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Rolling Mill Workshop w/Jay Whaley

Dear Folks, We are in the midst of a fantastic Rolling Mill Workshop
in NEPA Land w/Jay Whaley. Jay is opening our eyes, minds & hands to
such wonderful possibilities & advantages w/the Rolling Mill.

We have been mixing alloys, melting them w/an acetylene/air Turbo
torch, then pouring the melted alloys into a combination ingot mold
to form sheet or wire ingots.

The ingots are beautiful shiny metal just inviting us to open our
minds to the possibilities of the sheet & wire we will create w/them
using the Rolling Mill & the draw plate.

Will give a more detailed update later, on the run now! But we are
all having a blast!

Foundation for Lapidary Arts & Goldsmithing

Dear Folks,

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

Thomas created the most beautiful bezel by patterning it through
the Mill w/a texture & then doing Keum-Boo on it. 

Keum-Boo has to be done after all soldering is done. Soldering temp
is too high for Keum-Boo to survive, gold will sink into the silver.
Doublee (Do blay)(archive for description) can be soldered.

Richard Hart

Hi Richard,

If one is using commercial enameling foil for keum-bu then it can
indeed disapear into the metal, but if you make the foil yourself
then I have never had it happen, and regularly do keum-boo first,
then forge or construct, solder with hard solder and so on with no
problems. See


Hello Orchid,

I participated in the rolling mill workshop with Jay Whaley and it
was an incredible experience. We accomplished so much in just 2
days, and my head is still swimming from the experience. You have
read what Char wrote concerning the class, and although she summed
up everything that we learned quite well, what I’m taking away from
the class is a completely new way of looking at metal. I have a
deeper understanding that it is just a “raw material” that we
jewelers work with. I can now take fine silver or 24kt gold and
create whatever alloy I want, and take it further by creating
whatever stock I may need. It has truly changed the way I am going
to approach my work from now on.

Thanks again for Mr. Whaley, who is an incredible teacher. He was so
eager and ready to share any knowledge he had and answer any
question. We even had time to do the Keum-Boo, which wasn’t even
part of the schedule. I had questions about the technique, and he
just said, “let’s do it!” It was awesome!

Thanks again Char for coordinating this great class. Good luck to
F.L.A.G. and best wishes for the future.

Thomas Parker