Wire, polymer clay and resin tutorials
I started making jewellery over a decade ago, after trying out several different kinds of crafts. I had finished my college degree in graphic design, was working as a web designer and planned to have children soon, so it wasn’t the right time to go back to school. For that reason, I relied on books and tutorials to learn my first jewellery skills, by trial and error. I would make the same design over and over again until I was happy with the result and then move on to the next thing. I am thankful to the artists that shared their knowledge so I could learn.
I believe experience in any area goes through three stages – learning, doing and teaching – and since people started to ask me how I did my jewellery, I began making simple tutorials or posts to share information with those who were starting out.
Since there was already a lot of information in the english language and I live in Portugal, I started out by writing my tutorials in Portuguese. Over time I’ve been translating them and so a few are also available in english. I’ll add more as I translate.
Blog posts and tutorials:
– Tips for wire weaving – sampler and how to hold wires
– Tool Maintenance
– How to make fine tip pliers
– Review of 1-step looper pliers
– Conversion from AWG to mm
– Twisting wire
– How to make sunflower earrings
I’ll add more posts to this section as I have the opportunity to translate them.
To view some of the jewellery I make, please visit my online shop.
Once I got to the point where I felt I was progressing too slowly by myself, and making jewellery had become a bigger passion than graphic design, I decided to finally enrole in jewellery classes. I found a jeweller’s studio in town and I studied there for four years. I learned a great deal about working with metal and setting stones.
I’ve written some blog posts/tutorials on the techniques I’ve learned while making jewellery for this course, with progress photos of the pieces I’ve created. I hope they can inspire and that the information I share can be helpful to fellow jewellery enthusiasts.
Metalsmith and stone setting techniques:
– How to make a simple wedding band
– Earrings – making post earrings and earnut
– Manueline brooch – walls, pin and setting a cabochon
– Triangular pendant – making a tube
– Collar with prong setting
– Domed ring – ring shank
– Process: adding a faceted gemstone to a ring
– Flower cuff bracelet
– Hollow ring
– Paua brooch with pierced walls
– Leverback earrings with 8 prong setting
– Key pendant – crown setting
– How to make textured brass cuffs
– Hollow “diaper” ring
Tips, techniques and other information:
– Basic notions about metal
– How to make an ingot and prepare a crucible
– How to use a draw plate
– How to anneal wire
– Information on flux
– How to twist wires
– How to drill sheet metal
– Protecting previously soldered area
– How to oxidise copper or silver (LOS patina)
– Recycling precious metal
– How to purify silver with nitric acid
– How to avoid accidents while washing jewellery components
– How to clean jewellery
– Setting up a mini rolling mill
– DIY storage for jeweller’s saws
– How not to lose small items in the pickle pot
– Identifying polishing tools
– Mohs scale
You may view some of my goldsmith jewellery in the portfolio.
Paper crafts/mixed media
Despite my love for making jewellery, my arts background has never left me and so I feel the need to play around with paper, paint, canvas and layouts on occasion. I make greeting cards, decorate notebook covers and canvases for photographs with mixed media techniques.
Some of my greeting cards are available in the shop and I make custom notebook covers and canvases.