Silversmith+Jeweler

A Blog for the Silversmiths + Jewelers.

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 un...
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 solder...
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. 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 ro...
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 ) 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 ) 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 collec...
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?  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 ta...