Learning the Businees

Apprentice Silversmithing Meets Moissanite Gemstones

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Learning the Businees | Comments Off on Apprentice Silversmithing Meets Moissanite Gemstones

Everyone has an artistic side to them, and one method of expression is crafting silver jewelry. If this sounds like something that you would be interested in learning more about, it is possible for you to begin with a minimal investment of time and money.

Silversmithing toolsFor some, silversmithing remains a hobby while others choose to take their work to the next level and sell it to others. If you believe you may go this route, make sure you follow all of the laws and regulations regarding your processes. For instance, some communities allow citizens to operate such small businesses from home while others do not. Additionally, if you choose to start a legitimate business, you will want to manage your paperwork and finances to reflect that.

Working With Moissanite and Other Materials

Along the way, you will need to decide what other materials you want to work with. However, in the beginning, working with silver alone should provide you plenty of practice.

You can find videos and tutorials online to help guide you in learning basic techniques and tricks for each type of silversmithing project you choose to undertake.

As your skill level progresses, you’ll be able to carve out and eventually produce items containing gemstones such as moissanite, ruby, sapphires and turquoise.

Independent metal smiths from Hollywood renowned designers like Neil Lane to smaller independants have incorporated their refined skill sets and veered off into more expensive moissanite jewelry production. Who once frequented silver jewelry tradeshows, Gerry The Jeweler, has taken his moissanite engagement rings collection to market via his website, and is competing with the big boys on a global scale.

It all depends which level you want to take this to.

Starting Out – Entry Level Stuff

Silversmithing - Book

Avaible from Fine Suppliers Like Rio Grande and Stuller

One of the wisest investments in starting out is a good book. Check out ‘Silversmithing and Art Metal’ by Murray Bovin. Available at Stuller.com and RioGrande.com

Perhaps the easiest form for beginners to work with is clay. No, not silver-colored polymer clay! Reputable online craft distributors have sterling silver clay compounds that mold very similarly to polymer clays. However, when baked, what remains is a sterling silver piece in the shape and slightly smaller size than you created.

With these products, you can use the same tools and equipment from your polymer clay crafts to minimize the amount of money you need to invest at the start. You can create lovely and unique pendants and so much more with this one technique. Additionally, you can practice applying staining agents and other techniques to further enhance the final appearance of the project.

If you do not have any high-quality clay tools or want to work with a different type of silver, you need to be sure that you always use good equipment. Although you might get discount pliers somewhere, they will crink your metal in an unattractive way and cause frustration time and again.

Learning the Lingo!

You will also need to know the terminology associated with jewelry making in general, and silversmithing in particular. After all, if you are reading directions for a project, you do not want to stop a dozen times to search for new words!

Additionally, you should set up a dedicated area to your silver jewelry making endeavors where no children or pets will disrupt the items. If you need to lock a door or rework some of your existing space to make this happen, do so. The last thing you want is cat hair sticking out of your final project that you intended to sell online!

Get Inspired – Don’t Plagiarize!

Although it is acceptable and expected for artisans to learn from each other, it is rarely okay to copy the designs and techniques of another for your own profit. So, if you are watching a tutorial on how to make a specific piece of jewelry, you can make it for practice, to wear yourself or give as a gift. However, you should never sell it.

There are exceptions to that rule. Some designers will clearly state on their designs that they do not mind if others profit from them. Make sure you know before attempting to sell an item, and when in doubt err on the side of caution.

Once you understand these precautionary guidelines, you can begin to work with your silver clay or another type of silver to create the jewelry designs of your dreams. If you are going to work with wire cutters and similar tools, make sure you always wear safety goggles. Sometimes, home crafters overlook these simple safety tips and can end up paying for it down the road with injuries and trips to the emergency room.

In Closing…

Continue to acquaint yourself with the latest techniques and tools as you learn more about the craft. You will find that making silver jewelry can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. Not only is it a fantastic artistic outlet, you will have the opportunity to financially benefit from your efforts as well if you choose!

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