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[] Highlights - Issue #5 **

                H i g h l i g h t s

Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Techniques

        November 17, 1997 Issue #5

Highlights Editor:
~ Dr. E Aspler <@Service> newsgroup modarator:
~ Peter Rowe

Introducing Highlights
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^From: Peter Rowe

Attached are a number of recent messages sent to the usenet
newsgroup, This group is a moderated
newsgroup, and as such will be found to be pleasantly free of off
topic spamm, unlike most non-moderated groups on the net these
days. Advertising is generally limited to non-commercial items
such as used tools, for direct posting to the group. On topic
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combined into a single weekly digest post, keeping advertising
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the group in it’s news server, as almost all do. New messages or
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other newsgroup, though because it’s a moderated group, there will
be a time delay, usually of about a day, before you see your
message in the group (except, as noted, for ads, which will be in
the digest post at the end of the week.) Only ascii text posts
are accepted. No binary data such as image files or HTML coded
messages, please. A monthly FAQ, detailing acceptable posting
guidelines, is sent the beginning of each month, or may be found
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Not-for-publication contact with the moderator can be sent to If not for publication, please be sure to
indicate that fact in your message.


Peter Rowe


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“New Jewelry Design Discussion List”

~ “Phil.London”
~ (SabuK)

“Please Help in Portland Oregon”
~ (PdxPamela)
~ (C. M. Fox)

~ Lane Trubey
~ (Weirdieguy)

“Molten silver, how to remove impurities.”
~ (“Verity F.M. Brooks”)
~ Ketarah

“Making plaster casts of finished jewelry”
~ (SabuK)

“Ten Biggest Mistakes of Diamond Buyers”
~ (SRM555)

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Orchid - Highlights Digest

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New Jewelry Design Discussion List

I am pleased to announce that I have formed a moderated e-mail
discussion list for professional jewelry designers and instruct-
ors and students at universities who teach jewelry design. I’m Ray
Gabriel the moderator of this list. I’ve been serving jewelry
designers and the art departments of major universities and art
centers for over 20 years with gemstones and jewelry-making video
cassettes. My wife Hannelore is an award-winning jewelry designer
and author who learned her craft as an apprentice to a master
goldsmith in her native Germany. She has had her own design studio
since 1974. We have a little girl named Aruna who came to us from
India, so we’re a very international family. The Jewelry Design
Discussion List (Jewelry Design) is a moderated list, which means
that messages have to be approved before they come to you. This
cuts out almost all commercial advertising and off- topic junk
mail that you may have seen in news groups and announcement lists.
There is no cost or obligation to take part. You are free to
subscribe or unsubscribe at any time.

WHO WE SERVE: The Jewelry Design Discussion List is here to help
professional jewelry designers, university and art center
instructors teaching jewelry-related courses and students in these
programs. The JDDL is an international list and we hope to have
jewelers/goldsmiths from all over the world, particularly the
goldsmith guilds of Europe and other countries.

TOPICS: First, you are invited to introduce yourself and give a
few paragraphs about yourself, your training and your art.

You can ask or discuss technical questions, help with answers,
tell others about resources, both on and off the Internet, share
marketing / display tips, share shop tips, business practices
related to jewelry design.

In other words, almost anything that directly relates to
designing and marketing original design jewelry.


Send the word SUBSCRIBE in the message SUBJECT: to


or simply click and mail this hot link:


If you have any questions, please feel free to write me at:


Hope you join us! Ray Gabriel moderator

From: “Phil.London”

Does anyone have any on jewelry made in scotland? I
recently saw a circular shaped pin set with scottish agate and it
had a jewish star also set with the same stone but appears to be
removable. In the past I have seen these pins without the jewish
star. If you have any on this please advise. Thanks.

From: (SabuK)

In the Victorian era, someone vacationing in Scotland started a
trend for “pebble” jewelry which was supposedly made with pebbles
found on the bank of some river. This started a craze for mostly
silver jewelry set with either colored stones like jaspers and
agates, or, sometimes, just with gray striped agates. Queen
Victoria liked this jewelry so it started to be manufactured in
England too, where it was often made in gold. The silver is
sometimes beautifully chased, and the designs were sort of simple.
In the beginning, the designs were for scottish clothing-big round
brooches, and a kind of pointed pin set with citrines and rock
crystal along with the agates. I am sorry to be talking off the
top of my head instead of looking up the particulars in various
books I have on old jewelry, but if you have any more specific
questions I’ll check my sources (which are mainly out of print
antique jewely books). Judy Geib

Please Help in Portland Oregon
From: (PdxPamela)

Hello, my name is Pamela and I need to find out what is
available in my area in regards to the Gem and Mineral Society, as
well as any info available along the line of SilverSmithing,
jewelry making, classes, schools, apprenticeship program, etc. I
am 45 and need to change my occupation due to health reason and I
have always been interested, as I assisted an instructor once who
was teaching a class on basic jewelry making. I learned the
basics but that was &^%& years ago and today is a new day. I
know this is not an easy task I am considering but then nothing
worthwhile ever is and I am very determined. So —anyone who can
either recommend or has or even wants to give me their
two cents I would be very appreciative, thanks agaon.

From: (C. M. Fox)

Lucky you. Portland has some good resources. If you want to get
your feet wet and not spend a ton of money the Multnomah Art
Center (part of the Portland Parks program) offers 2 jewelry
classes. The insrtuctor is good, Lee Haga, the facility is
poor…very few tools etc. But the price is right and Lee manages
pretty well.

If you want a more serous program OCAC, Oregon College of Arts and
Crafts, by St. Vincents offers a very fine metalsmithing program
in a wonder facility. Registration for winter classes should start
soon. The instructors are great and OCAC, offers great workshops.
But it is more spendy.

If you can’t find the phone numbers for these two places e-mail me
and I will dig them out.

Hope this helps. To quote Peter. Carla

From: Lane Trubey

   Is there an inexpensive way to do casting in gold or silver
at home ? I have a fairly small oxygen and butane torch which is
capable of melting small quantities of metal. Suggestions

dear Louis, Heaven knows why you want to, but if your pieces are
small with not a lot of detail, you could try sand-casting. I’ve
done it a bunch of times, amd its neatest advantage is that if
your casting doesn’t come out well the first time, you haven’t
lost your model and can repour in literally moments.

The company I worked for had a nice little brass mold, with a
bunch of ceramic sleeves for the insides of rings: looked like it
had been made in the 'teens, before lost-wax really came into
popularity. It had a little lever on the side to separate the mold
halves, and all kinds of fancy gizmos. O-o-o-oh, snazzy! I’ve used
a juice can. they work, too.

You can get casting sand from any one of about a thousand
jewellers’ supply houses. Regular sand doesn’t work very well. I
think they put silicone in the ready-made stuff to keep it
together. Don’t buy a proprietary mold from their catalogs,
though: they don’t work very well for us.

Hit the library. If it was good enough for Cellini, it’s good
enough for me. lane

From: (Weirdieguy)

Greetings: I have been steam casting for a number of years and am
quite pleased with the results. A small homemade burnout kiln,
torch, and a jar lid with a dowel for a handle stuffed with wet
paper. Works every time. Good Luck,Don S. Thompson

Molten silver, how to remove impurities.
From: (“Verity F.M. Brooks”)

I wonder if you can help, I don’t remember what the powder is that
you add to molten silver, in the crucible, to remove the
impurities from it. It is a white powder that you get from a
chemist (pharmacy). I think that it might be saltpeter, but I am
not sure.

From: Ketarah

Borax is what I use. In Tim McCreights “The Complete
Metalsmith” he also suggests boric acid, powdered charcoal or a
commercial flux. Ketarah

From: Ralph Gibson

Hello Verity, Whatever you do, DO NOT use saltpeter (Potassium
Nitrate). This is one of the components of gunpowder and is NOT
what you need. I believe what you are looking for is Borax which
is sprinkled onto the molten metal just prior to a pour to remove
impurities. Cheers,

Making plaster casts of finished jewelry
From: (SabuK)

I saw the Cartier show at the Metropolitan Museum in New York at
few months (or year) ago and especially liked the plaster casts of
the jewelry that had been discovered in the workshop. They were
all displayed together on a wall and looked sort of like Greek
ruins. Does anyone make plaster casts of their finished jewelry as
a record? I read in Murray Bovin’s book that the method is just
making an impression in plasticine and then filling it with
plaster. Am planning on trying it tomorrow and I was wondering if
anyone had any tips. Thanks, Judy Geib

Ten Biggest Mistakes of Diamond Buyers
From: (SRM555)

I have posted on my website the “Ten Biggest Mistakes” people make
when they shop for a diamond. Don’t make any of these mistakes!
Also if you need additional for your diamond shopping,
I have now posted the complete text of my diamond buying guide
online (over 24,000 copies in print). I hope you enjoy reading it
and find it helpful. Steven
R. Martin, Graduate Gemologist (GIA), President, M. Martin and
Company, Diamond Importers and Cutters, 5 S. Wabash Av., Chicago,
Il. 60603 email:

End of Highlights Digest

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