The quest to make metal jewelry can be a daunting prospect, but don’t worry! A wealth of resources exists to help you learn how to turn metal sheet and wire into showstopping bracelets, necklaces, earrings and beyond. Two of the most fundamental metalsmithing skills are sawing and filing. Mastering these skills opens a world of design options.
We’re so glad that you’ve decided to make metal jewelry. Start building your skill set and you’ll soon be building beautiful pieces.
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To guide you, here are lessons on using a jeweler’s saw and jewelry files written by Helen I. Driggs, metalsmith extraordinaire and Senior Editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. To complement these lessons, we’ve included a fantastic pendant project from jewelry artist Karen Meador that incorporates sawing and filing, along with a couple more metalsmithing musts: hammering and soldering. Try your hand at making metal jewelry with Karen’s design, and then experiment with your own designs. The possibilities are endless!
Everything You Need to Know about the Jewelers Saw
The saw frame is typically the first purchase made by the aspiring jewelry maker. It is the most important tool to acquire and master because sawing and piercing are basic operations for all metalwork.
This article teaches you what to look for in a saw, how to thread it, and then how to use it.
How to Use Jewelers Files
Using jewelry files can be perilous business for the inexperienced. But it’s worth a go with these basic tips that every jeweler should know.
Metalsmithing Pattern to Practice
This metalsmithing pattern will put your newfound soldering and saw piercing skills to use as you create a handmade pendant that is a simple way to develop your jewelry making technique.
If you’ve never tried metalsmithing before, you need this download.