metal stamps, center punches, and a rolling mill. While casting classes aren’t currently available, there is a purchase option to have your design cast molded. Learn more about the studio here.

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

6 Tips to Create a Fair Contract (for Yourself & Your Client) When Taking a Jewelry Production Order



Saguaro earrings, twig shapes, polishing wheels
You were asked to use your jewelry metalsmith skills to make something for someone else’s product line.  It’s exciting!  Such opportunities are a good way to make some regular money for a period of time, get your name out there in a new way and work in collaboration with designers, or entrepreneurs.


However, it’s your first offer of this kind, it can also be a bit overwhelming – especially if you haven’t created anything like the particular design requested of you. You want to be fair to your client, and yourself in regards to your time and the cost of materials. What does that look like?
A contract agreement of some kind? 
Turquoise. notepad, wire, jewelry bench, necklaces and earrings

Here are some essential details Harold Studio recommends considering and including in a contract before you agree to take on the work.

1.     Arrange for a beta production period where you are paid to design and create from their specs a sample of prototypes for approval. This way, you know how long a certain piece takes to make and can also better estimate necessary details. Especially, if you’ve never created this kind of jewelry piece/design before.

2.     Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to have a solid time frame for completing deliverables for a certain number of pieces and can list a solid completion date/time frame to include in the contract.

3.     Once you know your time frame, your production fee (how much you pay yourself hourly) along with the cost of materials can be determined.

4.     Include a non-disclosure clause in your contract. This won’t necessarily guarantee that the pieces you create are fully protected from copycats, but it provides a certain amount of legal protection that sets your expectations if you plan to include 3rd parties in the production process.

5.     Cover your time and expenses, if there are requests for changes of materials, or style applied for another round of prototypes.  Note in the contract that there will be fees incurred for edits, changes to the piece. Be sure to include fees for not just your time and material, but also for any work required by 3rd party service (engraving, for example).

6.     If this piece you’re producing is going to be sold on a continual basis, determine a percentage of your share of each sold piece.  You may need to consider a lower percentage at first, until the salability of a piece is proven and include a clause that says, ‘Upon a certain number, (200, for example) of charms, bracelets, etc. sold in a 4- month time frame, the contract can be revisited for consideration to raise my percentage share of each sale.’

We hope these tips help to put you at ease and feel more confident about taking on production work in the future.  If you need specific tools and workspace to fulfill a production order, Harold Studio offers rental options based on your experience and budget. Learn more here.

Studio with work benches, tools, a polisher and supplies