Earlier this year I was hearing from all of the above sources, that we needed a better tool to hold onto bracelet mandrels with tangs. Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones who saw the need. At the same time that I was out looking for such a tool, a bay area jeweler was busy inventing one!
In the early 90s I created a line of jewelry which used anticlastic and synclastic shapes made from strips of gold and silver. The need for efficient hammers and stakes inspired me to develop and make a urethane-headed hammer and stakes which would form the shapes I needed. . .
Do you ever wish you had a the skills to drill deep holes, very straight? In this post, Eddie shares a great method he learned from expert machinist and fellow Rio associate, Jeff Zirwas. . .
How does a jeweler know that he/she is choosing the right solder or flux for the job? There are so many confusing details related to soldering, brazing, and fluxes that I thought I’d ask our resident expert Mark Nelson to help me sort things out. . .
Are you just dipping your toe into the jewelry-making water and feeling overwhelmed by all the many tool choices you see in our catalog? Perhaps you’ve been at it for a little while, but you never seem to have the right tool for every job. In the following video, Mark Nelson gives an overview of the basic tools needed to set up your jeweler’s bench. . .
Our own Yvonne Padilla uses molding compound and carving wax to create textures from inspiration she finds everywhere. In the following video Mark Nelson demonstrates this exciting method for trasferring texture to metal clay pieces:
What’s the best way to showcase a piece of jewelry fresh off the bench? Add shine and a gleaming finish to your work by polishing, burnishing, or tumbling. . .
With a Swanstrom disc cutter, a mallet, and a ring mandrel, you can create simple, beautiful rings in minutes. Make a continuous, seamless ring from a sheet of mokumé gane, the Japanese alloy metal made with several layers of gold, silver, and copper. . .
In the following video Mark Nelson demonstrates the use of a simple fold forming technique to create a sculptural three-dimensional form in silver. . .
Back in 1979 the infamous Hunt brothers largely cornered the market on silver, driving the price from $6 per ounce to an all-time high of $48.70. Their scheme unraveled when the COMEX intervened, and silver rapidly shrank back down to more accustomed prices.
But here we are in 2011, and silver prices are once again whipsawing – trading at prices well north of $40, and then dropping $10 in less than a week down to $37 or so. But our current situation is different from conditions back in 1979, and while no one knows for sure, it seems possible that silver may have enduring higher prices going forward.
Our tech support team loves to answer your questions! If you’re having trouble getting a product to do what you want it to do, if you’ve got a thorny issue in your current project and you need advice, or if you just want an expert’s opinion before you make that purchase, Rio Grande Tech Support is available by phone, email, or live web chat to help you out. You can find them easily from our website.
The questions you ask them the most are about torch setup and safety. Here’s Mark Nelson from Rio’s tech support team showing you how to safely set up a propane/oxygen torch…
Mark Nelson demonstrates how to make a simple ring using 16 gauge silver wire and a chasing hammer. Check out this popular video and be inspired!