Soldering Jewelry: 6 Tips for Jewelry Soldering Techniques
I will never forget when my friend and metalsmithing teacher Lexi Erickson, who was teaching me all I needed to know about soldering jewelry, first handed me the torch, repeating quietly behind me, “Just remember, solder flows toward the heat, and keep the flame moving.”
I don’t solder jewelry on a regular basis, so when I do, I always start by reminding myself: “Solder flows toward heat. Keep the flame moving.” Sometimes soldering kind of feels like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time, but if you keep those two things in mind, you’ll get the hang of soldering jewelry. Being able to join two or more pieces of metal together through jewelry soldering is such a fun and rewarding skill to have! Knowing how to solder jewelry is the one skill that makes me feel that no matter what jewelry design I think of, I can make it, so I’m passionate about helping others learn as well. No matter how you like to learn — through books packed with information, by practicing your skills on multiple projects or by watching how-to video tutorials–these resources will help you learn the jewelry soldering techniques you want to know.
6 Top Resources for Mastering Soldering Jewelry Techniques:
- Lexi has more than 20 years of experience teaching jewelry students how to solder jewelry, so if there’s a trick or tip or soldered-jewelry lesson to be learned, she’s the one to learn it from! Fortunately most all of those tips and lessons can be found in her eBook How to Solder Jewelry, a convenient compilation of her 10-part in-depth jewelry soldering series first published in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. I wholeheartedly recommend learning from the same master metalsmith who taught me how to solder silver jewelry.
- I wish everyone could have the same one-on-one jewelry soldering instruction with Lexi that I had. If a trip to Colorado for private lessons isn’t in your future, get the next best thing, truly: Lexi’s video tutorials, How to Solder Jewelry vol. 1 and How to Solder Jewelry vol. 2. In the first video, Lexi shares the basics for soldering jewelry just like she taught me, backed with more than two decades worth of experience. She takes you along on a 95-minute journey teaching everything from how to stay safe and getting started the right way, to learning the five basic rules for smoldering success to making your own bezels and plenty more.
- In How to Solder Jewelry volume two, she goes beyond the basics to show how to do more advanced soldering techniques, such as soldering on bails, how-to’s for embellishing with soldered balls, multi-layer soldering and soldering mixed metals, like copper and brass. Together, these two video workshops will help you master jewelry soldering in mere days, and Lexi’s always around Jewelry Making Daily to answer questions if you get hung up on any part.
- Speaking of soldering mixed metals, if you already know some basic silver soldering techniques but want to learn how to solder other metals, like brass, bronze and copper, the eBook 10 Copper Jewelry Projects Plus Brass and Bronze is just right for you. Through 10 step-by-step soldering copper jewelry projects, you’ll learn to make 10 different pieces of artisan-created jewelry while also learning the basics and special nuances for soldering alternative metals like copper and silver, brass or bronze, and know which solder to use with which metal, in cases where silver solder isn’t appropriate. It’s a very info-packed little eBook that can teach you a lot in just 10 lessons.
- If you’re a big fan of silver like me, you might prefer to stick to all silver soldering. In the 10 Silver Jewelry Projects eBook, you’ll see how artisan jewelers created 10 unique jewelry projects that you can make while mastering soldering silver jewelry specifically. The 10 jewelry soldering lessons include making earrings, rings, pendants and more. This easy-to-follow eBook provides you with step-by-step jewelry-making instructions, full-color illustrations and detailed tools and material lists. Available for instant download, you’ll be able to get started right away on your journey to creating endless jewelry pieces.
- You might prefer to learn from a printed book. Step-by-Step Jewelry Workshop is a comprehensive metal and wire jewelry-making book that will teach you everything from tool and metalsmithing basics to how to solder jewelry and more. Through dozens of techniques and how-to jewelry-making projects packed with photos, you’ll master basics like forging, annealing, filing, riveting and of course, soldering jewelry.
So if making soldered jewelry is on your “must learn” list, you’ve come to the right place! These resources are all packed with expert information to help everyone, whether you’ve never even picked up a torch or have a little experience and are ready to master jewelry soldering techniques. You’ll have them always available in your crafting library and can reference them time and again. If you’re nervous about working with a torch for the first time, remember that even seasoned pro Lexi recalls her trepidation about using a torch when she first started out:
“My first semester in my university jewelry class, I wouldn’t light the torch. I was terrified to light the torch. I always got the cute guy that sat next to me to light my torch for me. And one day he was absent. The teacher wouldn’t do it for me, so I had to light it myself. And now, it seems that I have gotten so well known about soldering and working with the torches that my nickname among all my friends is Lexi the Torch.”
And remember, solder flows toward heat. Keep the flame moving!