Metal Jewelry-Making for Everyone: Intro to the 5 Metalsmithing Techniques

Chatting with a jewelry-maker friend recently about metalsmithing skills (and the ability of everyone to do it) reminded me of this post from the JMD archives. I truly believe that breaking it down into these simple steps makes it more manageable for someone who is just learning (or teaching) and, therefore, easier to learn or teach. I hope it's helpful to you, too! –Tammy

I recently had a discussion with Jewelry Making Daily's Facebook friends about what we wish someone had told us when we first started making metal jewelry. What do I wish I had known years ago? Metalmithing is not that hard. It's not an extremely difficult process for only the most advanced jewelers, using scary and expensive jewelry-making tools. Thanks to a great teacher, I learned to do it quickly, and soon you'll see that you can do it, too.

5 Steps of Metal Jewelry Making

There are basically only five steps from the design in your mind to the ring on your finger—or whatever piece of jewelry you want to make. Many metal jewelry-making projects won't even require all five steps. By breaking metalmithing down into manageable steps and learning them one by one, I realized that creating custom metal jewelry is an achievable (and extremely fun) process. The five steps are

  1. sawing
  2. filing
  3. forming (which includes forging, hammering, texturing, dapping and doming, etc.)
  4. soldering (optional)
  5. finishing (which includes burnishing, buffing, polishing, and patinating, etc.)

Naturally, this is a simplified version of metalmithing—but it makes sense, right? Read on to learn more about these five steps in a favorite post from the JMD archives, Silver Jewelry Maing For Everyone: Intro to the Five Silversmithing Techniques 

A great way to put these metalsmithing techniques into practice is in fun, rewarding projects with a quick payoff. You'll get lots of just that in our one-hour DVD series, One-Hour Rings and One-Hour Bracelets. Each DVD is packed with great designs suitable for metalsmiths of all levels, you included! Both One-Hour Rings and One-Hour Bracelets are available as DVDs or instant video downloads, right to your computer. You could even download them now and learn to make new jewelry to wear tonight! And please, don't forget to share photos of what you make in the Jewelry Making Daily gallery.

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