Learning About Basic Silversmithing Techniques , Start Up Tools , and Supplies

by georgeingraham on January 19, 2009

Not too long ago I fumbled my way through silver soldering my first piece of jewelry.

It hardly qualifies me as a Silversmith, but sure felt good !

Over the past few days I managed to silver solder some bezel tape around a couple of more. The one is a Carved Agate Cameo, and the other is an Ocean Jasper with a step type bezel tape.

carved agate cameo gemstone cabochon ocean jasper gemstone cabochon pendant

Any way…. As a result I started thumbing through Google. Not really searching for anything particular, just so long as it was related to Silversmithing.

gemstone bezelSuddenly, a page popped up and there it was. The perfect bezel ! As soon as I saw it I realized I was on track towards the style of settings I wanted to learn how to do.

silversmiting toolsIt was on the Fretz Tool site. From the same site, on their tools page, I found something else that was completely new to me. Metalmithing tools ! The tools of the trade that I would be needing at least a few of in order to be able to make similar bezels.

It was like a 100 watt light bulb went off in my head. I have been enjoying what little work I have done with the basic bezel tape, but I instantly was attracted to the bold and heavy look of this bezel. It appears to be about a 20 gauge or so.

By the end of the night I found a few additional sites that I have bookmarked.

I already have a few things like a torch set up, fire block and charcoal block. Files, saw, solder, and other misc tools required to do regular bezel work like my first few.

Some additional metalmithing tools to get started will likely include either an entire forming kit or at least the main pieces. Including a stake or two, a chasing and peddiman hammers. I happen to have the perfect desk to build my silversmithing from work station up from.

This list of potential metalsmithing tools and accessories are endless, but just to get started on these eye popping bezels I think can do with just a few of the basics.

It is coming up on Christmas so penny pinching until the first of the year. At that time I will be able to pick up several items. I am very excited about the appearance of these heavier bezels. I suppose once I get a handle on the bezel, something else will present itself and additional silversmithing tools will be necessary.

I wish there was an opportunity to have someone give me hands on instructions, but just not possible out in the boonies. The nearest city is about an hour away. So will be picking up a few books, CD’s and videos.

Tim McCreight has several books, and some visual instructions available as well. One of the members on my forum suggested to start with his Complete Metalsmith edition. He also suggested a Don Norrises CD “Biginning Metalsmithing.

Ok……., guess I am done rambling for now. Thanks for stopping by and reading through this blog entry. Keep checking back to see how things progress for me while I teach myself some metalsmithing basics.

More to come !!

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