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Metalsmith Newsletter

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Dear metalsmith friends,

We hope you have been creative and busy at your bench. Days are getting longer and warmer. Energy and excitement is hanging in the air.

In this edition of the newsletter we focus on antique jewelry as well as making your own tool to flatten metal plate.

What better place to start than with René Lalique?

This Newsletter Edition covers antique jewelry at Tefaf such as this Lalique beetle necklace
Stunning glass René Lalique beetle necklace, circa 1905, at Tefaf the Wartski Stand
                                                             Credits: Expressjewelry

Tefaf is one of the premier art fairs with an abundance of antique jewelry. When seeing antique jewelry close-up, it becomes apparent how much time was spent on intricate detail.

Lalique has been a major inspiration to me as goldsmith. I'm so privileged to have seen his creations, even studying it with an optivisor (no shyness there, only utter intrigue).
Below are two of the pictures I took.

Lalique enamel dragonfly choker photographed at Tefaf by Hans Meeivs

What I found interesting, is the the aquamarine had a hole drilled right through it, and the bail was attached to the rivet in the hole.
Certainly an unusual way to do things.

Lalique enamel dragonfly choker photographed at Tefaf by Hans Meeivs

Books often portray Lalique's work as being vibrant and heavily colour saturated. As a matter of fact, he was a master of subtle hues, choosing colors ever present in nature.

Antique and mid-century jewelry is experiencing a new revival. We re-created a similar style in this tutorial.

Making Antique Ring Design

This is a dainty antique style band with marquee and round shapes and interesting bead detail on the collet bezel.

Antique Ring Design Tutorial - US$25

Making 5 Stone Prong Eternity Ring

This instruction shows how to make this timeless traditional 5 stone eternity ring with a double bezel prong setting often made as wedding band to match a solitaire or Tiffany style engagement ring.

Making 5 Stone Prong Set Eternity Ring - US$27

Lalique, having such a strong influence on me, shaped my love for enameling. Essentially enameling is miniature stained glass where you get to make your own glass. For this one has to master some very important basics and build skills up from there such as covered in this Plique-à-jour tutorial.

Plique-a-jour Fairy Pendant Brooch
Enameling Plique-a-Jour Tutorial
Flame Fired EnamelingTutorial
Enamel Jewelry Instruction

Video Updates : 

These are new video additions on Melting silver scrap metal and bench sweeps into a plate. Then there is a short video clip on rolling a “thickness” taper on a plate to reduce filing time.

Tool Tips :

Valve Tool To Flatten Metal Plate

There are machines that will flatten a piece of plate if it warps during annealing or rolling. These are quite expensive.
A cost effective solution is to make your own.

Read More

As of late I've been using these lock tweezers for delicate soldering jobs. A normal spring tweezer has too much tension, which tends to deform thin metal when it is hot. With these locking tweezers the tension can be adjusted – very, very gently if need be. I bend the tip like a spring tweezer. You can find these at jewelry tool suppliers called gem lock tweezers. They are generally of better quality and thus last a long time.

Workshop Wisdom :

Workshop Wisdom - Make No Scratches Or Marks
Workship Wisdom - Learn Setting
Workshop Wisdom - Don't be afraid to start project over

Thanks to all for your support and especially sharing your work with us. May your creative spirit continue to flow. 

All the best and kind regards,

Hans Meevis

Previous Metalsmith Newsletter Editions

- Circles - Design jewelry with circle motif such as decorative circle collet
- Nature - Flower, Owl, Dragonfly Brooches and Insect Casting
- Gems - Gem Carving and Making Halo Ring Tutorial
- Wallace Chan Exhibition and the making of a Celtic Style Ring
- Masonic Unfurling Ball Pendant and "Ring in a Ring" jewelry tutorial