Trying something new…

Do you love rings?  How about spoon rings? I am expanding my jewelry making adventure into the art of….spoon jewelry!  Would you like to learn how to make spoon rings, too? How about spoon bracelets?  Stayed tuned for my new tutorial…coming April 2017!!!

Take The Plunge…Silver Smithing Class

Have you ever wanted to take your current skills to the next “level”?  How much will it cost?  How much of my time will it take up?  In the end, will it be worth it?  The answer is a resounding  “YES”!  Here’s the scoop in my location, Cleveland, Ohio.

I found an amazing teacher through a web search.  She was skilled, knowledgeable and witty.  The witty part was especially fun!   I talked a good friend to take the class with me.  That arrangement worked out beautifully since we took an evening class!  The length of the class was three (3) hours, once a week for five (5) weeks.  The price of $150.00 was very reasonable.  Even though it was a beginner’s class, we were able to make a very substantial sterling silver ring with a stone cabochon setting.  The price for supplies was only $15.00!  All the tools we used belonged to the instructor and were left at the studio at the end of class.

I’m so glad I took the class!  I bumped up my jewelry making skills, made a new friend and found that IF I want to use the instructor’s tools (for a small fee) I can!  Also, the instructor would be available for further instruction.  By the way, she also offers an intermediate silversmithing class.

Please be sure to stop by her studio to see all that she offers.  You’ll be very glad you did!  If you have any questions about taking a silversmithing class I would be happy to share with you!   Have fun!  Here’s the link to an awesome experience:

SAS Design Studio:  http://www.sasdesignstudio.com/

 

 

Dremel “Heaven”

Well it’s here…my new Dremel tool!  This is a great little tool to help reduce the time it takes to complete a new piece of metal jewelry.  I really don’t mind the time involved.  However, it’s nice to become familiar with tools that other jewelry buffs have used and advocate.

One task used was to sand down the sharp edges on the blanks I cut with my disc cutter.  The Dremel worked well for this task.  However, hand sanding works just as well.  I have also used the Dremel to smooth out a rough imperfection on the top of a blank.  This was a total success!  Otherwise, I would have had to change the surface by some manner, such has skipping the alphabet stamping and just presenting a hammered surface.

Polishing is another time-consuming phase of working with metal.  I bought a couple of polishing accessories for this task.  One states that the polishing compound is already built into the fibers.  The other uses a polishing compound that you apply to the polishing accessory.  Both have their uses.  As it stands now, I prefer polishing my metal jewelry by hand.

These are just a few of the tasks the Dremel tool is capable of.  All-in-all, the Dremel tool is a handy-dandy tool to have in your jewelry work bench.  Hopefully, this little note will be of help to you as you consider whether or not to purchase a rotary tool.

Happy jewelry making!

Sam

 

Beginning a New Journey

Just another day in paradise…at my jewelry bench.

Today begins my aspirations to use sterling silver and gold-filled metals in my jewelry making.  I have been inspired by other metal artisans who have created some very pretty and interesting jewelry.

For the past year or so I have been using the base metals of copper and brass.  These metals are fairly inexpensive to work with, as well as interesting in their own rights.  I love working with copper!   The metal properties of copper are fascinating to learn about and the color is so rich and warm.  I have cut out discs, sawed, filed, sanded, textured, soldered, oxidized, tumbled and polished copper pendants and bracelets.  I have used brass to a lesser degree.  It is more difficult to oxidize, which is a good thing if you don’t like an oxidized look.  I don’t have the same affection for brass, but like most things it has it’s place.

So, there you have it.  Stay tuned…the learning curve is just beginning…

Sterling Silver Discs and other possibities…

I have spent a few hours making a necklace with four little, initial stamped, sterling silver discs.

These little, stamped discs were each stamped with an initial, oxidized and then brushed to give them a lush look. Then they were each attached, by jump rings, to one of the soldered and hammered sterling silver rings I made a couple of days ago. I layered a smaller soldered copper ring within the sterling silver ring.

I’m very, very pleased with the way the necklace turned out. I should have taken a picture of it before I gave it as a gift to my friend battling cancer. Oh well…it was really nice to see the look on her face when I gave it to her. She has an appointment for a strong dose of chemo tomorrow. I hope her spirits will be lifted a little knowing she has friends who care about her.

Today is “Solder Success Day”!

Just when I thought that I would NEVER be able to learn how to solder…VOILA! It finally worked! It wasn’t an easy process, though. Here’s how it went:

I prepared a practice copper jump ring…made sure the edges were filed flat (not so easy I might add). Then I cut a little, tiny bit of silver solder…brushed on the flux…fired up my torch…and went to town! The problem was that the solder didn’t “flow” like the book and videos said it would. Well, no problem. Just try, try again. Right?

However, after the fifth time and several jump rings later I began to wonder why I was having such a difficult time. I came to the conclusion that perhaps I wasn’t heating the metal high enough. You see, The solder was still in it’s little, square state. I gave it one more try…drum roll please…and it worked! I soldered a copper jump ring with silver solder. Yeah!!! After that, I soldered another copper jump ring! Yeah!!!

I was so excited that I spent a few minutes making four, 1/2″ diameter, sterling silver jump rings, sawed by hand, then soldered them one by one! It worked every time! After cleaning, filing, pickling, hammering, oxidizing and cleaning the jump rings, I decided to use one of them in a tiny initial necklace for one of my friends who is battling cancer. She is going to love it!

Cheers!

Welcome!

The Theater Box, 1874 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir...

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to Designs By Samra jewelry making web blog!

This is a personal endeavor to learn the art of jewelry making.  Yes, I could easily BUY the jewelry I wear…but where is the adventure in that?  Just imagine what the world would be like if Pierre-Auguste Renoir did not study the art of painting!

My beginnings are humble.  I have learned a “few tricks of the trade” such as sawing, piercing and hammering metal.  I have also learned how to oxidize metal using various methods and conversely how to clean the oxidation off.  I have acquired quite a few metal stamps for stamping dreamy words and sayings on the metal pieces I have studied hot joining methods and intend to study cold joining techniques more thoroughly.

For now, I’m quite content as a self-taught metal-smiting student.  Life responsibilities and limits on my time prevent me from taking a community class or learning at the knee of a well-known metal-smith.  The web is my classroom.  I welcome your suggestions and comments!

Sam

UPDATE:  As of 2017 I have enjoyed taking classes at a local silversmith school,  watching and learning from Mr. Soham Harrison on his YouTube channel, and as always I am grateful for my personal teachers, Mr. & Mrs. Trial and Error.