Explore Favorite Jewelry-Making Techniques With My Birthday Gift to You

Whenever a friend asks me to teach them to make jewelry or if we can have a jewelry play date, I immediately think of my favorite techniques and which ones I'd want to share with them. It's those techniques that make me say, "You MUST learn to do it!" Here are some of the jewelry-making techniques and tutorials that I love most and want to share with you.

torch fire sterling silver flower ring pieces on firing brick  

When I first started making metal jewelry, I got to spend a wonderful weekend in Lexi Erickson's studio with her, learning as much as we could cram into two days. She taught me to saw and texture metal first, then she taught me soldering, bezel making, and finishing. I'll never forget hearing her tell me to watch the flux change colors and to watch for the bright shiny line to appear when the solder flows. It seemed like medieval alchemy to me, and it still does! That's probably why I think it's so much fun. I still refer back to her soldering videos when I'm soldering a particularly difficult or ornery piece.

 

electroformed found objects like seed pods, shells, and more

Speaking of alchemy, that's still how I think of electroforming, too. Denise Peck teased all of us with images of her electroformed (metal-plated) found objects and organic treasures like seed pods, shells, crab claws, acorns, and more in the weeks before her electroforming video was released. I was immediately hooked on this metal magic! After I watched Denise's videos, a friend loaned me an electroforming kit to try, and I finally had a spectacular, durable way to use all of the sticks and stones (and more) I'd been saving for years. It's surprisingly easy, and even though I know how it works, I have no idea how it works. I'm amazed every time I do it.

 

After learning to solder, I became comfortable with the torch just in time to discover Barbara Lewis's torch-fired enameling techniques. I'd never even considered learning to enamel because I didn't have a kiln and there wasn't one in my budget, but Barbara's immersion technique is an easy, affordable introduction to torch enameling. After learning her immersion method, I moved on to other torch-fired enamel techniques by using the information in her books and videos. This fun way to add color to metal jewelry hooked me, immediately.

 

Long before I started making metal jewelry, I was a crafty girl, paper crafts and mixed media especially. So I've been familiar with Susan Lenart Kazmer and her ICE Resin for several years. It's a fun crossover between crafting and jewelry making, and I love making crafty art using resin that I can later set in metal jewelry, SLK-style. The more I do with metal, however, the more I'm drawn to her metal jewelry designs, particularly her big prong rings and cage pendants, her silver jewelry embellished with colorful resin or enamel art, and her tendency to experiment and combine techniques. In short, I love everything Susan makes! And I love learning to make similar pieces myself.

 

It's a short leap from SLK to Jen Cushman, a mixed-media jewelry artist whose book Making Metal Jewelry is one of my favorite jewelry-making books ever. I don't think there has ever been another technique book that had so many projects in it I wanted to make. As you flip through the book, one minute she's using metal and the next, silk ribbon–then crystals and wire and vintage finds; before long, she's making a pretty flower bracelet out of an upcycled fork, resin and paper. It's all of my crafty passions in one gorgeous jewelry-making book.

So today is my birthday! And I'm celebrating by giving you special discounts on some of my most beloved resources for jewelry making. Since a lady never tells her age, let's say I'm 29 again–so you can save 29% off my favorite resources. Whether you do metalwork, resin, enamel, wirework, mixed media, or all of these (like me), you'll learn fun new techniques with the projects in the books and videos above and in the birthday sale shop. I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do!

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