The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

What Are You Working on Now? Show Us Your Stuff AND Enter Our November Contest!

Oct 31, 2013
2 Comments
Molly Therese Bell

Well folks, way back in August, we asked the question, "What Are You Working on Now?" and we've been thrilled to get your responses AND to get a peek inside your studios! in gratitude for all the inspiration you've shared, we have randomly chosen a winner—who, in addition to getting a moment in the spotlight, wins a $10 Rio credit!

This month's winner is Denise Harrison of Sterling Echoes in Bend, Oregon. Denise creates evocative, texturally interesting pieces that are inspired and created directly from photographs using an etching and centrifugal casting process (her website includes a great explanation of how she does it). Take a look for yourself at her compelling work at, Sterling Echoes Handcrafted Jewelry and at her Etsy Store. Here's what Denise shared about what she has on her bench right now:

I finished this piece just in time for Halloween. Each piece starts from a photograph. This ring started from a photograph I took of bones and skulls in the Catacombs in Paris, France. I etch the image into a copper sheet and then use that to texture wax. The band was hand carved and the textured wax element fused to the top. Then I set 2 garnets in the eyes and hand painted the patina. This size 16 men’s ring will certainly be a statement!

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And, here are a two more examples of Denise's etched and cast pieces. Each is shown alongside the image it was created from.

beerspeakset

Denise's Sterling Silver and Leather Beer Speak Bracelet (left) and the photo (of lingering beer foam on an empty pint glass) that the bracelet was created from (right).

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Denise's Gaudi Open Circle Ring (left) was generated from a photograph of a Gaudi structure on a Barcelona rooftop (right).

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 in the spotlight in November—Amy, over at Rio's facebook page will keep you posted on the deadline, so stay tuned!

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Rio Grande’s Soldering Video Series: How To Choose The Right Soldering Torch for Jewelry Making

Jul 10, 2013
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Amy Cliser
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In this third installment of Rio’s video series on soldering, Mark Nelson guides you through various torch types, arming you with information that can help you choose the best torch system for your specific job!

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In the Spotlight: Barbara Michelle Jacobs Casts from Nature in the Concrete Jungle

Apr 10, 2013
2 Comments
Molly Therese Bell

What do the words “New York City” make you think of? Most people would list taxicabs, skyscrapers, throngs and throngs of people, and other signifiers of the ultimate urban landscape. For Barbara Polinsky of Barbara Michelle Jacobs Fine Jewelry, however, New York City represents an endless source of flowers, twigs, weeds, and other found objects from the natural world that can serve as the inspiration for her unique pieces of jewelry.

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Are You Ready for Cutting-Edge Casting? Top Ten Reasons to Buy a J-2R

Jan 3, 2013
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Bernadette Bennett

The J-2R casting machines—packed with advanced technology—are affordable, space-conscious, and among the easiest casting systems to set up, use, and maintain. Read on to find out the top ten reasons to treat your business to a brand new J-2R. . .

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In the Spotlight: Darla Alvarez of The Gilded Artisan Redesigns Vintage

Oct 15, 2012
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Darla Alvarez
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Guest contributor Darla Alvarez, of The Gilded Artisan in Colorado, uses 21st century CAD and rapid prototyping technology to reinterpret a handcrafted family heirloom from generations past. Read about her process and take a look at her stunning results!

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Eddie’s Tips: Considering the Difference Between Gold Alloys (Casting Grain) and Master Alloys

Apr 11, 2012
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Eddie Bell
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Would you like to learn more about gold casting options? Today, The Studio is featuring an Eddie’s Tips article that sheds light on the difference between using gold casting grain –already alloyed to the desired color and karat –and alloying fine gold and master alloy yourself for more flexibility and a lower inventory investment. Check it out!

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New at Rio: Top Five Reviews of Rio Products

Apr 5, 2012
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Shelby Chant
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We get such a kick out of some of the product reviews our customers submit on our website. Here’s the first of many posts that highlights five of our favs.

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Eddie’s Tips: Venting On Rubber – Verbal & Otherwise

Oct 6, 2011
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Eddie Bell
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Take a look at Eddie’s recipe for an excellent natural rubber mold (because “good” isn’t good enough).

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Tech Support Team’s Top 5 Tools and Techniques of 2010!

Dec 30, 2010
3 Comments
Yvonne M. Padilla

Here in Tech Support some of the most interesting, fun, and challenging parts of our job is to evaluate and review new tools and equipment. But we don’t just review tools, we’re also constantly searching for new and innovative techniques that we can share with fellow jewelers. This past year we had the pleasure of testing dozens of new items and taking classes that expanded our jewelry universe. Between the testing and classes, a few tools and techniques struck us as being so cool that we want to sing about them from the mountaintop…

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