In the August 2017 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Helen Driggs presented the best stone setting tools in her “Cool Tools & Hip Tips” column. Two of her favorites are Contenti’s Setter’s Wheel and Setter’s Cement. One of our readers, Wayne Barnett, wrote to the magazine about the setter’s wheel: “I look forward to […]

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I love hammering on metal—and I bet I’m not the only one! The tension release, the change in the metal, even the sound—it’s all very satisfying. Most of the hammering I do in the studio is for texturing metal, which has me on a never-ending search for new hammers that will allow me to create […]

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Did you know that keum boo is a historic Korean metalworking technique for creating a eutectic bond between fine gold and silver? If that sounds too technical to you, think of it this way: it’s possible and easy to bond gold–real, pure, beautiful gold–to silver permanently, simply, and using just a few inexpensive tools. Best […]

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Tools are an essential part of jewelry making. No matter what level maker you are—from occasional jewelry maker to full-fledged bench jeweler—you’ve probably spent a small fortune in acquiring jewelry tools. And, if you’re interested in learning more techniques, you’ll probably take a class or workshop. In that case, you’ll end up carting your tools […]

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Helen’s 7 Favorite Ways to Texture Metal

Copper is a great texturing metal for the beginner (and advanced) metalsmith because it is very forgiving—you'll need a concentrated effort to really "mess it up." Copper is soft and tough, inexpensive, hard to melt down, takes a beautiful patina, and is easy to find. My favorite thing about it is its malleability—copper takes a […]

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I love soldering just as much as I love cold connection jewelry making. Luckily, I’ve got the equipment and knowledge to go either way when it comes to jewelry construction. Depending on what kind of work I am making, I can choose a join that not only does the job, but has the right aesthetic […]

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