Jewelry with an Organic Style

Jewelry with an Organic Style

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.

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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It is that time again and this month's topic is "My jewelry box?"

Well there is not much jewelry in my jewelry box. The box itself was a gift from my mother and I mostly keep jewelry that has sentimental value for me, or some of my favorite pieces that I have created. There are some wonderful secret Santa gifts from my etsymetal team members and my rejects. My rejects are pieces that I have made that have some minor defect and therefore I do not feel comfortable selling but I also love to much to take apart and melt down. I also keep them as a reminder of what I learned when making that piece.

One of my favorite pieces is this pendant made by my mother, Jane Cather. She gave me this pendant on our trip to Venice Italy. Fun times!!! She made her design and then transferred it to pnp paper, then the design was transferred to a sheet of brass and etched in ferric chloride. Last she passed the etched brass plate with piece of sterling silver through the rolling mill to create the design on the silver pendant. You can click on her name to see all her blog tutorials on metalwork.

One of the first rings I made was this beach stone ring in the front with the silver and copper granules. I kept this ring because the  beach stone wiggles slightly, one of my old favorites though.
Hope you enjoyed peeking into my jewelry box, you can check out what is in other team member's jewelry boxes on the links below

Laney Clark

Danielle Miller


Rebecca Bogan

Anne Walker

Fenton Design

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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It is that time again, the etsy metal blog carnival, this month's topic is quite obvious. What are your New Year Resolutions, how will you keep them? Did any work from last year?

I think the most obvious are diet, work hard, save money. The diet one always seems to be there every year, so it is easy to say I am still working on that one from last year. This years resolution of course has to do with making jewelry. My website has been going well and things have been moving along since I have moved back to the US. I can proudly say that making jewelry is my job and I love it!!!!! I am not a millionaire but I am happy!!

Now I want to take it up a notch. This past year I participated in 11 art shows, some were great, and there were a few that were ok. My goal is to create a portfolio of work in hopes of getting into the more higher end art shows. Of course, to participate in these art show the cost is higher but I also have to be accepted. I would be a very happy camper if I could get into just a couple of prestigious art shows. For now I have the fun of working on new pieces, creating and developing my style.

So to help me on my way I though it was a good idea to get a new workbench and some new tools to help speed up my production and make a few things easier.

 I purchased this bench at Harbor Freight. I was standing up a lot while I worked and getting very tired. Now I can sit and work at the same time.

Already covered with tools and I am just loving it!!

My favorite new tool is my new Grs benchmate stone setting kit. Hopefully it will speed up my stone setting skills.

I am still working out of my very generous sister's garage who helped set everything up.  She is also very good at organizing and always likes to add a decorative touch to my little corner studio.

This little house is just to cute!!

New work.

Feel free to check out the New Years resolutions of other etsy metal members, I am sure they will be great!!

Cyber Monday Sale!!

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I am having a cyber Monday sale!!!. December 01, 2014!! I don't have many sales so this is a great opportunity for your holiday shopping. With a minimum purchase of $50.00 you may receive a discount of 20% at checkout. Use coupon code ETSYMETALSALE.

The sale is only for Monday, don't miss out!!


Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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It is that time again when etsy metal team members get together to talk about a common topic. This months question is:

How do you get ready for the Holidays?? Do you make special items, have sales, shows?? How do you celebrate the Holidays??

As for the holidays spent with the family I feel like I am a child again. I never made it home for the holidays when I lived in Italy. Now that I have moved back I am enjoying every minute making up for all the holidays I missed in the past. We don't do anything special, we just spend the day together and of course eat!!!

As for my jewelry business I always hope I will be busy working, creating new pieces and filling orders for the holiday shoppers.  I also do a little prepping and organizing before the holidays making sure everything is ready to help reduce the fabrication and shipping times.

In between orders I try to stock up and prepare all the components I will need for the fabrication of my made to order pieces. My bangles seem to be popular so I measure and cut all the wire or sheet I will need for each standard size.


This way I have taken one step out of the process and reduces a little the time for fabrication. For my anticlastic bangles I try to keep a few bangles ready in each size. This is the most time consuming part of this bangle, so keeping them in stock and ready to go is a great help.

In the shipping department I also try to keep everything ready as possible. I use craft boxes for my jewelry and I had a logo stamp made so I could stamp my own boxes. If you are interested I purchased my custom stamp at Standard Stamp Co.  on etsy. They have many designs to choose from or you can send them your own design and they will reproduce it for you. They did a lovely job!!

I also keep large quantity of padded envelopes, ribbons, business cards and tape on hand so there are no last minute running to the store to get them which is a waste of time.

This is also when I start planning next years show schedule and sending in applications for the art shows for 2015. I made my own wall calendar using a bulletin board and I pinned each month of the calendar so I can see everything at once. The picture is not to great, sorry, but each square is a month of 2015. This way I can keep track of when the applications and payments are due, show dates and times. This past year I participated in 10 art shows so it can get a little confusing at times.

My last show of this year will be in Orleans Ma, with the Artisan's Guild of Cape Cod, on November 28-29 2014, 10:00-5:00 daily. The art show will be held at the Orleans Middle School in Orleans. If you are on the Cape for Thanksgiving weekend feel free to come by and say hello.

You can also check out what other etsy metal members are doing on the Holidays:

Hybrid Handmade Jewelry

Node Form

Beth Cyr

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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Well now that I am finally settling in my new apartment and the shows are slowing down I am glad to say the Etsy Metal Blog Carnival is back!!.  Hopefully I will be able to find more time for blogging. This blog carnival is where etsymetal team members come together and blog about a common topic.

This months topic is "What are your favorite pieces or creations and what was your inspiration?" All my pieces are my  favorites in one way or another. However the ones that are most challenging are usually my all time favorites. Those are also usually the pieces where I learn something new and take the longest to make. I can't say my inspirations come from nature or a certain design or color. What inspires me the most  is the challenge of creating something I have never made before. Yes I am somewhat competitive mostly with myself. When it comes to jewelry I like pushing myself into metalsmithing territories I would not normally venture.

This ring is one of my latest creations. The ring has a textured hollow form with a spinner band and some gold balls. I truly enjoy making hollow forms and challenging myself with how many different ways I can incorporate them in a jewelry piece.  I don't really sketch out my designs first, they somewhat evolve on the way.  I do however sketch out the fabrication of the piece I am making. What to solder first, how to texture, etc. Needless to say my drawings are not that pretty. This ring took a while, I first made the hollow form and then put it aside so I could think on what path it should take, ring, necklace, bracelet??? 

 On the ring band I also cut out a feather, added some texture and soldered it to the band. My mother tells me that I always want to make the most challenging pieces. I guess that is true, at least for me. I think the desire to challenge myself comes from the beginning when I started making jewelry.  I had so many design I wanted to make flowing around in my head. Unfortunately I could not make them because I did not have all the proper tools.  We all know how expensive the tools are, but now my tool supply has grown and I can take on more complex pieces. Maybe a ring like this isn't challenging for a more experience jewelry maker, but for me it was and I am very pleased with how it came out. I am so pleased that I decided to keep it for myself and not sell it.

My next challenge.......... 

Another hollow form is being fabricated but is still evolving. I want it to be part of a bracelet, but in the end who knows. I do know I want to add some hinges and that is another challenge because it will be my first time making hinges. Can't wait to find some time in between orders and shows to work on it!!

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post, you can check out the other etsymetal team members and their favorite pieces on the below links:-))


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