Aug. 2-3, 2008. The Foundation for Lapidary Arts and Goldsmithing was
proud to host a most successful Rolling Mill Workshop with jay Whaley
in Montrose, PA (or NEPA Land as we call it!).
Even though I kept pushing for a fuller class, we ended up w/just
the right number of students. Each student was able to receive
individual attention from Jay & explore all the areas of interest.
We started w/24 K Gold & Fine Silver, mixed our alloys, & melted
those w/an Air Acetylene torch. Learning to get the “melt” just right
& then pour into the ingot mold was a challenge for some of us. The
pour must be done hot, quickly & accurately or it needs to be
remelted & repoured. Of course one of our helpers, who had never used
a torch or done anything with hot alloys (or Jewelry!), managed to do
a perfect melt & pour the first time! Go figure…
We took our wire & sheet ingots, rolled them out on the Rolling mill
to create a variety of wire that was round, square, & half-round of
varying thicknesses & widths. Sheet was also made into a variety of
widths & guages.
Fine Silver bezels were also made w/the Mill. Thomas created the
most beautiful bezel by patterning it through the Mill w/a texture &
then doing Keum-Boo on it. Gorgeous! Thomas, send me a pix of what
you use that bezel wire for.
We made reticulation silver also, a fun experiment.
At the end of Saturday, one of the students held up a long length of
wire & said “This was a coin this morning!”. They had started
w/90/10 coins &.999 fine silver coins, melted them, poured wire
ingots & then, using the Rolling Mill, draw plate & tongs, pulled the
ingots into finished wire.
Even a 27 year bench jeweler was grinning all the way through the
class, learning much useful info, dispelling old habits, & clearing
up lots of problems they couldn’t previously overcome.
New skills, attitudes & eyeopeners were the mainstay of the weekend.
Thank you so much Jay Whaley & his great sacrifices to bring us this
most necessary workshop for all involved in Jewelry making. Also a
big Thank you to all of our wonderful students & helpers who were
just a joy to work with! We couldn’t have done it w/out you.
And praise the Lord that this Workshop actually happened in spite of
all the obstacles thrown in my path along the way! It was definitely
accomplished against all odds.
Foundation for Lapidary Arts and Goldsmithing