Supplies in Sonoma County, CA


After searching the internet and the phone book, with no success, I
am reaching out to see if anyone out there can reccomend to me where
I can buy my tools/supplies now that I live up here in Northern
California. I am SURE there are places to find the basic things
(silver wire, a bracelet mandrel, etc.) I need up here in Sonoma
County, I just can’t fingure out where they are. Also, if anyone has
a casting comany up here, I’d really appreciate any input.

Thanks a lot,

Otto Frei is in Oakland, only about a 60 minute drive for you from
Sonoma County.


Hi Brittany,

I live in Mendocino County, north of you. I know of no jewelry
supplier closer than Sausalito. If there’s nobody listed in the Santa
Rosa phone book, you’re probably out of luck.

You might want to consider a day trip to Otto Frei

since most of Sonoma County is quite close to the Bay Area. I used
to drive from San Francisco to Santa Rosa in an hour (I’m now at
least 3 hours from the Bay Area). Also, the specific things you
mentioned might be available at a “full service” bead store, since
many of them now essentially operate small jewelry schools. I am not
familiar with the bead stores in Santa Rosa, but you might want to
start there.

But… Even in the Bay Area, I found it easier, most of the time, to
mail order. I would go to Makens in Sausalito if I needed fine silver
or dead soft sterling wire ASAP, since Otto Frei doesn’t carry those.
But Makens has slim pickings when it comes to tools. In both places,
all you do is stand in front of a counter while they dig things out
for you. It’s not a lot of fun (well, actually, the guy who owns
Makens has a tremendous sense of humor, so it’s more fun if he’s

Most of the time, if I wanted something from Otto Frei, I just
looked in the catalog, called then, and got it UPS Ground, usually
the next day. I ordered most of my wire from Rio Grande.

Good luck!

Lisa Orlando
Albion, CA, US


Since you are close to San Francisco, there is Otto Frei in both
Oakland and San Francisco (just outside our door here at Revere
Acaademy of Jewelry Arts). Rio Grande of Albuquerque is amazing at
getting you the tools you would want in a short time. We have their
catalogs available. Drop in to see me and I can help you.

Ronda Coryell
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market St
San Francisco, ca

As others have stated Otto Frei is in Oakland(Jack London Square
area) and SF.

I am in Oakland and will drive to Sausalito to Makens for silver.
But call ahead because they don’t always have what you need on hand.
They are really fun to work with.

For brass and copper I go to RJ Leahy in SF or SSF.

Also as mentioned bead stores are starting to carry metalsmith tools
and supplies, but you are better off going to Otto Frei or Rio for
better prices.

Happy New Year,

Hi Brittany - Lisa’s assessment is pretty accurate- any local places
that provide supplies will probably be buying them from Rio or Frei
and marking them up.

I coordinate/teach the jewelry and metalsmithing classes at Santa
Rosa Jr College.

We have casting set up there and each class gets the opportunity to
cast every semester. Tuition is CHEAP!

If you contact me off line I can send you the Supplier list I
provide my students and the name of someone in Santa Rosa that does
"small lot"casting in silver and gold. (not on the list)

I cast most of my own projects in my studio - but do ship some work
(platinum and palladium) out to Carrera and have been happy with
their results and customer service. (cannot say the same about some
of the other casting companies I tried)

One of the students from my class has been working at the bead store
on Santa Rosa Avenue - Sean - he will be very helpful if you contact

Makens and Frei will provide same day shipping if you ask - ground
UPS and it will usually arrive the next day - I have been working
with both of them for over 20 yrs.

For shipping out waxes - you can arrange UPS pick up on -line at UPS
website for about $2-3/pkg if you open an account with them - no
charge to open an account. They will provide you with pre-printed
labels too - no chg. If you charge it to an American Express Card
/Costco member there is a discount on the UPS charge billed monthly.
I really like this - clears up more time for me to spend in the

Please feel free to contact me with any other questions. Also great
networking via the Bay Area Metal Arts guild - although most of
their activities are in SF or the East Bay they area a fabulous