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Silversmithing

Foundations in Silversmithing

Tutor:  Mark Nelson

Learn contemporary silversmithing techniques as you create a striking mixed-metal ring!

Gain the skills to confidently craft silver jewelry, with trade secrets from Rio Grande's Mark Nelson! You'll learn best practices for silversmithing jewelry, from expert soldering setup to heat control, torch use, stone-setting and finishing techniques. First, find out how to cut, solder and shape a perfectly fit silver bezel. Then, learn sizing and forming techniques as you sweat-solder two sterling ring shanks together for a dynamic, double-banded design. Practice proper solder placement as you securely attach a handmade backplate to your bezel, and pick up Mark's expert tips for sawing, filing, and embellishing a decorative brass or copper element. Discover simple techniques that deliver professional-level results — and enjoy a ring that showcases your new skills! 

 

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Foundations in Silversmithing

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Professional Bezel-Setting Techniques

Tutor:  Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Gain the skills to showcase any stone with a well-crafted bezel! Learn techniques to create three distinctive settings that are just as beautiful as the gemstones they house.

Join jewelry artist Danielle Miller-Gilliam, and find out how to make a bezel setting for a variety of flat-backed stones — even irregular, square, and pear-shaped selections. First, discover how to measure your bezel and test your stone during fabrication to ensure the perfect fit. Learn how backplates enhance the design of your setting, and use accessible soldering techniques to create the foundation for stunning rings and pendants. You'll find out how to craft smooth, gap-free settings, and conquer irregularly shaped stones with fabrication techniques — like how to solder crisp bezel corners — as well as proper positioning when setting the stone. You'll even learn to use your chisel and hammer (or flex shaft) to turn sheet metal into a structural bezel, and follow along with Danielle to refine your settings. Finally, discover the safest, most effective ways to polish your stones and projects for professional-quality results.

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Professional Bezel-Setting Techniques

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Soldering: Basics and Beyond

Tutor:  Gwen Youngblood

Gain a toolkit of essential soldering techniques as you create everything from layered pendants to striking bezel settings!

Heat up your handmade jewelry with essential soldering skills! Instructor Gwen Youngblood walks you through the soldering process, starting with how to set up a safe, effective workstation. Then, conquer the torch with Gwen's expert tips and tricks. You'll find out how to hold your torch, control heat levels and use the sweet spot of the flame in a number of fun exercises, including granulation and balling wire. Next, learn how to sweat-solder multiple metals and embellishments to create lovely, layered pieces. Then, dive into a range of bezel fabrication techniques to create the perfect showcase for a cabochon. You'll learn to size and shape your wire, solder a perfectly flush backplate, and set your stone securely. Finally, master soldering delicate wire to craft elegant, filigree-inspired creations!

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Soldering: Basics & Beyond

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Solder Smarter: Strategies for Better Results

Tutor:  Joanna Gollberg

Take your skills to the next level with soldering tricks that will improve your pieces AND build your confidence!

Master your torch and conquer challenging jewelry fabrication with ease! Metalsmith Joanna Gollberg guides you step by step through common soldering challenges and beyond, starting with the most important tool: your torch. Learn proper heat control for a variety of tasks and conquer firestain with tips on fluxes and fixes. Find out how to properly stage complicated projects, from curved and round pieces to intricate wire joints, and practice two sweat-soldering methods that offer greater precision. Then, successfully solder intricate designs with Joanna's foolproof tips for stick soldering with wire solder, and learn to solder multiple joints at once to quickly make prong settings. Finally, learn troubleshooting tips every metalsmith needs to know and discover how to refine your pieces with texture or polish for a flawless, professional finish.

 

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Solder Smarter: Strategies for Better Results

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Metalsmithing at Home

Tutor: Kate Richbourg
Solder rings, bracelets and earrings in Metalsmithing at Home with accomplished metalsmith Kate Richbourg.

Solidify your jewelry making skills by learning to solder copper, brass and silver into industrial chic adornments in Metalsmithing at Home. You'll instantly take a shine to Kate Richbourg's edgy style and warm instruction as she guides you through the detailed properties of jewelry making metals, soldering safety and four unique metalsmithing projects. Whether you want to create curvy copper earrings or chunky silver stack rings, you'll walk away knowing how to manipulate your metals with heat, a wide variety of tools and fun finishing techniques. Fire up your micro torch today and enroll in Metalsmithing at Home!

 

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Metalsmithing at Home

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The Metalsmith's Toolbox

Tutor: Kate Richbourg
Become a more confident metalsmith with must-have shop secrets! Learn how to use the tools of the trade for sophisticated results.

Join jewelry educator Kate Richbourg and discover the answers to your metalsmithing questions and challenges! Start with an exploration of metals, and learn how to choose the best materials for your projects. Then, wield jewelry hammers with finesse as you discover a variety of ways to add unique texture to metal. Next, add curved shapes to your repertoire as you find out how to use a dapping block to take your work from flat to fully dimensional. And, add foolproof cutting and refining techniques to your skill set, for a professional-quality finish that will last for years. Finally, find out the secret to achieving rainbows of stunning patinas on your designs with organic compounds, flame and even inks! Master metalsmithing for beginners, and embark on your future designs with confidence.

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The Metalsmith's Toolbox

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Fabricating Dimensional Metal Jewelry

Tutor: Lisa Colby
Learn six sophisticated soldering and forming techniques that will elevate your designs from simple to standout!
Craft dimensional jewelry with a range of accessible methods. Jewelry artist Lisa Colby shows you how to transform sheet metal into dynamic jewelry, starting with a lesson on layering and texturizing a disc-link chain. Find out how to incorporate Lisa's signature heat rivets to create an articulated design, then delve into dapping to form an eye-catching saucer embellishment. Next, learn how to make undulating, leaf-inspired components with fold-forming techniques, and assemble a striking necklace. Then, explore doming as you craft synclastic crescent earrings, complete with custom posts. And, discover how to solder hollow forms that are perfect for pendants and charms.

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Fabricating Dimensional Metal Jewelry

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Granulation Techniques Demystified

Tutor:  Victoria Lansford

Create striking, contemporary designs with ancient fusing techniques!

Renowned metalsmith and Rio Grande instructor Victoria Lansford shares trade secrets from 25 years at the bench as she teaches you granulation techniques for gorgeous jewelry. First, hone your torch control as you form granules from sterling silver and learn how to fuse wire and granules to sheet metal. Discover the visual cues that indicate when your piece is fully fused, then tackle fusing larger designs. Follow along as Victoria guides you through fusing stacked, 18K gold embellishments as well as perfectly symmetrical granulated earrings. Then, learn how to craft impressive, granulated ring bands. Add intricate fused details to a blank, and shape and solder the band –– plus, discover essential techniques for finishing your ring with decorative granules, a bezel and a perfectly set stone!

 

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Granulation Techniques Demystified

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The Perfect Connection: Rivets and Hinges

Tutor:  Meridith Arnold

Add dynamic movement to your jewelry with artful cold connections!

Fabricate flawless rivets and hinges with expert guidance from instructor Meredith Arnold! Get started with tips and tricks that will help you wield your jeweler’s saw with finesse, and learn how to smoothly cut curves, corners and pierced cutouts. Then, discover how to create wire and tube rivets that add structural and decorative connections to your work. Hinges are up next; learn how to make several variations of this versatile connection. Meredith guides you through creating a pin hinge, a slotted T-hinge that makes stunning bracelets a breeze, and a dynamic piano hinge. Finally, combine your new skills in a multi-step project to make a whimsical, one-of-a-kind copper pendant, complete with moving parts!

 

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The Perfect Connection: Rivets & Hinges

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