During the last few months I created handcrafted jewelry mostly from
pre-made components (you may call it assembly lol), now I feel ready
to start making my own charms and pendants ... I will need to cut
some simple shapes from metal plate so here are the questions I
have.... What metals should I choose (I think 3 alloys of gold,
silver and bronze) What gauge I should use? Where can I buy small
quantities of metals stock to start with? Is hand held saw
sufficient?, or should I invest in an electric or power tools?
Thank you in advance, but I am completely lost !
Good evening to you all and thank you for this forum
I buy tools as I need them, well, mostly....
I started by reading every jewelry making book I could find. Gave me
both inspiration, and a grasp of techniques.
Tim McCreight books are an excellent start. Orchid has a book
selection that you can purchase and download.
You really can start with a small selection of tools, and add to them
as your skill set expands. A bench with the proper height bench pin
makes piercing with a hand saw and filing far less frustrating.
Files, a goldsmith hammer, a bench block, a micro-motor or flex
shaft, saw frame, a few sheets of abrasive sandpaper, a few burs, a
ruler and a pair of dividers. A torch, and some good lighting. You
can make other tools like punches as you need them. If you are making
rings, a ring mandrel and ring clamp.
I'd suggest working in sterling silver to begin, though soldering it
is a bit different than soldering gold alloys because it is more
conductive. 16-18 gauge sheet is a good place to start, a selection
of round wire from 8-20 gauge,
It is a major step to go from stringing ready made charms to making
quality charms. Perhaps find an accredited local school with a long
weekend class. You are asking for something that requires a major
investment of time to learn; designing, piercing, sawing. soldering,
polishing, packaging skills. And, it takes time to develop style.
Look at the Orchid videos. Good luck.