Handcrafting Jewelry

Handcrafting Jewelry: Traditional Techniques in the Modern Age

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Handcrafting Jewelry

When purchasing jewelry many consumers like to consider when, where, and how the piece of jewelry was crafted. Items that have been handcrafted are of special importance as they have a more significant meaning and tie to someone. This is especially true when the pieces have been handcrafted using traditional techniques.  Therefore venturing into the sector of handcrafting jewelry can be not only rewarding and fun but also a fruitful pursuit. There are a few suggestions that will help you to understand the various traditional techniques that can be used to handcraft jewelry in the modern age.

One type of traditional technique that can be used to handcraft jewelry is metalworking. Some of the methods include forging, casting, and chasing/repousse. Forging includes the process of using basic tools such as hammers and shaping tools to create a piece of jewelry that has a unique look and texture to it. Casting is when you use lost-wax casting methods to produce a special look. Finally, chasing and repousse is when you model the piece of jewelry by hammering in the front and back of it.

Another type of traditional technique that can be used is wire wrapping or chain making. Wire wrapping is when the handcrafter creates designs by simply wrapping wire around some type of stone or metal. The wire used can have different textures and colors which will allow the designer to create an unlimited amount of unique looks. Chain making can include wire linking in which a chain is created by linking loops together.

A third type of traditional technique that can be used is stone setting. You can use a variety of settings to help secure the stone. One type of setting is a bezel setting. This gives the stone a metal collar to ensure a secure fit. This is typically used as the primary stone in the piece of jewelry. An additional setting is called a prong setting. This is aptly named as it simply is a setting that secures the stone with tiny prongs. One additional type of setting we will note is a pave setting. This is when stones have been set into the ring to create a pavement, or walkway of stones, that line the bands of the ring. This is especially popular with engagement jewelry.

A final type of traditional technique is Lapidary and enameling. Lapidary includes shaping and polishing stones into shapes. Another variation of this technique is called faceting which is when stones are polished and cut into the desired shape. Enameling is slightly different but uses similar techniques. With enameling the designer can either use wire to create compartments on the stones or use some type of engraving or etching tool to cut into the stones. Once the compartments or marks have been made on the stone, the handcrafter would then fill it in with the colored enamel of their choice.

Using these various techniques can allow handcrafters to create beautiful, timeless pieces that everyone can enjoy. Though the techniques are traditional, you can pair them with designs from any time in history to create the desired look of the consumer. These processes are still used today and have been made even easier with the use of modern tools of convenience as well as an influx of online groups and tutorials that are readily available to aid in the process. Mixing traditional techniques with modernity can make for a truly remarkable process and product.

Amy Adams Author

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