The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Jewelry Industry News: Enter the Annual Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition!

Apr 14, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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YukaOkane

The 2014 Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition is now accepting entries! In its third year, this competition is for those who love to produce the inspiring shapes and textures of foldforming sheet metal, a process whose invention is credited to Charles Lewton-Brain. It’s hosted by the Center for Metal Arts and sponsored by Art Jewelry magazine, Center for Metal Arts, The Ganoksin Project, and Rio Grande. Prizes include Rio Grande gift certificates, coverage in Art Jewelry magazine, exposure on Ganoksin, as well as a video to celebrate the winners. Don’t miss this chance to show the world your beautiful foldformed jewelry, sculpture, architecture, or functional objects. Entries must be submitted by June 16, so don’t delay!

YukaOkane

Yuka Okane Inoue’s Looking Up At The Sky II, first place winner in the 2013 Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition

Entries will be judged by three industry notables, including none other than Charles Lewton-Brain, master goldsmith, foldforming pioneer, author, and head of the Jewellery/Metals Program at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Two other venerable judges include editor of Art Jewelry magazine Hazel Wheaton and Alan Revere, founder and director of Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. The winners will be announced on August 1 during Charles Lewton-Brain Foldforming Boot Camp at Center for Metal Arts in Florida, New York. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of the winners as information—including great photos—is released.

RauniHigson

Rauni Higson’s Persephone, 2nd place winner in the 2013 Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition

So, what you are waiting for? Don’t hide your talent! Learn about the Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition and how to enter, and get those entries in! Submit beautiful images of your magnificent, innovative, well-crafted  foldformed pieces, and WOW some of the best creative minds in the industry! We can’t wait to see the winning pieces. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and we'll keep an eye out for you.

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“Man, That’s a Hydraulic Hammer!” Bonny Doon’s Urethane Forming Hammers

Sep 23, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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When Phil Poirier, of Bonny Doon Engineering, showed his new urethane hammer to Eddie Bell, vice president of manufacturing at Rio Grande, Eddie was immediately excited by its possibilities for jewelry-making and said, “Man, that’s a hydraulic hammer!” Although the Bonny Doon urethane forming hammer does rather look like a colorful plastic hammer, it is actually so much more than that! Take a look at today’s post on The Studio, and see what this dynamo can do for your metal forming!

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Video Project with Bill Fretz: Twist Forged Bracelet with the Fretz Jeweler’s Sledge Hammer

Sep 5, 2013
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Molly Therese Bell

Designed by Bill Fretz, the Fretz Jeweler’s Sledge Hammer is ideal for forging heavy wire, rod, or sheet. Today, on The Studio, Bill makes a striking twist forged bracelet using his workhorse sledge hammer.

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Education at Rio: Hydraulic Forming Classes with Phil Poirier

Jun 5, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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Years ago, I watched the founder of Bonny Doon turn a vase literally inside out using the ‘Old Gold’ press Bonny Doon manufactured back then. This many years later, G. Phil Poirier is still pushing the limits of hydraulic forming steadily outward—in this class I got a taste of just how far.

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Metal Hardness: It Ain’t So Hard

Feb 7, 2013
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Eddie Bell
Mark Nelson
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Knowing how to choose the correct hardness of sheet and wire metals for your jewelry techniques and designs helps you achieve the good-looking, long-lasting results you want. In today’s post, Eddie Bell and Mark Nelson share some of what they know about metal hardness. Take a look! It’s sure to enrich your experience at the bench!

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State of the Art: A Video with the Inventor of Argentium

Dec 26, 2012
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Kevin Whitmore
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For hundreds of years, when it came to silver you had two choices: sterling or fine. Pretty simple. But Argentium changed all that. Check out this fascinating video featuring its inventor, Peter Johns, and Rio’s own Kevin Whitmore.

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Video Project with Tim Sheriff: Creating A Marble Pendant Using the Swanstrom Link-Forming Pliers

Dec 10, 2012
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Yvonne M. Padilla

In this video, Tim Sheriff, shows you step-by-step how to create an eye-catching sterling silver bead cage custom-sized to your standard-size marble using the Swanstrom link-forming pliers. Enjoy!

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Etsy Stores We Love: Blue Hour Designs

Dec 6, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

Today, on The Studio, we’re spotlighting the beautiful work of Alysia Sánchez Melnikov and her Etsy store, Blue Hour Designs.

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Take a Peek Behind the Scenes with Swanstrom Tools

Nov 29, 2012
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Heather Apodaca
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Rio’s Diana and Jeff take a trip to one of their favorite vendors, Swanstrom Tools in Wisconsin. Cheese curds, disc cutters and a mad scientist were involved. . .

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Metal Hardness: How to Measure It and Why It Matters for Silver Alloys

Nov 1, 2012
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Charles Allenden
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Knowing the hardness of any metal or alloy is important, as this value gives you an indication of its ability to form and maintain a shape and is also a guide to its durability. The hardness value of a metal can be correlated to other properties such as tensile strength and in general, the harder a silver alloy is, the stronger it is and the more resistant it is to wear and scratching. In today’s post, Charles Allenden, of Argentium International, shares valuable wisdom about metal harness that will benefit all bench jewelers!

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