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Need guidance on my next project

Hello Everyone,

Currently I’m taking classes twice a week in a workshop and I’m in
the process to determine what my next project should be. The reason I
have come here is due to the fact that I am receiving very limited
support and guidance from my teacher.

So far my studies have included a piece of jewelry made with an
specific task like a cube, a cylinder and a sphere then I have made
bracelets with a hinge and some stone setting included on these
projects. I really want to make the most of my next project but I
wanna make sure I cover all the basics before I get into advance
techniques, since there is no learning schedule I don’t know what
the most appropriate next step is.

Thanx in advance

Hi Carolina,

Have you talked to your teacher to see whether or not you can get
more guidance and support?

Would you be able to elaborate on the techniques you’ve used so far
so that someone can suggest your next move? For example, it sounds
from what you’ve made as though you’ve had a fair bit of practice at
making various shapes and presumably with that, your soldering has
developed nicely. How about doing a piece which involves some saw
piercing in an intricate design - something that was my nemesis but
which now I find quite enjoyable. That would give you experience in
sawing a filing aplenty whilst still producing an attractive piece?


Hello Carolina,

It would be fruitful to incorporate techniques that you have yet to
learn in your next project alongwith the ones that you already know.

For example, you could try a pair of earrings where you will need to
make a mirror image. Incorporating techniques like repousse, piercing
& sawing, engraving, and giving your piece different finishes are
things that you could try your hand on. Or work on making a

A good idea will be to refer to a book from authors like Joanna
Gollberg for a quick overview or Oppi Untracht for detailed

All the best.

Speaking as a life-long student- I never had the luxury of access to
workshops and teachers, so when I began making jewelry more than 50
years ago I just did whatever I had to do. I was a college student,
had little spare time, and very limited resources. I learned about
working with sterling and gold, made or bought the tools I needed,
obtained the raw materials, and learned how to use a jeweler’s saw,
various gravers, files, ring mandrels, etc. as I went along. I made
bezel settings, soldered components together, made prong settings,
made tube settings, set various cabochons and faceted stones, used
setting burs, made bead settings for melee stones, made chains,
learned how to dome and pierce sheet materials, etc. When I needed a
technique, I practiced it until I got it to work. No one told me what
to do, or showed me how to do any of this; I just did it. I am still
learning amazing things from the incredible forum here at ganoksin.

The first torch I had was just a chemist’s blowpipe and an alcohol
lamp. Later I used an alcohol blowtorch, then a propane/air torch
from Sears, now mostly an oxy-propane Little Torch. I learned about
fluxes and how to use various solders. I briefly explored making wax
models (but still don’t do any casting).

My specific projects have always been to make a suitable setting for
a particular stone I wanted to use from the stash I built up from my
lapidary efforts. (Some people are more inclined to make a metal
project, then use a stone to “fill a hole” as an accent.) For a next
step, you might just think about what you want to do. You can learn
a lot about techniques from a good book, maybe even get some
inspiration. Then practice, practice, practice. You will know when
you have succeeded. Then choose another thing to try, and do that.
You just don’t have to wait for someone to tell you what to do. If
you always try something you haven’t done before and do it, you will
learn something and you will add it to your tool kit.

Good luck!
Dick Davies

I am sorry if I didn’t give enough

I am living in Costa Rica and I am taking jewelry classes on a
workshop, we use silver 925.

Each project should have some new technique for me to learn like
make a ring out of wax or make some earrings with tons soldering,
learn how to make a cube but this one needs to be included on a
design. We do not follow any school schedule and I am a little lost
about what the basics should be. Believe it or not you can learn tons
of things out of one project but lately my teacher has been a bit
difficult and just told me to make the next project without any
specific task.

thanx once again

Hello everyone!!!

Thanx a lot for your help!!!

It really open my eyes to a hole new page, you guys suggested so many
helpful things that I am ready for my next project!!! I don’t know
where I will be if it wasn’t for this great forum, as some of you
know I live in Costa Rica, jewelry tools here are really expensive
and you have to try to order almost everything from The United
Estates but the weight of some of the tools or machines add great
amount of money to the bill. There are only two jewelry schools here
one where I go and another one where every single student is my class
mate rite now (go figure) I do love stone setting and I know that I
wont learn a lot if I don’t work hard at home and stop complaining
about this difficult situation. Hopefully soon I will be able to give
some advises to other people here on this forum, in the meantime
THANX a lot!!!

Hi Dick,

Your whole post describes exactly the journey I’m on, from having a
go at techniques until they work, to planning a project to showcase a
particular stone or stones in my stash. I think there are a lot of
us perpetual students about! :wink: