I'm hoping to get ideas for basic projects that use only basic tools.
Chris, you may want to emphasize projects which use
cold-connections, especially to start with. Joanna Gollberg’s book,
Making Metal Jewelry, has a number of projects like that. Pauline
Warg’s new book, Making Metal Beads, has both cold-connected and
soldered bead projects, and I could suggest more sources. Processes
like Masonite die-forming are also fun and satisfying.
As I have mentioned before, Indian Jewelers Supply in Albuquerque
(and Gallup, NM) sells base metal (red brass and nickel-silver) bezel
cups which are fun to use (although I don’t think any of them are
"paranoid"…). Of course I recommend working in base metal because
it’s so affordable and I like the colors.
I vastly prefer to do hard-soldering, and my students also want to
learn it, but since the adult-ed. place where I teach doesn’t have a
spot to keep and use an acetylene (or propane) torch, I have had to
learn more on cold-connecting, and it can result in some nice
All the best,