The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Look at What You Can Do with Bonny Doon Hydraulic Metal Forming!

Jan 8, 2014
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Shelby Chant
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What do you get when you take one of these…

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Bonny Doon 20-Ton Hydraulic Press

…and some of these…

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24-Gauge Copper Sheets

…and lots of creativity?

You get a big, bold and glorious domed copper pendant featuring a shadow-box style pendant with intricate cut-outs that’s fit for royalty!

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Copper Pendant by Ashli Brooke Taylor

Rio’s own Ashli Brooke Taylor designed and created this pendant using copper sheet and a Bonny Doon hydraulic press. She cut her own Baroque-inspired design into a silhouette die blank before shaping it in a form box in the press. And with the strong arm of machinery, she created this graceful, glorious piece of jewelry art.  Have a press already and want to create a similar pendant? Here are the steps!

Using a Bonny Doon hydraulic press and Bonny Doon tooling allows you to direct all hydraulic energy on the design rather than expending your own physical energy on forming the metal with a hammer. "The Bonny Doon is a great piece of equipment to have," Ashli says. "I am intrigued by using pressure to manipulate metal to get results that I cannot physically obtain with my hands." And with this remarkable piece of equipment, you can create anything from a small piece of jewelry to a large vessel (heck, you should see this machine turn a metal vessel inside out!).

Watch silhouette die forming in action!

How long did it take Ashli to form the domed face of the pendant? Seconds. In fact, the entire piece (pendant, cabochon-set chain and all) took a mere three hours for her to complete.

"The press allows you to create shapes in the metal in seconds—and virtually flawlessly—that, by hand and hammer, would take hours," Ashli says.

We’d love to see what you’re creating with a hydraulic press! Please share in the comments.

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Rio Grande’s 2014 Winter Workshop Series: Registration is Open!

Nov 13, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Registration is now open for this week-long event where you can get hands-on in any number of jewelry-making classes taught by the industry’s most beloved and talented instructors, watch demonstrations of the tools and processes that will enhance your work at the bench, and tour our 180,000 square-foot solar-powered facility. What a great way to experience Rio firsthand and start 2014 with a shot of creativity and learning!

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2013 Fall and Winter Jewelry Trends: BE the Trend

Aug 1, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Today, on The Studio, be inspired by a collection of great jewelry projects for fall/winter, then head over to our latest contest on Pinterest, our “Show Us Your Fall/Winter Fashion Trends” contest! You can win $50, $100, or $200 in credit with us here at Rio Grande. Imagine what you can make with that! And hurry, our deadline is August 15!

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Education at Rio Grande: Learn Stone-Setting from Blaine Lewis, the Best in the Business!

Jun 19, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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This July, renowned bench jeweler and educator Blaine Lewis is coming to Rio Grande to teach stone-setting. Join us and expand your jewelry know-how for two unforgettable back-to-back classes here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Saul Bell Design Award Winner Gordon K. Uyehara

May 22, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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The countdown continues…we’re just a couple of weeks away from recognizing the winners of the 2013 Saul Bell Design Award competition at JCK Las Vegas. Today, we’re catching up with metal clay artist and two-time winner Gordon K. Uyehara.

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Saul Bell Design Award Winner Chihiro Makio On the Joy of Making Jewelry

May 1, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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It’s that time of year! In just over a month, we will be recognizing the winners of the 2013 Saul Bell Design Award competition at a gala dinner during JCK Las Vegas. Until then, The Studio is visiting with past winners to report on what they’ve been up to. In today’s post Shelby chats with Chihiro Makio whose work has been inspiring us since 2003!

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Rio’s Soldering Video Series: Basic Set-up for Jewelry Soldering

Apr 25, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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In this second installment of Rio’s Soldering Video Series, Mark Nelson will help you with the basics of jewelry soldering set-up and cover some techniques to keep you safe as you’re soldering!

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Rio’s Soldering Video Series: What Is Soldering, Anyway?

Apr 4, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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In this first installment of Rio’s Soldering Video Series, Mark Nelson will tell you about the differences between hard and soft soldering and then you’ll see an insert from GIA – Gemological Institute of America that explains exactly what takes place during soldering.

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Spring Is Here and Class Is IN! Springtime Jewelry-Making Classes at Rio Grande

Feb 25, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Any time is time to learn at Rio! Having just finished up our Winter Workshop Series, packed with classes taught by some of the industry’s top instructors, tours of our solar-powered facility, and demos of the latest and greatest products, we’re eager to shiver off the cold and jump right into spring with new jewelry-making classes!

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In the Spotlight: On Teaching, On Creating, On Writing with Kate Wolf

Feb 1, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Kate Wolf–tool maven, jeweler, and brilliant teacher–is in the house for Rio’s Winter Workshop, and we’re oh so happy to have her! During her visit, Shelby Chant chatted with her about all the best parts of life. Take a look at what makes Kate tick!

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