The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

What Are You Working on Now? Show Us What’s on Your Bench AND Enter Our January Contest!

Oct 24, 2012

It's that time again, folks! Each month we love to take a look into your studios, see images of your works-in-progress, and hear about the evolution of your pieces. Each month we also feature the work of a random winner — who, in addition to getting a moment in the spotlight, wins a $10 Rio credit!

We saw some wonderful stuff this month, including edgy skull and heart jewelry for the biker crowd, exciting examples of hand-engraved, Kliar E-Coating pieces, and Paul, the World Cup Octopus. Check out the comments to see for yourself!

This month's randomly-chosen winner is Laura Brubaker. Take a look:

I am working on my first ever production line of pumpkin leaf jewelry. In the foreground you can see the ones I am currently working on and in the tray on the left the completed ones. The tray on the right holds some of the other ideas I have been playing with. I am fold forming the leaves which I learned to do from the Rio video with Mark Nelson, forging the stem into a taper, and forming the shape of the leaf over Fretz stakes. I hope you like them!

Another leaf piece from Laura's Etsy store that I couldn't resist including!

We DO like them, Laura! Congratulations. To see more of Laura's work, check out her blog or her Etsy Store.

Now it's your turn to show us what you're working on. What inspires you these days? What materials are you dying to work with? Add a comment to this post with photos of something that's on your bench right now. This next part is REALLY important, so take notes!
We need the following information in order for your entry to be considered:

  1. Your full name (and a link to your website/Etsy store, if you like)
  2. A photo of your chosen project. Include a few photos if you like!
  3. A description of the project you're featuring. If you can include a little about your approach or technique, even better! Your fellow jewelers LOVE to read this stuff and so do we.
  4. After you add your comment, be sure to check back and make sure your photo has uploaded as it should. We don't want to miss your pic!

Enter and you might be spending an extra 10 bucks at Rio Grande this time next month. Our next winner will be announced in January 2013 --so you have a couple months to show us your stuff! Andy, over at Rio's facebook page will keep you posted on the deadline, so stay tuned!

Comments (5)
  1. Some Remington portable typewriters from 1930′s had a key for automatically indenting new paragraphs by 4 or 5 spaces. Some of these keys were marked “PAR”. I have one of those. That inspired my to make a golf themed pendant.

    I cut a 1 inch washer with a die cutter and Bonny Doon hydraulic press. Using a dapping block, I rounded the washer for the appearance of a ball. Using a small dapping punch, I made the dimples by hammering into the 18 gauge silver, backed by the largest round dapping punch I could find. I then soldered some small pieces of scrap silver onto the middle of a piece of 1 1/2 inch square piece of 22 gauge silver to make a seat for the typewriter key. The rounded, dimpled washer was soldered to that square. Sawed of the excess silver around the washer. Filed the edge with 0, 2 and 4 cut files. Made a bail and soldered that to the pendant. Glued (oh, horrors, but I fell that’s my only option in this scenario) the typewriter key to the seat in the center with epoxy. That was completed yesterday. I still need to do a little more filing to make the bail resemble a golf Tee.

    Jette Sorensen – and

  2. I just finished this the other day– I used silver-filled wire (16 gauge round, 21 gauge half-round, and 28 gauge round for the wrapping), and gemstone cabachons (rhodochrosite, carnelian, watermelon tourmaline, and garnet.) I wanted to create a piece that flowed, not only as far as the wire was concerned, but also with the colors. Thank you for looking! -Kirstin Kidd

  3. Two copper/silver overlay multi level pieces for pendants. One cab is turquoise the other is a cool jasper with combos of accent cabs. Yes….my workbench is a MESS!! But I know where everything is, I think…..haha. ;)

  4. Over looked some info: Kathy Anderson, just trying to finish these pieces and trying to configure the sliver back piece and accent stones for each one, how many stones, sizes and colors. I always use silver for my back layer, it’s cleaner against a shirt than copper. My etsy link is:

  5. Hi! My name is Kerye Leigh Hartzell. I am currently a metal smith student at the University of Science and Art of Oklahoma. My favorite process to use is the lost wax process, the piece I am showing you is hand sculpted and cast in bronze. It’s modeled after a young cuttlefish. Check out my facebook page for more ocean inspired works at

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