Learn 14 Cold Connections and 11 Metal Fabrication Techniques in One Course + Six Tips
What is a cold connection? “Anything that connects elements not requiring heat is a cold connection,” says Connie Fox, in reference to her Craft U Master Class: Learn To Work With Sheet Metal and Cold Connections. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation, invention, experimentation, imagination . . . and would result in a lot of different kinds of cold connections.
Did you know there are dozens of different types of cold connections? You’re probably familiar with rivets, screws, tabs, jump rings . . . But there are so many more! Here are the 14 different types of cold connections you will learn in Connie’s course: basic and invisible wire rivets, cotter pins, tube and split tube rivets, rivets for rotating parts, fancy wire rivets, telescoping connectors, jump rings, miniature bolts, staples, tabs, eyelets, and adhesives.
Before you learn all these cold connections, however, you’ll need something to connect with them. In Connie’s course, you’ll learn basic metal fabrication and metalsmithing skills as well as the cold connections needed to join your metal components into actual jewelry pieces. This course is really two courses in one–metal fabrication and cold connections–because you’ll learn 11 metal fabrication techniques and skills in Connie’s course, including sawing, filing, drilling, measuring and marking, sequencing, texturing, piercing, and more. In each of seven sessions, you’ll learn at least one fabrication technique and at least one cold connection that pair well together.
Here are six tips that I pulled from just skimming Connie’s course notes. (There are dozens more bits of info like these!)
|1. Do you have trouble starting sawing with your jeweler’s saw? Connie’s advice: “Place the top of the blade where you want to begin and use the thumb of your ‘clamping’ hand to hold the blade in place. (You will be touching the back of the blade where there are no teeth.) Travel up the blade, and as you ‘saw in reverse,’ a small groove will be cut in the metal. Remove your thumb and start sawing.”|
|2. Do you know how versatile and helpful files can be in your studio, beyond just filing sawed metal for a good finish? “Files can also be used to clean solder, clean or widen holes, shape metal, and carve the metal as a design element.”3. Do you know how to use, clean, and store files in your studio to keep them at their best? “The quickest way to damage your files is to store them so they rub against each other. Use drawer separators or totes that will keep them separate. To clean your files, use a thin piece of brass sheet metal between the grooves to remove bits of metal. Avoid getting your files wet.”|
|4. Do you know how to use your bench pin for filing? “Brace your work against a bench pin. It works well to file a groove in the bench pin to secure the metal in the groove as you file.”|
|5. Do you know how many textures you can create on metal sheet using common household items? “Hammering sheet metal against a textured surface creates transfer textures,” Connie says. “Place the texture material on top of a steel bench block and then the sheet metal on top of the texture. Hammer your sheet metal with a brass mallet or an old hammer from the garage.” Some to try are metal window screen, perforated metal, and coarse sandpaper. You can even hammer metal on concrete and bricks.|
|6. Do you want to add rotating motion and spinning parts to your jewelry? “Make the rivet just like a basic wire rivet with one exception. Place a slotted piece of card stock (an old business card) between the rivet head and the sheet metal. Finish the head and the tail . . . Remove the card stock, and the small space that it created will allow your sheet metal to move.”|
Those tips are taken from just the basic narrative of the course–but there’s so much more to help you master these metal fabrication and cold connection techniques. “In addition to oodles of text, there are 114 images and 13 video clips illustrating the skills you will be learning,” Connie shared about her online course. That’s more content than you’d find in an average jewelry-making book and DVD combined!
Can you imagine a more comprehensive online course? I can’t! Treat yourself to a top-notch learning experience from one of the most knowledgeable, most generous teachers available: sign up for Connie Fox’s Master Class Learn To Work With Sheet Metal and Cold Connections on Craft U. The first time we offered this course, it sold out three times! So don’t delay, reserve your spot! You can also learn more about Connie’s course in Helen Driggs’ review.
P.S. When I was reading through Connie’s (dozens of pages long) presentation, I even saw a bullet point about the best way to clean your studio floor. Now, if your studio floor is anything like mine–hardwood covered with a messy, slightly dangerous layer of stray enamel powders, metal slivers and shards, random beads, and who-knows-what-else (there’s a reason there’s a “No Bare Feet!” sign on the door), you’ll be as anxious to learn that particular info as I am. Join Connie for this extensive, comprehensive, FUN metalworking and cold connection course!