July 30, 2015

Christmas in July!

It's Christmas in July! Hurry over to our SALE page to save up to 20% on a selection of our favorite tools and letter sets. (Hint: Tronex pliers!!)

This is the perfect time to take advantage of these savings. Why? We are also offering free shipping on US orders over $35. Tools -- letter sets especially -- can be heavy, so you'll save on the shipping cost as well as the item costs!

Both offers end at midnight on Friday July 31, so shop now to save!

July 23, 2015

Leather On Sale!

Summer's casual style is the perfect time to accessorize with leather. We have a selection of leather cuffs and cord on sale right now, making it a great time to try it out! We have even discounted two letter sets that are specifically designed for stamping on leather.

We think leather looks great on its own (especially if you stamp a name or quote on it), but check out this video we made to see a plethora of ideas for adding stamped metal and riveted embellishments. There are so many ideas!

Let us know if you've worked with leather before and what are your favorite ways to embellish it and wear it. We love hearing from you!

July 16, 2015

New Products To Love!

Boy, have we added some cool new stuff in the last few months?! Our product manager, Mel, and I have the fantastic duty of hand-selecting -- and sometimes designing -- all of our new products. It's the best part of our jobs!

Let's take a look at some of the new goodies that we just know you are going to want to try.

Broken Arrow Design Stamp
Imagine what you can do with the arrow and fletching split up into two stamps! The design ideas are endless!

Ergo-Angle 1 lb Stamping Hammer and Deluxe 3-Hole Punch
We are always on the lookout for tools that will improve your stamped metal projects. These two are a "must add" to your tool box. The ergonomic hammer was built with stampers in mind. Its brass head is replaceable and the head is angled specifically for stamping while sitting down.

This hole punch is my new favorite, when I saw it I yelled to Mel, "Yessssss!" Not only can you punch clean holes in 3 sizes, you can adjust the backplate to get your holes deeper than you can with a hole punch plier and/or get them them in the exact spot each time!

Pewter Charms
These silver plated pewter charms are an ideal complement to your stamped jewelry. Their hole size is perfect to slide right onto a chain. The fine silver plating is extremely durable and they are made in the USA (right here in California, in fact)!

Design Stamps for Stainless Steel
Last but not least, we have to mention these great new design stamps. The popularity of stamping on stainless is rising rapidly so we now offer five designs (and more to come) of stamps specifically manufactured and rated to impress into stainless steel. These are also made in the USA!

July 10, 2015

{FREE PROJECT} Riveted Bangles

Lisa Niven Kelly has been back in the studio and is excited to share her latest project with you! Riveted Bangles is a free class that is straightforward enough for beginners, yet rewarding for advanced jewelry makers. 

In just 22 minutes, you'll learn to measure, shape, and rivet 14 gauge wire into stylish bangles. We think these bracelets look great layered on your wrist with mixed metals and texturing. Lisa notes that you'll want to texture or stamp on the wire before measuring to ensure the proper fit. 
And, if you haven't seen the news, we are offering free shipping on all US orders over $35! Now is a great time to pick up the tools and materials you'll need for this class. We'll cover the shipping charges!

July 2, 2015

Instructor Spotlight - Joe Silvera

Joe Silvera is our resident metalsmithing expert. Joe is the author of Soldering Made Simple: Easy Techniques for Kitchen Table Jewelers, and Soldering Beyond the Basics. He has over 25 years of jewelry and teaching experience -- earning a BFA with honors in jewelry, working as a goldsmith, model making in the casting industry, and selling his own jewelry at shows and galleries. Joe brings a patient and humorous approach to his teaching style that make understanding jewelry processes and techniques fun. Joe and his wife Anat (a dear friend of ours) own and operate Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley, California. We highly recommend heading over there for a class!

What inspires you?
I get inspired by nature, books on nature, and nature shows. I like to carve wax models, and I especially like figurative motifs like animals, flowers, etc. I love looking at Japanese sculpture and ink drawings for inspiration for poses and scenes. These artists would study their subject -- like waves cresting and crashing -- and then render them in ink, wood blocks, sculpture. They would learn the nature of the subject. What, for example, is the essence of a wave? And then translate that not realistically, but in color, line, and form, in a way that is more like poetry than photo-realism. That’s what I strive for in my jewelry.

What is your favorite technique and medium these days?
Lost wax casting. I love love love carving wax models. Theres a freedom of form and expression that isnt limited by soldering, joining, or fabrication.

Casting by Joe
What is your favorite color?
Blue. No yellow! Ahhhhhhhhh! Sorry, you have to be a Monty Python fan to get that one. But seriously, my favorite color is silver, no gold - argghhhh!

What are you up to lately (either jewelry or personal hobbies)?
Teaching takes up a lot of my time and creativity; designing classes and lesson plans to convey traditional jewelry techniques. But in my free time, when I have it, I like to saddle up the dogs and go for a walk. There are lots of little hidden pockets of nature in the East Bay, and its nice to explore those with my four-footed friends.

How have you seen our industry change in the last 5 years?
Being a teacher, I work a lot with students, and most students are women. That was true when I was getting my jewelry degree, oh, 25 years ago! The jewelry industry seems to finally be making tools for women -- hey, theyve finally noticed that most of the students out there are ladies! So, we have the gorgeous Green Lion Saw Frame and Potter Saw Frame, and pink handles for the flex shaft, and more. Wubbers pliers, made for women and designed by a woman (Patti Bullard).

Any recent trends that speak to you?
In the area of sales, we’re at an interesting place in jewelry history, once again. What an up and down roller coaster for making it as a maker it has been: economic down turns, economic “recoveries," sky rocketing metal prices, the birth and betrayal of Etsy. (Let me adjust my cane and stroke my gray beard... ha!) Back in my day, you sold your jewelry at shows and festivals, and by introducing your line to galleries and stores, and on your website. In the early days of the wild, wild internet, selling jewelry online was strange and odd: “How do I know I like it? I can’t touch it on the web." One thing Etsy helped with was making a central place for makers to sell and helping to make the idea of buying handmade goods online just as secure and confident as brick and mortar transactions. I live around San Francisco, so speaking from that point of view, I can see good signs: houses selling again, people fixing up houses, students traveling on vacations. People are feeling a little better -- theyre not going nuts, but theyre feeling better about spending some money on good things. Since Etsy traded its handmade credo for shareholders and cheap imports, I think the time is right for a new venue for makers, somewhere other than Etsy. Where is that? I dont know. Do you know? Is it here yet? Maybe so. In the meantime, jewelers are back to the fundamentals: sell at shows, stores, and your website. Its going to be interesting to see how this pans out.

Have you incorporated your free Beaducation Online Classes into your website?
Yes! We have embedded our information videos -- butane torch safety, home setup for soldering, and polishing with power tools. They’re great resources for our students - and lots of fun! Our students really appreciate them.

Where are you teaching? Any gigs you would like us to plug?
Joe's studio class, "Basket Style Prong Setting"
Were teaching at our school, of course. Come see us! SilveraJewelrySchool.com/classes

Where can your students follow you? 
They can sign up for our email list at SilveraJewelrySchool.com/lists, follow us on Facebook, and I have a blog with some articles you might find interesting.

What else should our readers know about you?
Im awesome at Trivial Pursuit and unbeatable at dominoes, and a terrible, terrible dancer. But seriously, Anat and I are here at Silvera Jewelry School to help students learn jewelry. Weve got a calendar full of great classes, and our classes include all materials and use of tools. Weve got books, DVDs, and articles out there for aspiring jewelers: Soldering Made Simple, Soldering Beyond the Basics, and Enameling Made Easy; and Ive written articles for ArtJewelry Magazine. If you cant make it to a class at our school in Berkeley, books and DVDs are a great resource.

At Silvera Jewelry School, each student learns from their own fully stocked bench.

June 25, 2015

FREE GUIDE: All About Metals

If you have been making jewelry for any length of time, you probably know a lot about metal. And there is a lot to learn, right? Some are good for soldering, others are not. Some will easily tarnish, others will stay shiny. Some are soft and malleable, others are hard and brittle. 
We have enlisted the help of our friend 
Joe Silvera to create a handy guide that will help you understand the differences and similarities in the different metals used to make jewelry. Check out ALL ABOUT METALS on our Written Guides page!

If you haven't worked with the various types, you should pick up our Circle Sample Pack! We have curated a collection of nine stamping blanks so you can see and feel the difference between the different metals.

June 15, 2015


If you like working with base metals, you are going to LOVE this sale. We have all of our base metal blanks at 25% off June 15-19. Shop now for best selection!

That's right! Save 25% on all aluminum, brass, nickel silver, pewter, and copper blanks! If you haven't tried working with base metals, now is a great time to give them a try. 

Here's what we love about these metals:
  • All base metals are less expensive alternatives, which makes them great for practicing!
  • Aluminum is lightweight, easy to stamp, and will not tarnish. It is also a good choice for people who are sensitive/allergic to other metals.
  • Pewter is very soft and easy to stamp. Our pewter blanks are made in the USA and are lead- and cadmium-free. We have one-of-a-kind designs that you won't find anywhere else!