Your Most Important Tool

Posted by Amelia Upton on 5/31/2012 to Students

To do listOne of the most important tools a metalsmith, jeweler, student or hobbyist can store in their tool box is organization! Without having your priorities, budgets and timelines laid out, you may run into more snags and miss opportunities had you been a tad more organized.

Everyone thinks differently, so everyone organizes differently too! I am a list maker, some people prefer a pocket calendar, you may prefer to use several different methods to help you get your "to do"s done!
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Organizing Your Workspace

Posted by Lani Dearmin on 5/30/2012 to Students

Keeping all your tools and supplies organized at your bench or workspace can be a challenge. All those drill bits, burs, hammers, saw blades, bits of sheet metal, wire, beads, and stones! I spoke to professional organizer Linda Deppa for some tips on keeping it all under control. Give these ideas a try and see how they work for you!

First, keep the things you use most frequently within arm's reach. If you have to go far to put your tools away, you'll be more likely to skip it and leave them in a pile on your bench! A small tool organizer can keep things together on your bench top without taking up a lot of space. Racks or drawers right next to your bench are great for storing tools nearby.

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Learning to SEE; Designing More Creative Jewelry

Posted by Leah Alden Jaswal on 5/25/2012 to Students

Learning to SEE Designing more Creative Jewelry

I am always looking for jewelry design inspiration, how about you? Do you try to come up with ideas for creating unique jewelry designs, thinking "out of the box"?

One thing that I have learned is that inspiration is EVERYWHERE! It is as easy as learning to open your eyes and really see what is around you.

I ride the bus to work and am constantly looking. The shapes, lines and colors of cars we pass, a raindrop hitting the window, a plant growing up through cement. The juxtaposition of organic and man-made materials is always amazing to me.
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Best Black Patina

Posted by Amelia Upton on 5/24/2012 to Materials
      liver of sufur cuff
  Liver of sulfur can be a tricky material to work with, it's never quite the same twice, yet every metalsmith swears by it. So, what's the secret to this smelly gel and crumbling rock?
The secret lies in the application. The first step in working with any type of liver of sulfur is to clean whatever area you plan to patina. Grease and oils can create a pocket that could later led to chipped patina and your hard work wasted. A little degreasing agent (my favorite is Dawn dish soap) and a 3M scrubby pad work wonders on grease.
            Next, in a well ventilated area, fill an open glass or metal container with hot water. Or place the container on a Bunsen burner or other gentle, yet warm heat source. While wearing gloves, goggles and a respirator, you add a small amount of liver of sulfur to your heated water. If you are using the rocks, then a few small chunks or one chunk less than the size of your smallest finger tip will be plenty for any container about the size of a large soup pot. If you are using the gel, use no more than enough to coat a nickel, unless you plan to paint with it. ... 
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Students Welcome!

Posted by Lani Dearmin on 5/23/2012 to Students
The first time I walked into Seattle Findings Jewelry Supplies and Tools, I was a jewelry student in need of a few basic supplies. I remember looking around the store, feeling both curious and overwhelmed by the variety of supplies and tools of mysterious function. As a student, everything was new and exciting. I looked forward to learning how to use all of these tools and materials in my classes, and now I knew exactly where to go when it was time to start building my home studio...  
[more after the jump]

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