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Metalsmith Newsletter

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A "Spring is Here" hello to all the metalsmith and a especially warm welcome to all our new members,

As with every year, going to the European Fine Art Fair ( TEFAF) is one of the highlights of our annual must do events.

It is a giant art fair held in Maastricht showing some of the most important art available on the world market today.

This year was especially important to us, because an artist who we particularly admire was showing his creations there for the first time.
Wallace Chan, the titanium artist extraordinaire, had the most wonderful creations on show.
We were enthralled, inspired and awed at the incredible creativity of this man.

Wallace Chan jewelry collection
Wallace Chan and his jewelry creations

Dragonfly's set with the finest jade, giant gemstones set in giant brooches and necklaces, flowers made of subtle and not so subtle colors. Most of his jewelry is made out of titanium.

Metalsmith Newsletter - Wallace Chan Tefaf Exhibition

The Wallace Chan designs are large, vibrant and bold as can be seen in this magnificent emerald choker fitting across the whole shoulder.
The emeralds are giant in size and of such purity and depth of colour. Breathtaking!

Another picture shows the scale of his creations. Anne, as scale reference stands next to the titanium bamboo sculpture encrusted with small Tsavorite gemstones (unfortunately washed out by the flashlight) and the Cicada Brooch with it's sublime carved Jade perching atop.

Metalsmith Newsletter - Wallace Chan Cicada Brooch
A close-up of the Cicada Brooch

The most inspiring message that came from his exhibition was this : Do not be afraid to try anything when making jewelry, because even if you at first do not succeed, the next time you will, and so from failure comes strength and confidence.


News on our front -

The project of implementing a new website is coming along..... albeit slower than intended. We decided to use a relatively new website builder called  Responsive Site Designer by CoffeeCup. There is a steep learning curve, however the advantage is that it makes building a responsive website relatively seamless.

In between projects we have added a few more jewelry tutorials to the library.

Making a Celtic Style Ring - US$25

Celtic rings are always popular and often passes the bench as a special request. The patterns are not easy to make. This Celtic Style Ring Tutorial is slightly different, in that it creates the illusion of over and under ribbons by careful filing techniques.

You can complete this project by following the bezel setting with a punch instruction, which is explained in this free tutorial. This is an unconventional setting method and meets the following condition             
- This gemstone is not expensive, and can easily be replaced.
- It is not a customers gemstone that you are practising on because you have successfully practised this method on your own cheap stones before.

Hook Bangle with Ankh Motif Tutorial  - US$20

There is another interesting Ankh Bangle project based on the hook bangle concept that is so popular in the Caribbean. In this project you will be shown three different styles of making the Hook Bangle with Ankh Motif. And there are more examples of altering the design but keeping to the same making concept. One project is without a hinge system and the other has a side hinge and lastly filed to a profile.

Hook Bangle with Ankh Motif Tutorial  - US$18

And lastly there is a tutorial on making pearl basket drop earrings. There is a free tutorial on how to make wire hooks, if you want to make your own stock.

We received wonderful feedback from many of you and continue to work on request for specific projects. 

A question we receive regularly is one asked by Sally and we quote:

“Hello Hans,

I made the earrings for my sister some time ago and she really loves them.

At the time I was getting frustrated that when I tried to fuse the edge of the petals with my hand-held 'cooks' style torch - the whole thing melted!

I have since realized that it isn't possible to do it with that kind of torch, and have just purchased a Smith's Little Torch - it looks like the one you use in the tutorial photo.

I haven't chosen which fuel with oxygen to use yet and would like to know which you use in the tutorial - or can I use any and it's just the tiny size of the nozzles that does the job?”

Hi Sally

The little torch is really the go to torch these days.

I use oxygen and propane because it's cheap and easy to use.
( Don't believe any horror stories of 'pooling' on the floor and all that.) It's just scare mongering because it has a very strong smell should there be a leak or a torch is not closed properly.

The one unbreakable rule I follow is that if I am not in the physical presence of my bottles, they are closed.

No exceptions ever.

The best nozzle for general use is the No 6. For chain repairs I use the No 4. The nozzles that have a synthetic ruby in the tip are for acetylene.

The one that is in most of my tutorials is one I made myself because I like a longer one, but it has the same diameter of flame as the No 6.

Other nozzles I use is a 'rosebud' nozzle that has a largish tip and six little flames coming out of it.

Very handy for melting small amounts of scrap metal and also working one larger pieces like my dragon sculptures.

The little torch is a very good quality product.

I'll happily answer any other questions you have.


A further tip....

I have a “To-Do list when locking up”  hanging by the door, that has saved my bacon a couple of time.... as in remember to lock the safe etc.

We welcome tutorial requests, so if there is a design or technique you wish to learn about, let us know and we will slot it into the tutorial queue.
Here you can find the updated Jewelry Making Tutorial List.

We look forward to hearing more from you.

Wishing you happy hours at the bench. Let the creative juices flow!

My very best regards,

Hans Meevis

Previous Metalsmith Newsletter Editions

- Masonic Unfurling Ball Pendant and "Ring in a Ring" jewelry tutorial