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. . .
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. . .
Here’s a quick video showing a simple but invaluable tip: the correct way (and the incorrect way) to open and close a jump ring. Mark Nelson demonstrates using two pair of Swanstrom Flat Nose Pliers. . .
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…
Phil Poirier of Bonny Doon recently paid us a visit here at Rio and we made a video to show off the popular Bonny Doon Rolling Mill Pattern Plates.
The creative possibilities are endless! Watch for a bunch of new designs on our website in April!
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!
We were thrilled when Phil Poirier bought Bonny Doon Engineering in 2006, not only because his career as both a jeweler and a tool-maker made him the perfect person to take over Bonny Doon, but also because his workshop is in Taos, New Mexico, just a few hours north of us. We’ve made a habit of dropping in on his facility every once in awhile, and we try to bring a video camera with us, when we go.