The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Finally! A Calibrated Ring-Sizing System from Tool Designer Kate Wolf

Apr 8, 2014
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Kate Wolf
Posted by
trusize

TRUE-SIZE Ring SizingOne of the greatest pleasures in my life is that I get to take my frustrations out on my tools.

I’ve bought every set of sizing rings I could find over the years. Not one of them is accurate.

I worked in a shop with five jewelers. We had seven ring mandrels and only one of them was true. So we painted the handle orange, and all day long you’d hear, “Who has the good mandrel?”!

The sizing rings that were available were poorly crafted, and clumsy to use—the weight of the other rings all bundled together on a big ring, pulling on the finger, can result in choosing the wrong size.

When the sizing rings and mandrels are inaccurate it results in compound errors. The customer comes in, she lights up at seeing the beautiful ring you’ve made for her, she puts it on, then is disappointed to have to leave the ring behind to have it resized. It sours the transaction.

It’s ridiculous, and infuriating.

When George Khanduja from Ikohe (manufacturer of my Wolf Belt Sanders, Wolf Wax Carving Tools, and other cool tools) told me he had the capability to machine mandrels and sizing rings that are precise, I was thrilled! Finally, each tool in the system would be precision calibrated to every other tool for true consistency from counter to bench and back.

The TRUE-SIZE by Wolf Tools Ring-Sizing Set

The TRUE-SIZE by Wolf Tools Ring-Sizing Set with aluminum ring stick for your showroom countertop…

TRUE-SIZE Steel Sizing Mandrel

…and the Steel Sizing Mandrel for the jeweler’s bench. So now, a size 6 measured at the showroom counter will be a size 6 once designed back on the bench…FINALLY!

We manufacture three TRUE-SIZE mandrels, all in quarter sizes. An aluminum ring stick (included in the ring-sizing set or available separately) is clearly etched in quarter sizes for the showroom, to get the size from a customer’s existing ring. And two steel TRUE-SIZE mandrels (available separately and in regular or grooved styles), also clearly etched in quarter sizes, are to hammer on. Both steel mandrels have a gauge on the side for calculating how much metal to add or remove when sizing.

The TRUE-SIZE sizing rings are 6mm wide, with a comfort fit edge. They are a nice weight and look and feel like a well-crafted ring. There’s a flat facet on the outside of each ring where the size is laser-etched. There are 47 rings to the set, sizes 1-16. The most popular sizes (4-12) come in quarter sizes. The rest are in half sizes.

We made a black, wood presentation box for the rings that is gorgeous! It’s got a sizing chart in the lid, and felt on the bottom so it doesn’t scratch glass counter tops.

I have no doubt that the TRUE-SIZE Ring Sizing System will be on the counter of jewelry stores all over the country in no time and will replace all other mandrels in the workshop.

TRUE-SIZE will become the industry standard, and that makes me very, very happy (and I have to admit, a little proud!) And! There are other fantastic TRUE-SIZE products in the works!

Editor’s Note:
See all of Kate’s TRUE-SIZE products! Share your ring-sizing stories, good and bad, and tell us how a truly precise system would help you and your business! And if you happen to be going to JCK Las Vegas, make sure to stop by Rio’s booth where we’ll be giving away a TRUE-SIZE Ring-Sizing Kit!

swanstrom-disc-5star

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The Incredible WHITE COPPRclay Contest!

Mar 24, 2014
2 Comments
Amy Cliser
Posted by
yvonneWHITE

A few weeks ago, Rio Grande released new WHITE COPPRclay™ from Metal Adventures, and the response has been tremendous! To celebrate the design options this clay offers, we are sponsoring a contest, and we invite to you enter by posting your WHITE COPPRclay™ jewelry designs—or expressions of love—to our WHITE COPPRclay™ Pinterest board! For all the details, check out today’s post on The Studio!

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Jewelry Design Options: Mixing COPPRclay and New WHITE COPPRclay

Mar 19, 2014
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Amy Cliser
Posted by
WCC1

Rio recently introduced new WHITE COPPRclay to its line of base metal clays, and every clay artist in the building could hardly wait to work with it. After giving him some time to experiment, we cornered Rio Grande metal clay artist and Tech Team member Thomas Flores and asked him what he’s discovered about this exciting new color of COPPRclay. Read about his experiences today at The Studio.

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Have You Heard? WHITE COPPRclay is Here!

Mar 3, 2014
2 Comments
Yvonne M. Padilla
Two-tone applique earrings by Yvonne M. Padilla

Have you heard? WHITE COPPRclay™ is here and it’s bringing a mind-blowing new dimensions to designing with base metal clay! Check out our latest post, by clay artist Yvonne M. Padilla, and get the low-down from an expert on this incredible new medium…

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Year in Review: Best New Items of 2013

Dec 30, 2013
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Yvonne M. Padilla

As jewelers, we love our tools and supplies. We cherish our trusty old pliers, torches, gemstones (and a slew of other items), and here at Rio, we are always on the lookout for the newest, latest, and greatest items that we hope that will become a staple at your bench, giving you years of productivity and creative inspiration. Today, on The Studio, check out our list of a few of the coolest new products introduced in 2013.

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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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JCK Las Vegas 2013: The Recap

Jun 3, 2013
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Amy Cliser
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This weekend, I attended my first JCK show—and wow, was there a lot to take in. Rio Grande’s booth was chock-full of tools and equipment—and the “Rio Superstars” who demonstrated them to scores of interested individuals asking, “So, how does this work?” The air was filled with the great energy of questions, sharing, and “ah-ha!” moments.

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Make Luxurious (and Light!) Jewelry with Aluminum

Dec 17, 2012
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Amy Dalness
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Aluminum has proven to be extremely valuable for its durability and corrosion resistance. This light-weight metal’s bright finish won’t tarnish or oxidize, and it’s hypoallergenic. Oh, and it’s also light on the pocketbook. Find out why you should add aluminum to your jewelry-making repertoire. . .

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Signature Cameos: You’re Gonna Re-Think Cameos (and Maybe You’ll WIN ONE!)

Sep 3, 2012
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Viqui Sanchez
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It seems to me that the line between “art” (what I see in my mind’s eye when I hear the word, anyway) and “jewelry” is the most fuzzy when it comes to cameos. Today, on The Studio, we’re featuring a few very special Signature cameos inspired by the work of artists, Alphonse Mucha and Erwin Pauly. Take a look at these stunning Signature cameos and leave us a comment for a chance to win one for your own collection!

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Covered with Color: Introducing Kliar E-Coating

Jul 25, 2012
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Have you been looking for a unique way to bring color to your jewelry pieces? On The Studio today, Ashli Brooke Taylor, of Rio’s Tech Support Team, demonstrates one simple way to use the Kliar E-Coating system to add a great punch of color to your jewelry. Kliar E-Coating is a type of nano-ceramic electro coating that is abrasive-resistant and hypoallergenic. Check it out!

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