Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2

Posted by Lisa Ramos on

Picture is of California Jewelry Designer Lisa Ramos from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
California Jewelry Designer, Lisa Ramos in the Studio

Since, I started my business, MONOLISA over five years ago, everyday teaches me something new. My entrepreneur journey has delivered valuable lessons along the way and ironically just a few clicks away. In my first article "Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 1" in 2021 I shared some of my favorite online teachers, authors, useful tools, quality learning resources and personal experiences about starting a solo business. In this article, part 2 - I am sharing new jewelry making resources I discovered in 2022.

The goal of this article is to provide valuable tools and resources to individuals interested in learning the jewelry making process - especially those just starting. This article is not endorsed and the recommendations are from Lisa's jewelry making experience. 
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Online Jewelry Training Classes & Resources

As an artist, I continue my creative journey following my mission - to design beautifully handmade limited edition pieces that add a touch of elegance to any personal style. Keeping aligned with my mission, each year I work towards improving my jewelry making process by learning new skills and refining current techniques. The online jewelry teaching and tool resources below have helped with that process. I am excited to share with the readers. 

Lucy Walker Jewellery Metalsmith Academy from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos

Lucy Walker Founder of The Jewellery Metalsmith Acadamy

Lucy Walker Jewellery Metalsmith Academy

I joined the Lucy Walker Jewellery Metalsmith Academy in 2022. I had always had an appreciation for Lucy's Instagram tutorial posts and wanted to see more in-depth videos about stone setting and improve on other current skills. I can attest that the online academy delivers well produced training videos, detailed charts, course notes, online community support and how to make custom jewelry tools. When learning it is all about the details. Lucy and her team continue to deliver with each lesson.

Jewelry from the Lucy Walker Jewellery Metalsmith Academy from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
Handmade Pieces by Lucy Walker Founder of the Metalsmith Academy

I like the online program for many reasons. I love how I can go at my own learning pace and preferred teaching style. I can create jewelry pieces with each lesson or simply watch a video while taking notes - then create my own designs using new techniques. Since I dislike classroom settings, Lucy's online classes and membership programs nicely meet my continuing educational needs. The courses are for the beginner to advanced jeweler - there is something for everyone. Lucy's sense of humor and honesty will immediately capture your attention and keep you coming back to learn more. 

The program offers both monthly and yearly subscriptions - I chose the yearly subscription. I highly recommend the program. To learn more about the Lucy Walker Jewellry Metal Smith program follow her on social media - InstagramYouTube Channel and Facebook Group.

Picture of Jessica Rose Jewellers Academy

Jewellers Academy Founder Jessica Rose
(image by jewellersacademy.com)

Jewellers Academy | Jessica Rose

Another great jewelry training program must see is Jessica Rose's Jewellers Academy. What makes this academy particularly unique is the program offers both jewelry making classes and business training courses. The courses for jewelry making are designed for a beginner to more advanced jeweler - you choose what fits your needs. Selling your work can be challenging and this program offers essential training skills on how to run a handmade business for your brand. The training program is a subscription basis - monthly, yearly or individual course. The founder, Jessica Rose's accomplishments are quite impressive. She is a jewellery business owner, founder of a multi-award-winning London Jewellery School and Jewellery Academy along with a best seller author of the book - Start and Grow a Profitable Jewellery Business. I met Jessica in 2023 and have been a subscriber on her YouTube Channel, PodcastFacebook Page and Instagram since 2022. I am currently waiting to get a copy of Jessica's book when it is back in stock on Amazon- UK. I listen to the Jewellers Academy podcast frequently and watch their YouTube Channel. I particularly enjoyed the latest podcast interview with Corrine Whillock - How I Built a £30K Jewellery Business in 1 Year with the Jewellery Business Bootcamp. I appreciated the honest discussion about the challenges and cost of starting a business - great information for those thinking about starting a business or already have.  

Picture of Master Setting Tool Kit from Jewelry Arts Tool Shop from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos

Master Setting Tool Kit

Jewelry Arts Tool Shop | Janette Caines 

The Jewelry Arts Tool Shop is one of my favorite shops to purchase unique jewelry tools and supplies. Let's just say I have purchased a lot of items and continue restocking throughout the year. The jewelry tool collection is designed by instructor Jeanette K. Caines, who owns and teaches jewelry making in New York at Jewelry Arts School. She is also a book author of Soldering Demystified - a must read and a book favorite of mine. The Jewelry Arts Tool Shop adds new items on their site throughout the year - so something to checkout every month. The tools are made for both women and men - yes you heard me right. My first purchase from the Jewelry Arts Tool Shop was the Master Setting Tool Kit (pictured above). I was amazed by the quality, affordability and the tools fit my small hands perfectly - a game changer for stone setting. I have included below my latest tool essentials from the online store - (checkout my original favorites visit  Part 1). Master Goldsmith Janette Caines produces jewelry making YouTube and Instagram videos. The videos are packed full of jewelry making tips - soldering, stone setting, jewelry techniques, granulation and so much more. I especially appreciate Jeanette's honesty and sense of humor during the videos - you will be hooked after your first watch!

Picture is of a Magnifying LED Lamp - From Jewelry Arts Inc Tools from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
Magnifying LED Lamp from Jewelry Arts Tools

Magnifying LED Lamp 
A few words to describe my love of this magnifying LED lamp - Obsessed and I Can Finally See My Work. I love this lamp so much I own five that are in my studio and soldering work station area. What I like about the lamp - it is light-weight, the magnifying feature allows me to easily see my work, it can be positioned various ways, it is affordable, shipping is quick and it cleans easily - what more do I need to say? This lamp is game changer for seeing my designs up close. For more details about this lamp checkout the Jewelry Arts Tool Shop

 

Picture is of Jeweller's Quick Reference Guide to Working with Gemstones Book from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
Jewellers' Quick Reference Guide to Working with Gemstones from Jewelry Arts Tools

Jewellers' Quick Reference Guide to Working with Gemstones
This is a great book about gemstones written by gemologist, Sally Spencer. I purchased the book online at the Jewelry Arts Tool Shop. The book details how to carefully work with different gemstone types and general information - identifying gems, hardness, toughness, stability, cleaning, soldering tips and more. The book provides easy to read charts providing a quick guide without having to read through thousands of pages to find the answers you are seeking. The book is durably made with a spiral binding and is a nice addition to my jewelry making book collection. 

Picture is of GRS Slide & Lock Original Bench Tool-Holding System from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
GRS Slide & Lock Original Bench Tool-Holding System


Rio Grande Jewelry Supplies

With an overwhelming amount of jewelry supply companies in the US it can be challenging narrowing down the right one. I continue to purchase jewelry supplies mainly from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply. They provide superior customer service, quality equipment and supplies. Their secure shipping and packaging is a bonus. Some of my most recent Rio Grande equipment purchases did not disappoint which I detail below.  

Picture of a Foredom® Portable Micromotor With 1/8" Handpiece from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
Foredom® Portable Micromotor With 1/8" Hand Piece

 

Foredom® Portable Micromotor With 1/8" Hand Piece 
I bought this micromotor for traveling and doing jewelry work on the go. I have a lot of Foredom equipment because of the brands superior quality and user friendly features. This light-weight micromotor is the perfect addition to my roadshow travel essentials. It runs on a chargeable battery and doesn't take up much room in my tool bag. The speed starts from 0 — 30,000 RPM with a run time from six to seven hours. The hand piece has a twist release rotary type collet - 2.35mm (3/32″) or 1/8″ shank burs.

Picture is of a Durston Bench Vise from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos

Durston Bench Vise 


Durston Bench Vise 

It took me a while to find the ideal bench vise - my last one lives in the garbage can. After seeing the Durston vise on riogrande.com and knowing about the brand, it was a no brainer to buy it. This durable Durston bench vise is made in the UK and is designed to withstand a multitude of projects I work on in my studio. It measures 5-1/8"W x 9-7/16"D x 5-1/2"H. 

Picture is of a Orion 100C Pulse Arc Welding Machine from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos

Orion 100C Pulse Arce Welding System 

The Orion 100C Pulse Arc Welding System
I wanted to do more intricate jewelry designs without traditional soldering. So, I started researching welding systems over the past few years and knew when the right one came along I would get it. I ended up selecting the Orion 100C welding and soldering system. It is designed with a user friendly touchscreen control,  offering 3 modes - pulse-arc, micro and tack. It comes with a swing arm stand, microscope and is configured for use with either 110-volt or 220-volt power sources. The system has 3 pre-set metal settings and 5 customizable metal setting programs. The 5X microscope protects my eyes during welding tasks and allows me to get a precise look at my work. It is a great addition to my studio and the welding quality is amazing. 

Understanding how to carefully use new equipment often comes with a learning curve and with this welder it did for me. Prior to purchasing a welder I watched the Sunstone YouTube Channel to help with the process of choosing a machine and understanding the system setup details (the video above explains this process). Rio Grande Jewelry supply also played a role during my decision making and purchasing process. The Rio Rep, Ryan was extremely helpful and patient with all of my questions about the Orion system. I also received a followup email from Ryan regarding customer support contacts after purchasing the machine - a positive customer service experience. Thank you Rio!

Image is of GRS Engraving Block Shelf Jewelry Designer Lisa Ramos Uses in Her Clayton, California Studio  from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos
GRS Engraving Block Shelf used during stone setting. 


GRS® slide and lock original bench tool-holding system

As I have said many times in my blog articles, it is all about the equipment - it really is for me. The slide and lock system is ideal for my studio environment - it allows me to easily raise or lower my benchwork, resulting in positioning my work at the appropriate height. My working position easily adjusts to the top, middle and bottom with an eight inch of vertical travel - I love that and it only measures 12"L x 6"W x 2"D.  

Picture is of California Jewelry Designer Lisa Ramos making jewelry using the Fishmouth Chamber from the Blog Article Lessons I Learned Making Jewelry - Great Teachers & Resources - Part 2 by Designer Lisa Ramos 
Lisa Using the GRS® Slide and Lock Original Bench Tool Holding System with Fishmouth Chamber

What I really like about the system is the attachable accessories options, ultimately giving me more ergonomic choices - a sawing plate, bench pin, fishmouth chamber and standard block shelf to name a few. This system was a game changer for me in 2022 and has created a more ergonomic studio space. 

Detailed Video about the Durston Ring and Stock Bender with Die Pairs with Melissa Muir

Durston Ring and Stock Bender with Die Pairs 
The Durston ring and stock bender with die pairs was on my 2022 wishlist of tools, so I decided to treat myself. I wanted to replace my existing ring bender and upgrade to a Durston. I am glad that I did. The award winning Durston tool is a nice addition to my studio and I love the quality. It comes with 20 dies - 2 sets (one steel and one Delrin®) of nine round dies: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24mm dia and 2 sets (one steel, one Delrin®) of two angled dies: 60° and 90°. The bender tool allows me to create seamless curves and angles during the MONOLISA ring making process. The steel dies are hardened and are finely finished, reducing marring on my jewelry pieces. To help narrow down which ring bender was right for me I turned to my go to source, Jewelry Artist and Teacher Melissa Muir. She explains the tool in great detail in the above YouTube video -thank you for all the details.

Detailed Video about the Durston Combination Ring Stretcher, Reducer and Bender with Melissa Muir

Durston Combination Ring Stretcher, Reducer and Bender
One of my favorite jewelry designs to make are rings, so having the right tools and equipment is a must. I wanted to replace my existing low quality ring stretcher I regretted getting a few years back. This new Durston tool can easily stretch and reduce rings (up to size 14) and is a nice addition to my ring making process . The polish steel mandrel delivers effortless stretching and comes with 16 polished steel countersunk dies. The body of the tool is made with a high quality cast iron and is powder-coated. Melissa Muir's YouTube video above helped me understand all of the user friendly features the Durston Combination Ring Stretcher tool has to offer prior to purchasing it.

    "Learning never stops."
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    California Handbag & Jewelry Designer, Lisa Ramos
    This blog post is written by California Designer, Lisa Ramos. 

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