5 Simple Steps of Metalsmithing: Learn to Make Metal Jewelry

I wrote a blog a couple of years ago about the five basic steps of silversmithing: sawing, filing, metalwork (like texturing and shaping), soldering, and finishing. My intention was to break down the steps that go into fabricating a finished piece of silver (or other metal) jewelry, to show beginners how manageable they can be. Inadvertently, I started a discussion about silversmithing vs metalsmithing vs goldsmithing.

Metalsmiths work with iron like blacksmiths, one person declared, and silversmiths make silver tableware and gifts, not jewelry. Goldsmiths are the ones that make jewelry–but what if you don’t work with gold? I’m not sure we ever decided what we are, but whatever we consider ourselves–metalsmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, or something else–these five steps are the simple, manageable skills used to make metal jewelry. So if you’re on the hedge about whether to take the leap into . . . whatever you call it, read on and see how easy it can be!

Naturally, it’s a simplified version of metalsmithing-but it makes sense. And once you’ve seen that making metal jewelry isn’t a scary, impossible undertaking, you’ll be ready to make some rings, earrings, bracelets, and pendants of your own. You can learn more about the five steps of metalsmithing and expand on them with more detailed knowledge in our Metalsmithing Essentials DVDs.

For example, learn to make all the bracelets you can stack with Jeff Fulkerson’s One-Hour Bracelets DVD. Add dimension to flat metal sheet for any design with Travis Ogden’s Basic Jewelry Fold Forming and Helen Driggs’ Create Spirals, Tubes, and Other Curves for Jewelry Making DVDs. Then learn to finish all your metal projects properly with essential hand-finishing techniques in Lexi Erickson’s Hand-Finishing Jewelry DVD. Shop now!










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