Do I need a Flex-Shaft?

This is a question I hear quite often in my metal smithing classes. Well, actually it usually goes more like: I have a Dremel, do I need to get a Flex-Shaft? My answer is usually it depends. It depends on how much you will use it. It depends on the type of work you...

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What do you do when your mind goes blank?

Yep, that is how I have been feeling. I am blaming it on the smoke. Sounds like a good excuse. Maybe it is the stress of this fire season. Maybe it is just one of the cyclic things that happens when you are trying to create. Maybe I am just flat out tired. Or maybe it...

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Just Anneal It

If you have taken one of my metal smithing classes you have heard me talk about annealing and work hardening. And I usually try to beat it into your brain to remember to anneal your metal when it doesn't want to easily move. Recently I was dealing with an old thumb...

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Unpredictability

I have to admit August is my least favorite month of the year. I am not a hot weather person, and I really don't like fire season. This month is the 10th anniversary of the big Joko Lake fire that went through our property, and again we are surrounded by fires and...

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Clean Solder Joins

Most people struggle with the look of their solder joins while mastering soldering. So what is the secret to getting them to blend in seamlessly? Taking that extra time to make sure everything is the best we can make it helps. Close just isn't good enough when...

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Designing Your Work

One of the hardest things to do when we first start creating jewelry is to create a cohesive look in our work. We get ideas from all over and we are too busy trying them out, trying to find out own voice. It takes a while for designers to get a "look". This comes with...

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Finishing Strong

If you have taken a few of my classes, you know I have a pet peeve... and it is artisan jewelry that is not finished well. Yes, I was in a gallery recently where an artist who is really talented had their work. The designs were unique and very eye catching. But... And...

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Tips for Making PMC Rings

Ring Sizing: Most silver metal clay reference will tell you to make a ring 2 sizes bigger than what you need. I have found that doesn't work so well for me. I find that rings shrink 3 to 3.5 sizes for e as I do not use ring sizing plugs during firing. You may find...

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Why do I Like Argentium?

I often get asked why I like working with Argentium. I guess the short answer is it brings together the best features of fine silver and sterling silver. It fuses like fines silver, but better. It is strong like sterling silver, but better. And once you know the...

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