Since their worldwide debut at the 2007 Catalog in Motion Show, Fretz Hammers have become a staple of the industry, and the hammer of choice for those who are doing traditional forming on a jewelry-sized scale. Thousands of Fretz Hammers are out in the world now, each of them with 420 stainless heads, oil-finished padauk handles, and a perfect, almost magical balance in the hand when you pick them up. And all of those many hammers can trace their roots back to this one: the very first Fretz Hammer.
Rolling mills are great tools to have in any jewelry shop. They provide quick and efficient ways to roll out metal stock as well as countless ways to texture, pattern, and rework your metal creations. Once you’ve selected your rolling mill (or even if you’ve had one for years) this post includes some great rolling mill tips; from unpacking your mill to regular care that will keep it performing its best for years to come to diving in and using it for a million different jewelry-making tasks!
It’s hot outside!! In these temperatures, chunky necklaces and bracelets are shed in favor of simpler choices—like lightweight, easy-to-wear rings! Use the Bonny Doon Split-Die Ring-Forming Kit to create perfect, summertime rings, every time. Today, on The Studio, Phil Poirier demonstrates this ingenious tool—watch and then dream up your own line of summertime rings!
The rolling mill will prove to be a “must-have” tool in any shop…and choosing the right mill for your needs is essential. In today’s post on The Studio, Rio Grande tech team member and creator of wicked-cool jewelry designs Ashli Brooke Taylor shares some great information about how to go about choosing the mill that’s right for you!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Today, on The Studio, we’re spotlighting the beautiful work of Alysia Sánchez Melnikov and her Etsy store, Blue Hour Designs.
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. . .
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!
Foldforming is an awesome way to manipulate metal to create cool, organic shapes. Developed by Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980s, foldforming works with any kind of metal, and is a great technique to experiment with when you’re looking for that unique new idea. In today’s post, Mark Nelson will inspire you to try foldforming by making a bead using the technique.