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Metalsmithing or metalworking is using traditional methods to work precious metals into jewelry, with or without gemstones.
These traditional processes include forging, welding, cutting, drilling, grinding, and casting to name a few.
Some people do teach themselves, but most metalsmiths learn their skills under the tutelage of someone who is already a master of the craft, whether in a one-on-one private setting or at a jewelry design school.
Due to the nature of the materials – the precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and gemstones (emerald, sapphire, diamond), this is the most expensive jewelry to make.
The epitome of fine jewelry making.
Special work area required, especially for the use of torches and also to collect the precious metal dust and filings for reuse.
Getting Started Metalsmithing
Like the materials, a basic set of tools is also more expensive than other kinds of jewelry making. Great starter kits like this can be found on Amazon:
Amazon is, of course, the easy answer on where to find more resources and materials, but other online bead jewelry suppliers like Fire Mountain Gems often have just as great prices and are easier to search because they are specialty suppliers for jewelry makers. They also are a great resource for project ideas and free tutorials.
I’d like to add metalsmithing to my skill set. Come to think of it, I have trained in High Reliability Soldering Techniques (for circuit boards, but still!) First I need to clean up my garage and make a space for the workbench. Another project – yay!
Though I do watch videos to get insight to technique, I still prefer to have a reference in front of me while I work – that isn’t too fragile! Tim McCreight is a world-renowned industry experts, whose books sets the standards for jewelry bench work:
All skills take time and practice to master. The more difficult the skill, the longer it takes to get good at it. But you CAN get good at it!
Looking For More?
Check out our Pinterest Boards of some amazing seed bead creations from master artists.
There are as many styles of jewelry making as there are styles of jewelry. You can learn more about each of them here: