Technique: Microfold Texture with Jack Berry

by Robyn Hawk on September 30, 2009

After researching this post I decided that this will be a weekly feature! So here is your very first…Technique Tuesday!

Yes you can learn new techniques on your own – but – when it demands the use of expensive equipment or tools I would highly recommend that you take a workshop first.

Not just because you learn it right, but because you also have the benefit of the “lessons learned” by the instructor, helpful time saving tips, and some times body saving mechanics.

When the stars are perfectly aligned and you get the opportunity to take a workshop with the person recognized as the founder or developer of a technique…all the better.

Jack Berry – Using Microfold Textures in Jewelry

Jack Berry is a studio metalsmith who researches and teaches new metal forming techniqies. He is the author of “Repetitive Micro-Fold Forms Using an Industrial Tube-Wringer: Small Scale Applications for Jewelry and Sculpture” as well as having his work published in Jewelry Artist, Lapidary Journal and AJM Magazine. Jack has taught classes for Rio Grande‘s Education In Motion and Catalog In Motion, Interweave Press’ Bead Fest, and Kalmbach Books’ Bead & Button Show as well as metalsmithing guilds throughout the US. Jack is also Professor Emeritus in the California State University.

Rio Grande’s Education In Motion:

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 9:00am – 4:30pm

Beginning Level

Using Microfold Textures in Jewelry

In this one-day hands-on class you will texture metals with small folds which will be modified in many ways to produce designs suitable for the creation of jewelry. Texturing techniques of crimping, dapping and trapping will be taught along with basic annealing and soldering.

Rio Grande: For 60 years, Rio Grande has served the jewelry and craft industry with top-quality products and unequalled service. Our jewelry experts are the best in their fields and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with you through our Education In Motionsm jewelry-making classes. These classes are held in our facility with individual work benches, tools and equipment available for your use.

The Education In Motion series features a wide range of jewelry-related classes offered at our Albuquerque, NM, facility and soon at other special events around the country. Watch for more classes in more venues to be added in the near future.


Sharon Driscoll writes a really fun blog called Right Turn ArtWerks attended Jack’s class at the Bead & Button Show and has great things to say about his teaching style and this technique.

This year I was lucky enough to attend two of Jack Berry’s classes sponsored by Rio Grande’s Catalog in Motion. When you walk into a Rio class you have no need to worry about having adequate tools to do the work. Rio equips you with a bench and all the tools and materials you need to complete the course.

It’s not that all of the teachers don’t do a wonderful job of making sure you bring the correct tools. It’s just that it’s nice to have everything ready to go and all you have to do is show up.

It’s a spoiling experience. I felt pampered. Only twelve students, and all that equipment, including two Microfold brakes and three hydraulic presses.

The photos are of a pair of earrings I made in class and some of the metal

patterns I made microfolding. There is also a set of hydraulically formed teardrop shapes that will be made into earrings and some photos from the class. I can’t wait to work on mixing some glass with this.”


Libby over at her Libzoid blog discusses her second workshop with Jack:

“My class today was “Microfold Textures” with Jack Berry, sponsored by Rio

Grande. Their classes are great because they bring jeweler’s benches fully stocked with all the tools and supplies. All you have to bring is a pen and pad.

It was a really fun day. Jack Berry is a great teacher, very thorough and an altogether delightful person to be around. We used an industrial tube wringer and/or a microfold brake to crimp sheets of copper or silver and then refined the textures with pliers and punches.”

Jewelry Artist has covered this technique and has tutorials up on their website. Jacks books (Repetitive Micro-Fold Forms Using an Industrial Tube Wringer: Small Scale Applications for Jewelry and Sculpture) is available at Rio Grande, along with Metal Corrugation by Trish McAleer…but since this one takes specialized equipment it might be smart to look for a workshop in your area.

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