My Year in Review – 2009

by laurie jane kern on December 24, 2009

First I want to thank everyone for their wonderful support over this past year. It has been amazing and considering I only started my blog at the end of March that’s NINE months, not even a full year.  And to think I really started down this path in February with my very first silver soldering class.

I have made over 47 posts, not including this one, during those 9 months and I have been sent almost 80 comments.

Over this year I have learned the following:

  • Silver Soldering
  • Make chain maille and other types of chains
  • Bezel set stones
  • Braid silver
  • Make a ring, no make that rings of several different types
  • Alloy and cast my own ingots
  • Use a rolling mill; make wire, sheet and do roller printing.
  • Use a hydraulic press
  • Basic fold forming
  • Basic Chasing & Repousse
  • Sink a bowl
  • Raise metal (I did this last week, way cool)
  • NOT to rush with my work
  • Take notes and pictures
  • Be happy when it fails and be happier when it succeeds
  • Purchase metal when the price is low, save all your scrap and dust and recast these scraps when the price is high.
  • Be thankful to my husband for being so supportive when I spend money to do all of this!
Happy New Year to you all, and may next year be great for YOU and your craft
laurie jane kern

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Boot~C January 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

ummm p/s hydraulic, I meant to spell!

Boot~C January 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm

great tray! I will be starting my next metal/jewelry class in a few weeks. I really love your bowls & I want to take pictures of them to class to ask about learning how to make them, may I? Man o man I would love to be learning on a hydrolic press & turning rims. My teacher did take photos of a few of my pieces @ our last class, if you would like to see them they are posted on my blog.

Laurie Jane Kern December 25, 2009 at 8:13 am

Wendy, Thanks for the comment – I read your blog too!
And truth be told, I am not “in school” so there are no semesters. And I do have a day job (I am an engineer)
I either take classes/workshops at local studios or teach myself. The classes are mostly one day-ers! but the following few weekends I make sure I make something else with my new skills.

Alloying and using the rolling mill are the best skills to have, I needed some a 12″ piece 8 gauge wire for a bracelet. Do you know how expensive that is since it is not a highly used gauge?? I cast my ingot from my scraps, and then rolled it – all told it took about an hour!

For pictures, on all the classes I took this year, go to

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin December 25, 2009 at 7:44 am

That really is an amazing list of accomplishments for (what I assume is) two semesters worth of metalworking! I’ve never alloyed and cast my own ingots and then rolled them down, that’s super old school! I love that you learned not to rush your work. My metalsmithing teacher, Doug Bucci, always said “slow is fast” and those are words I try live by (at least in the studio;^). Keep up the good work in the new year!

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