Jewelry with an Organic Style

Jewelry with an Organic Style

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival.

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 It is that time again for the Etsy Metal Blog Carnival, this months topic is "A tour of our studios".
I wish I could say I have a studio filled with every dreamy metalsmith tool that exists, but I don't, hopefully someday.

 I actually work out of three studios. I am a renter, therefore I cannot do any real fabrication at my apartment.  When I am at home I take care of the photography, photo editing, book keeping, packaging, etc. Basically any office work pertaining to my business is done in my little blue office.

My queen kiki usually keeps me company when I am in my office. She has over taken my "to file" basket as her own bed so I added a pillow for her.

 If she is not in the basket she also likes the deep drawers of my desk.

When I need to fabricate my jewelry, I normally work in the garage at my sisters house. She also uses the garage to create her folk art. You can check out her work on her website
TB FOLKART. On the weekends, we work together creating a lot of fun things and the laughter is endless!!!! I think my favorite tool is my GRS benchmate, just love setting stones!

In the center of the garage there is another bench where we keep our disc cutters, punches, a soldering station and other fun stuff. Needless to say the car is never parked inside the garage. The garage is completely dedicated to creating.


My sister's cat, Lucky, keeps me company when I am working at her house. He is always very curious about the pedal of my flex shaft.

Sometimes I also need to work at my mother's studio,  Jane Cather. She is also a metalsmith artist and is very generous to let me use the tools in her studio for my work. I mostly use the sheer cutters or the rolling mill because I do not have these at the other studio. She also has a kiln, sooner or later I will give that a try too. Luckily we all live close by each other.

 There are animal distractions at my mother's studio also. The dogs are not allowed in the studio but I always sneak away from my work to play with them. Pixie, the border collie who is always ready to play in the yard and then there is the good old couch potato Brooke.



Feel free to check out the studios of other EtsyMetal team members.


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To celebrate the 9th year anniversary of the EtsyMetal Team I am having a sale in my etsy shop.
With a minimum purchase of $50.00 you may receive a 20% discount at checkout. Use coupon code ETSYMETAL9. The sale runs from  Oct. 19-25, 2015

Many other team members are also participating in this week sale and you can find out which shop and what discounts they are offering on the Etsy Metal Blog.

Have fun shopping!!!!



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It is time for the Etsy Metal blog carnival. This months topic is "Back to School" What are some of the new things or techniques you have added to your work.

I never knew how to adjust a ring size. If it was a simple silver ring band, that was easy but most of my rings have stones and the idea of  sizing up or down the ring made me nervous. A lovely lady purchased a ring at an art show, however she wanted the ring sized up so she could wear it on her middle finger. I thought it is now or never so I offered to adjust the ring for her.

Of course I asked my great etsy metal team members for some pointers and just my luck there is a tutorial on the EtsyMetal blog about sizing up a ring. I followed most of the pointers from the tutorial but I also did a few things differently.  Remember nothing is written in stone, you should always find the way that works best for you, and don't forget all safety measures.

 First I removed the citrine cabochon. There are liquids and gels that you can use to protect the stone from heat but I did not have any at the time. I also read a tutorial that you can use a potato as a heat sink to protect the stone. You can carve out part of the potato so the stone part is in the potato and then solder the ring band.  I did not try that either, too chicken. I patiently removed the stone while the ring was held in my GRS tool.

 I then cut out a section.

I put the ring on the mandrel a little short of  the desired ring size so I could measure how much extra wire I needed to add. I knew after I soldered on the new piece of wire I would have to shape the ring band on the mandrel a little with my rawhide hammer. This would make the ring band a little larger, so that is why I measured at  7.5. The customer requested size 7.75.

I then measured with my calipers to see how much wire I needed.

With my ring bender I curved the wire and then cut the appropriate size I needed for the ring.

I filed the ends of the wire flat so they matched perfectly and made soldering easy. On the Etsymetal Blog tutorial they filed out a notch on each end of the wire they added to the ring band. This way it matched the opposite ends of the ring shank. You will see this is the photos of the tutorial. For me it was easier just to file flat, maybe because the wire I was using was thick, 10 gauge. I also applied whiteout liquid inside the bezel cup which protects the other solder joints from flowing while soldering. With this ring the original solder joint of the ring band was located below the stone setting so the tweezers also acted as a heat sink to protect the solder joint from flowing.

A nice little clean up after and the ring was like new.

I set the stone again after polishing the ring. The ring was a 6.5 and now it is a 7.75. Not to shabby for my first try.   Feel free to check out what other etsymetal team members have learned new this year.

Cynthia Del Giudice

Fenton Design


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Here we are again for the Etsy Metal Blog Carnival, this month's topic is,  How has your work evolved? Have your goals changed? are you moving in a direction you didn't see coming? Or are things going just liked you planned?

When I started making jewelry in 2010 it was just a hobby and I never thought I could turn it into my job. This was a dream that I thought would never come true. Now today I am making jewelry and I am proud to say this is my job and I love it!!!!

I believe my style has grown and matured over the past years.  I believe this came with learning more skills and different techniques. Obviously your style will change and grow as you improve your skills.

This is an old pair of earrings made of copper and sterling silver. I used a fold forming technique and pierced holes with the drill.

Here are my hollow form earrings which I made not to long ago,  I still like piercing but I like giving each jewelry piece  a little more dimension. I think my photos have improved too:-))

 I still love this design, it was simple, fun and easy to make. Now I like to challenge myself when I start a new piece.

This necklace was a challenge for me, getting the hollow form toggle to nestle above the stone setting was difficult.

Here is one of my earlier rings,

Now I love giving my rings some wonderful color with amazing cabochons. My new obsession!!!

This is also one of my earlier cuff bracelets. I still love it, a nice lady in the UK bought this one so I had to say good bye.

Here is one of my more recent bracelets. Another obsession of mine is making hollow forms and incorporating them in my creations.

I never thought I would come this far with selling my creations online and at art shows, but I am very happy things are moving along. I know I have so much more to learn and accomplish but I am enjoying the adventure!!!

Feel free to check out the other etsy metal team members blogs to see how they have come along.


Andrea Ring

Beth Cyr

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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Sorry it has been a while since my last Etsy Metal Blog Carnival. I need more hours in the day like many people. This months topic is, "These are a few of my Favorite Things...." I think this will be fun.

The list is long and I could go on for days so I will try to pick out my top favorites.

Obviously my son is not a thing but he is on top of the list. I do love it when we can hang out together. Those margaritas were great too!!

Every since I moved to Cape Cod the sunsets are very beautiful, I just love the colors.

Chocolate Cake, yum yum!! My birthday and my sisters birthday are both in July so we celebrate together and my mother bakes the cake. This recipe was given to my grandmother when she was young from a friendly neighbor shortly after she moved into her new house. We have been baking this cake for many years!! It is the bomb!!

As for music I love all kinds. I am a big fan of the 70's and 80's because that is when I was a young whipper snapper growing up having the time of my life. My first album I ever purchased with my own money was Aerosmith "Toys in the Attic" I am still a big fan, "Pink" is one of my favorite songs of theirs.

I usually listen to the classic rock and roll in the studio, Led Zeppelin for me is the best for making jewelry. I am lucky there is a great radio station that plays a lot of my favorite rock and roll bands that I can listen to when I am working,

And when I am chillin' these are my some of my favorites, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the one and only BB King who just moved on to the next life.

Did you think I was going to forget her?? Never, she is the queen!! also know as KiKi. I love her little nose and mouth which I think are absolutely perfect. Growing up I was mostly a dog person, and I still am. My parents showed dogs when I was young so we always had many dogs. I also had dogs when I lived in Italy. At one point I felt the need to get a cat and I am so glad I did. I know there are NON pet people out there who find it hard to understand, but she was a constant friend when I was going through some difficult times.  Of course when I moved back to the US to start a new life she was on the plane with me. 

How could I not mention my love of cabochons which is becoming a drug for me!!

Just as important as all the others, I love my job, here is one of my latest pieces. A sterling silver necklace with a hollow form toggle and epidote cabochon.

Below are links to other etsy metal team members, feel free to check out what their favorite things are.

Hollow Form Obsession

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It has been a while since I have done a tutorial. Recently I have become obsessed with making hollow forms. I love how they give dimension to the jewelry piece. I have struggled with making them so I thought I would share what I have learned along the way. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert, and nothing is written in stone. The techniques I use or how I do things is just what works best for me. Also please take all safety measure while working in your studio.

For sometime I have wanted to make a bracelet with all hollow forms. I have put it on the back burner for a while because making one hollow form is one thing, several is something else. I also had to overcome my fear of making "hinges". The big question was how would these hollow forms be attached??? There are so many different kind of hinges, which one to use???? So here is the journey/tutorial of the hollow form bracelet. I hope you will enjoy it and maybe learn something new.

For starters the one thing you need the most is PATIENCE, especially with the hinges, but I will get to those. Lets start with the hollow forms.

For my hollow forms I did not want a square with perfect corners at 90 degree angles. I wanted a softer look. With a strip of 22 gauge sheet I use my pliers to make the corners. If you are looking for perfect corners, determine the measurements for your square and  make two "L" shape strips, score the corners and solder for a sharper edge corner. I took the easy route and after I got the square shape that I wanted I hard soldered it. I sanded  the edges and then soldered on one backing and pierced the holes. I was told that all hollow forms must have a hole or it could explode while soldering. Of course secretly I want to try soldering one with no hole to see if this is true but I am too afraid. I tried to turn the holes into a decorative part of the hollow form. If you don't like many holes, one little hole is sufficient on the bottom side. In the end I easy soldered on the other side of the hollow form.

In the past I would have a hard time getting the solder to flow and I would end up overheating the piece and then it would crack. Now I am using 22 gauge silver sheet for the sides and 20 gauge for the top and bottom of the hollow form. I think I was using a thicker gauge before. Also not only did the solder not flow, the previous solder joints would come apart because I was overheating.  Now I started coating the previous solder joints with white out so they will not flow. It works like magic!!!

Here is how I made the toggle. I think the photos explain the process nicely. I made the outer square and inner circle with 22 gauge sheet, hard soldered and sanded. Then I soldered on  the front side with medium and cut out the hole with my jewelers saw. Then solder on the back side with easy, cut out the hole with the saw and sanded. Remember to use the white out on the previous solder joints.

Once  all the hollow forms are made, I used my benchmate to hold them while sanding. I wanted a smooth roundish edge.  I used both hand files and my flex shaft for sanding.

Now lets move onto the hinges..........

First I solder on the tubes on all the hollow forms. I soldered all the tubes on the right side of the hollow form and the jump rings on the left side of the hollow forms. I used pencil lead to hold the tube in place. And of course I applied white out on the edges of the hollow form to prevent the previous solder joints to flow.

For the jump rings, first I hard soldered the jump rings and them sanded a flat edge. I used the pencil lead to hold everything together. This is where you need a big load a patience. I balled up the solder and place it on the jump rings.This is what worked best for me, solder chips would just fall off.  I will admit a few times I had to step away out of frustration, but when I came back everything came together. Remember to apply white out to the previous solder joints, especially the tube which is very close to the jump rings that are being soldered.

After all the tubes and jump rings were soldered, pickled and cleaned,  it was time for the wire rivet.


First I put the wire in my vise and used a rivet hammer to mushroom out one end of the wire.
You need a resist to mushroom out the other end so I used one of the punches from this
stone setting system. I put it in the vise and the wire rivet sat perfectly in it so I could mushroom out the other side. That pretty much sums up how I made the bracelet, hope you liked the tutorial and that it helped you in some way, Here are other ways I have used hollow forms in my jewelry,

Spring Sale!!

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Having a spring sale in my Etsy Shop. With a minimum purchase of $50.00 you can receive a 20% discount at checkout on any item availabe in my shop.

Use coupon code BYEBYESNOW


The sale does not apply to special custom orders.


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