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  • Just to say hello

    Hi

    I am new on this forum, and just starting jewellery making. Or, possibly, contemplating, would be a better word.

    I looked at many aspects, and really like to get into silversmithing. The trouble is, where I am, there are no courses as such (well there is one, and that starts in Feb sometime) and I am not quite sure whether to wait till February till I start a course, and try basics now. I looked at some things like soldering, cutting, sawing on internet, and it doesn't look incredibly difficult, but I realise that most of the people who do tutorials on youtube are very experienced, so they make it look easy.
    My question is, I guess, is silversmithing something that can be self taught, or you have to have some sort of training.
    And second question is, there is an incredible amount of books on Amazon to introduce one to making silver jewellery, but maybe someone from this forum can recommend something. I have no previous experience with jewellery whatsoever.

    Thank you very much, I hope these questions are not too stupid, and I will appreciate if you could help me on that.

    Tanya

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, although although I am a jewellery maker I haven't explored silversmithing yet but I am sure someone will be along shortly to help you.
    http://debbieclairegems.webplus.net
    http://www.facebook.com/DebbieClaireGems

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    • #3
      It's perfectly possible to teach yourself. A good starting point would be this book:

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewellery-Tw.../dp/1840921978

      Unfortunately, some adult ed courses are utterly useless for jewellery makers - they're often taught by traditional silversmiths and are good if you're interested in making teaposts or napkin rings, but not much else, which can make them a waste of time and money.

      Others, of course, are brilliant, and inspire people a great deal.

      It's not expensive to put a basic toolkit together, and do practice on base metals rather than silver! The biggest problem will be wanting to try everything at once, and I really do recommend trying to master things in stages rather than flitting between too many techniques to start with.

      Have fun.
      george
      www.mizgeorge.co.uk
      www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
      www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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      • #4
        Hi Tanya, to the forum.

        Jo xx
        Things to make and do
        Things to make and do's Facebook page
        Michael Lovejoy's Art

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mizgeorge View Post
          It's perfectly possible to teach yourself. A good starting point would be this book:



          Unfortunately, some adult ed courses are utterly useless for jewellery makers - they're often taught by traditional silversmiths and are good if you're interested in making teaposts or napkin rings, but not much else, which can make them a waste of time and money.

          Others, of course, are brilliant, and inspire people a great deal.

          It's not expensive to put a basic toolkit together, and do practice on base metals rather than silver! The biggest problem will be wanting to try everything at once, and I really do recommend trying to master things in stages rather than flitting between too many techniques to start with.

          Have fun.
          Thank you George, for you valuable input.
          I do tend to deviate from what I want to do at first, it is in my nature, I just can't help it, there are so many pretty things that I can do (or I THINK I can). But luckily, I have very specific taste in jewellery, I only like certain things, and usually from precious(ish) metals, so that helps me to keep my vision more or less. ))))

          Currently I am trying my hand at doing bracelets, some chains with charms etc, not difficult or expensive stuff, to be completely sure, that it is my gig. But I am never happy if I do something, that anybody can do, I like to push myself a bit, and do things that are a little bit more sophisticated.

          The course is run by a silversmith, but I got the impression from his email, that I would do what I want to do, he is not going to tell me to do napkin rings, unless they classify as jewellery ))

          In the meantime, where would you recommend to start? I was thinking to buy jewellers saw and try my hand at cutting things out of metal blanks.

          One more questions, where do you folks get your materials. I seem to think, that Etsy is a very good resource for supplies, but I would like to use english supplier, but so far what I have seen is more expensive and variety is really not on a par, what do you think?

          Once again, thanks!

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          • #6
            Hi,

            I also make jewellery but I have only worked with semi-precious beads and the only silver I have used is in pre cast settings.

            There is so much information out there on the internet and in books but I do not think any of this is as good as attending a course where you have a relationship with your tutor. Have a look to see if there are any short courses available or maybe a part time night school course.

            Julie
            Uk made handcrafted jewellery seen here
            jewellery made by hand found here
            Unique and unusual necklaces at this site
            "Fashion comes and goes but style is eternal" Yves St Lauren

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            • #7
              Etsy's OK for pre-fabricated components, many of which aren't necessarily available here. Most serious makers create from scratch though, and the best sources for wire and sheet are the bullion merchants - Cookson Gold, Betts Metal Sales, Rashbel, Argex and others.

              Tools can be bought from any number of excellent jewellery tool suppliers here - including Sutton Tools, Cousins, H S Walsh, Bairds, Cooksons, Palmer Metals and so many more, but for starter tools, ebay's often as good as anywhere.

              A good starting point would be to simply get a sawframe (ebay's fine for this) and some decent blades (look for Glardon Vallorbe or similar quality) and some metal sheet to play with. Gilding metal is probably closest to silver in terms of how it behaves, but copper works just fine and is cheap and easy to source.
              george
              www.mizgeorge.co.uk
              www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
              www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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