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Explorations in Metalsmithing: Hollow Fabrication

Lesson 11 of 22

Hollow Fabricated Ring: Making the External Shape

Megan Auman

Explorations in Metalsmithing: Hollow Fabrication

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

11. Hollow Fabricated Ring: Making the External Shape

Lesson Info

Hollow Fabricated Ring: Making the External Shape

So let's say that I wanted to do this sort of more complex shape that we did here. I would actually build this in two parts. So I would do this inner circle here. So I'm gonna measure that around. So I would do this whole circle. Which is about, let's do it in millimeters. It's about 92 millimeters. So I'm gonna take another strip here. So I'm gonna measure and mark. And I'm actually gonna put. When you're starting to cut a lot of pieces, sometimes it's easier just to know what you're doing, so I'm gonna label this as ... my oval so that I remember later what I wanted that to be. So we'll go 92. Take my ruler here. The straighter you make this, the less work you're gonna have for yourself later, so use a ruler to draw that line. And then I'm just gonna measure this little tiny bump here. So let's call that ... about 30? So I'm gonna measure and mark that. And then you may decide that you wanna do something that actually isn't bent the whole way around. So in the case of our, this littl...

e sketch here, I would actually do this guy in two pieces. So I would make this guy one piece, this guy one piece, and then put them together. So let's go ahead and just measure for that, too. And in the case of this, when we actually solder this, we'll leave this piece a little bit longer so that we can put them together and trim it off. So I'm gonna go ahead and measure for that guy. So we need about 82 on that. This is round and that's my bump. That's how I remember things, right? That's the round and that's the bump. All right, so, let's see what we have left on here. So I don't quite have enough for 82, so I'm gonna grab another piece here. I'm gonna measure that. And then actually, what I'm probably gonna do instead because I want that whole solid piece is we're gonna call this guy, we're gonna call that close enough to 82. We'll make that shape work. And then we're gonna use this little piece here as the back end of our T, because then the last thing I wanna talk about, that we'll come back to, is actually bending forms with scoring and bending. So we're gonna set this long one aside. We're just gonna cut these guys, and start to make some round forms. So I'm just gonna cut these guys really quick. If I can get my, sometimes, it just doesn't want to cut into an edge. There we go. All right. So, like I said before, you know, there is no really restriction on what you can do with metal. So if you have an idea for an exterior shape, it's a pretty good chance that you can construct that out of metal. There really is no limit. So as we're kinda working our way through these, if you guys have a question, I know it's a little hard to sometimes communicate shapes by asking a verbal question, but if you guys are wondering, you know, is something possible, definitely don't be afraid to ask because you can do pretty much any shape that you can envision as long as you have the patience to bend it using this technique. All right, so now what we need to do before we get overexcited like I did in our cone sample is actually make sure that these edges are nice and prepped for making our thing. So this is actually our ring band. So I'm gonna start with this. And the other nice thing about kind of writing on this is that it actually, now I know which is my interior side because I do wanna put a little bit of a bevel on this. So the exterior of my metal has to travel just a little further than the interior of my metal. And so what I'll do is instead of taking this on here and putting it perfectly vertical, I'm gonna give it just a little bit of an angle. So that hopefully, when I bend it around, it's gonna actually fit really nicely. And then I'm gonna do the same thing. So that should give us a nice bevel. Our kind of oval and round shapes will also need that sort of bevel, so I'll do the same thing again. Same thing on that side. And I'm just moving around the sandpaper 'cause I'm looking for areas that I haven't used yet. All right, same thing on our round guy here. Give it that little bit of an angle. Now, I'm gonna come back to our little, our little round bubble here because that one's gonna get filed a little bit differently. And actually, with our little T shape here, with this guy, I'm actually gonna bend this one before I actually do my little edge sanding. And that's because the shape of this, it comes in at not an exact 90 degree angle. It kinda leans in a little bit. So I wanna go ahead and just bend it first so that I can actually sand it together. So that that's prepped and ready. And this is another reason to, at the very least, do a sketch, if not a paper model, right? 'Cause I can just lay this on here, make sure that I'm kinda matched up the way I want to. And then I can come in here. And get that sanded. And with this one, we can actually kinda hold it up and check. And I ... Think that looks pretty good. I'm just looking for any big gaps. Clearly, my shape is not symmetrical, but we're gonna roll with that. All right. So, now that we've got our ends ready to go, we can go ahead and actually start to form these so that we can solder them. So with your actual ring band, the thing that's your ring band dimensions, it's really best to work on your ring mandrill. I usually work a little bit smaller than the size because it's gonna wanna spring back open. So I'll just wrap it around here. Hit it with my hammer. And you can see it's not coming perfectly around. And that's okay. So, our goal with any of these circular forms is that we don't need them to be a perfect circle. What we need them to be is actually a nice flat across seam. So what I'll actually do is I'll just come over here. And kinda tap down on it. And then sort of finagle it so that it's right. And sometimes, even I'll come back over here and use my flat pliers or my parallel pliers, and just kind of bend it into shape. So what I'm looking for is that nice, I'll hold it this way, flat across kinda shape that's happening there. So, we'll let that guy ... hang out. We're gonna get a bunch of stuff prepped and then solder it all at once 'cause again, it just kinda makes workflow easier based on our setup. In my own studio, I would just go ahead, prep this guy, and solder him. But we'll work on a couple things at once. All right, so, once I've gotten that. And it's worth taking the time to really get that seam right, we wanna do this. We wanna do this right here, so. All right, so I've got that guy pretty well lined up. We'll come back to. Keep saying that, and then I keep deciding it's not quite perfect. And your definition of perfection when it comes to the seam is just matching it up as close as possible? Yeah, so I don't want one to be like higher or lower than another. Like I want them to actually sit in the same surface, like sit on the same level, if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm trying to get it, and what I really don't wanna see is like any kind of little point. Like I want it to be nice and flat across. And I've still got a little bit of point, and it's driving me nuts, clearly. I'm not a precision metalsmith except for when I am. All right, so we'll get that pretty close, and then I'm gonna come back and finagle it anyway 'cause we're gonna put some binding wire on it, actually, before we solder. Huh, that looks really good, all right. So then the same thing with kind of our oval shape, and if we're doing the round form for our exterior here. So if we're doing like that little round form that was eventually gonna get our little bump on it. You could just start by bending this by hand if you wanted to. If you have a mandrill, you can put it around that. But because I can shape it later, really all I'm concerned about is getting this to match. So I'll go ahead and ... Same thing, I'm just looking for that nice, flat across there, no little peaks. Getting everything fit. And we'll put a little bit of binding wire on this, too, to keep it together. So we'll get all of those. I'll show you that in a second. All right, so I've got that one ready. And then I'm gonna do this guy. Same thing, just bend it around. We'll fix the shape later. Just trying to get that edge to match up. And then the last thing that I wanna do, so the nice thing about taking all of these edges for our round forms to our sandpaper is I know that in the seam where I need my solder to flow, not only do I have my fit, but now I also have it as clean. This is like, peaking up just a little bit. I wanna fix that. But I also know it's clean because I just took it to that sandpaper and cleaned off any oil. So the last thing that I wanna do as we're kind of prepping these things for soldering is on this little T example here, I just wanna make sure that I'm cleaning the surface of this before I set it up. This part is already clean, but I wanna actually just take a tiny little bit of sandpaper. And I'm using 150 grit here 'cause it was what I happened to grab, but generally, you don't even need to use something that aggressive. If I had had a sheet of 400 lying there, I would've used my sheet of 400. All right, so that guy is also prepped and ready for our soldering. So let's go ahead and get our flammable things out of the way, and now we're gonna go ahead and just start to set some of these guys up. So like I mentioned, with these forms, all of my seams feel pretty good to me, and so I could maybe get away with not putting binding wire on these, but because I bent them without annealing them, there's actually a lot of tension on the metal now. And so what could potentially happen when I put heat on it, is it could actually wanna spring back open. So even though it seems like the fit is good, it's worth me taking a minute, and actually putting binding wire on these forms so that I can get them where they need to be. So I always, when I'm doing any kind of circle or ring band, I put my binding wire the opposite side of my seam. I put the twist, so my seam is down here, I put the twist on that side. And that is for two reasons. One, it just means I don't have a lot of excess wire hanging out while I'm soldering. But then the other thing, as you'll see in a minute, is when you're doing these seams, it's nice if you can kind of put your solder on the inside and pull through, and I'm gonna be able to hold this in my cross locking tweezers with my binding wire at the top. So I've got that one. Let's put our binding wire on all of these guys. And binding wire, just like any other wire, comes in different thicknesses. So, what I'm working with here is, I have no idea what gauge it is, but it's 0286, which I believe is 0.0286 inches, I think. If anyone wants to really know. It looks like it's about 20 gauge. Steel wire gauges for like, binding wire are a little bit different than the wire gauges for like, brass, bronze, and copper. But I'm using a fairly thin binding wire because I want it to be kinda nice and flexible. This shape is really looking rough. All right. So let's put our binding wire on this one as well. And you really want this binding wire to be tight, so I'm really twisting it tight with my pliers. What you may find in doing that is that very occasionally, you actually snap the binding wire off at the twist point when you're setting it up. If that's the case, just pitch it and get a new piece of wire. So that might happen to you, totally normal. It just means you're crazy strong. It's actually not what it means, but. Or in this case, you could do what I did and accidentally twist your binding wire too tight so that now your seam is overlapping. Let's try that again. Yeah, binding wire is super cheap, so if it doesn't work, you can just start over. All right, so before I solder these, I wanna just take a second to go back and talk about the differences in our solder temperatures. So I mentioned in previous classes, and if you watched our pre-req video, you hopefully saw this as well. But our solder comes in hard, medium, and easy, and then there's also extra easy. And that refers to the melting temperature of solder. The reason this matters is soldering, unlike say welding, soldering requires you to bring the whole piece up to temperature in order to get the solder to flow. So as we start to have multiple solder seams, we need to have solder that melts at different temperatures. So for something like this where you've got a complicated soldering setup, you always wanna start with hard, and then work your way down to medium and easy. So in this case, I'm gonna use hard on all of these because they're being soldered separately, and then I can work my way down to medium and easy in different steps. Make sense? And you, there isn't a one for one, so a lotta times if you have multiple things happening, you can usually get one to three solders out of every stage. So like, you could use, depending on what you're doing, hard more than once, medium more than once, and I'll show you guys that as we work along. So what I'll do in each of these is I'm gonna get all of these kinda prepped and ready. And then we'll solder them one at a time. As I'm just gonna come in here. I'm gonna flux both sides of my seam because I wanna be able to draw my solder through. And then, I'm using chip solder here, I'm using silver chip solder. And if I was constructing this not for class demonstration purposes, and I was making it out of brass like I am, I might actually use the yellow silver solder because it's gonna be a closer color match. The problem with the yellow silver solder is that it only comes in one temperature. For some reason, they decided that you only needed one. I don't know why. So that is its downfall. So if you think you kind of have the skills to get that done, you can do that. Ideally, we shouldn't really see much solder if we're cleaning our seams up properly, so you can really probably get away with true silver solder in this case so that you get the different melting temperatures. So on the length of this seam, I probably can get like, three to four pieces of solder in here. I'm just kind of laying them in. I know, it's very exciting stuff, watching me place solder. So we've got one, one guy ready. Get the next guy going in here. Lemme get on questions while I'm doing this. (man starts speaking) Yeah, go ahead. While I'm setting this up, feel free to ask questions. If you were only going to solder like, one time, is the hardness just a matter of personal preference, or would you use? If you weren't doing multiple solders. Yes, so actually, depending on the type of solder, what you'll actually see is that there are in fact color differences to the different kinds of solder. So with hard, medium, and easy, the closer you get to easy, the more yellow the solder is. So what that means is if you were working with silver, and you were only using one solder seam, it's actually in your best interest to use hard because it's gonna be the closest color match to silver. Ironically, if you were using silver solder on like, brass or bronze or even copper, you're actually better off using easy because it's a little bit yellower so it's gonna blend a little bit more. Though of course, that said, like the yellow silver solder is gonna be better on brass than even easy silver solder. So that is kind of the rule of thumb is you can sort of use it as a color match. Or you can do what I do when you usually only have one solder seam, and just grab whatever you happen to have handy. In my studio, that is actually usually hard solder. Like when I'm soldering on your wires and things, I just use hard for that. Unless I'm using brass, in which case I'll use yellow silver. But that's a general rule of thumb. Any other questions? We getting anything from online? Wondering if you plan on soldering from underneath? Yes. To draw that down as well. I am. Great. Yep, yeah, so I'm gonna set that up in just a second. Yeah, so, one of the things that you can think about when you're doing hollow fabrication, to save yourself a little time, is you can actually place your solder in the spots where it's gonna be sitting on the inside of your ring so if you get any excess solder, you actually never see it. So on these outer bands, placing it on the inside here makes sense and drawing it through because then I don't have as much on the outside. Technically, on my inner band, I probably would've been better served putting it on the outside and drawing it through, but it's just kind of easier to set up this way. So I'll just know that I might have a little bit more excess to file off. I'm gonna grab by cross locking tweezers here. And set those up as my third hand. And you certainly do not have to do this step. You can leave this setting on your solder brick or your Solder-ite board. But I like kind of doing this suspension technique because it just gives us, it makes it a little easier to get under there. So now I'm just gonna go ahead and move flammable things out of my way. Just keep in mind when you've got even things like your flux hanging out in your soldering space. It's not flammable, but it's plastic, which melts, so just be smart about what you're placing around you. The biggest culprits that I see people do are they put like, paper towels or rags or things. You definitely wanna keep all of that out of your soldering area. Just kinda train yourself. Or like, don't bring your notebook. As much as you might need your notes, don't bring your notebook in. All right, we can go ahead and turn down the lights. All right. So ... This first one, my flux is still not quite totally dry. I had a reputation when I was in school, when I was doing really complicated soldering forms, because I was always a little bit nervous of my soldering capabilities. I would set things up and then literally like, let the flux dry for an hour. Like I'd stick it under a lamp and just walk away and let it totally dry, so that I didn't have to worry about that. I've definitely gotten over that as I've gotten more comfortable, but if you're really nervous or like, it feels like you don't have the patience, that was always my problem, right? I didn't have the patience to start heating this slowly enough to get my flux to dry. And I definitely didn't have the patience to deal with little solder pieces popping off everywhere. Now I kind of have that patience. So literally, all I'm doing at this point is I'm not trying to do anything other than dry my flux. And I know this kind of confuses people, but that's all I'm trying to do, is I'm just trying to get it to that, see how it's starting to dry now, it looks that like, opaque white. Now I'm gonna turn this up just a little bit more. 'Cause that flame didn't quite have enough oomph to actually melt my solder. And now I'm gonna start to just sort of heat the whole thing. So you can't just heat from underneath. Eventually, that's where I'm gonna take the angle of my torch to, but for now, I'm trying to bring it up to temperature, and now I'm gonna come in here, and see that flow and pull through. And if you guys didn't see that, that's okay 'cause we've got two more to do. So just be careful, make sure your cross locks aren't hot. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna quench this. And I'm actually gonna go ahead and just, so that we can get things pickling, I'm gonna pull off our binding wire really quick and toss this guy in the pickle before we do our next one. And again, if your binding wire doesn't come off with a simple pull, you can just use your wire cutters and cut it off. Theoretically. There we go. All right, so binding wire off. Throw our inner band in the pickle. And let's go ahead and do some of these outer shapes. Already forgotten, I'm gonna check my sheet in here. That's our round one, that's what I thought. All right, see this is why I make notes on my metal, so that when later I'm like which shape is that? It's gonna come off in the pickle, but at least now I know kinda what order I had it in. So same thing, I'm just gonna dry my flux here really quickly. And how many pieces of solder do you have on that seam? I think on this seam, I put about four. Cool. That seemed to be about the right fit. Probably I could've gotten away with three, but as we know, I have a hard time practicing what I preach, and I always seem to put a little too much solder on there. It's not gonna be such a problem on these forms because I've actually placed it on what's gonna end up being the interior of our shape. And so it's really not a big deal that there's gonna be a little bit of excess because you're never gonna see it and so I can actually even be lazy and not clean it off. But on that inner band, we're probably gonna have a little bit of solder clean up to do. So now that I've dried my flux, I'm starting to bring it to temperature. Gonna come in here. And so now I'm just gonna come in here from the bottom. Get that silver to pull through the seam like that. All right. We're gonna do one more of this shape. Just because we are. But that way, it gives you guys one last chance to kinda see what's happening while we're doing that. And again, I just wanna get these guys in the pickle here while we're working. I would always definitely recommend wearing an apron when you solder because if you're like me, your default is to wipe your hands on whatever you're wearing. And wearing an apron is going to solve a lot of that. And someone actually asked me on Twitter after a previous class where my apron is from. It's from Ikea. I always just buy kitchen aprons. I wish I had bought like, six of this one 'cause it's starting to get holes in it, and I'm not sure if they make it anymore and I don't live near an Ikea. So you know, if anyone goes to an Ikea and finds one, and wants to buy me a present, I wouldn't complain. So same thing, just really quick. Gonna let my flux just dry for a second. I'm actually gonna change the angle of this. I don't like ... I didn't like how I was gonna fight gravity because it really wasn't super flat. So if it, like, stuff was gonna move, it was all gonna slide downhill, so I just did a little adjustment. You definitely don't wanna like, solder on an empty stomach or when you have to pee. You wanna make sure that you are like, really fully in there, and not totally distracted. So, got a little bit of excess solder in there, but I think we'll be good. All right, so I'm gonna throw this one in here. And we're gonna do our little T joint while we're set up here. And get that guy soldered as well. So we will have a couple different options when we actually go to construct our ring. Get that off. And if your binding wire sticks here, to your flux or to your pickle, you can just use some pliers, and get that off. And you probably don't aggressively throw your things in the pickle like I just did. It splashes, that's acid. Someone might have to clean the floor later. All right, so then the next thing that I'm gonna do is actually just go ahead and set up this little T joint. I'm not so worried about this falling over, so I'm actually just gonna take my cross locks out, and set those aside. And I'm gonna go ahead, and just. So, it's important to keep in mind, like as you're working, that your Solder-ite board or your solder brick or whatever surface you're working on, it's gonna get warm while you're doing this. So, that was actually part of the reason why I kind of didn't set up here. I moved over a little bit. The other reason that I moved over is actually that I wanted this to lay flat, and this area's starting to get a little bit of like, flux buildup. So I will also work like on different sides of my board. If it seems like one side is getting crusty, I'll go ahead and actually just flip it over and work from the other side. You can sand them down if they get really bad, but honestly, they're such an inexpensive material or tool that I would probably just, you know, if it gets too gross, just buy a new one. They're not that expensive. And sometimes, it's better to just have a new one where you can kind of work on a flat surface rather than trying to, you know, fight with a really gross surface. So what I just did there, if you noticed me kinda stick my pinky in, is that there's just like a lot of flux happening here, and I could just feel that being kind of a disaster for us. And so I wanted to just actually get some of that flux out. And now I'm gonna go back and place my solder. And so what I'm doing on this one is I'm actually placing it on the inside of our little T. Because again, I'm not gonna see the inside of our ring. So I wanna place that in there. And I know, watching people place solder is really exciting. How we doing on questions? So we do have a question that came from earlier. Might be the potential-- A good time to talk about it? Yeah, while you're doing it. One of our students says, I get a lot of red fire scale with brass and bronze, and hyper pickle doesn't quite get it off. Is there a way to avoid this? I am guessing that they are probably heating their metal a little too hot. So if you're pushing it a little bit too far, that's probably creating that fire scale. You never wanna let it get to the point really where it's red hot. So I would say that's probably the guess. If the hyper pickle isn't getting it off, you can try actually straight up sanding it off. But I would say you're probably overheating a little bit in the soldering process, and that's why you're seeing that. That would be my guess. Terrific, ready for one more? Yeah, let's do it. As you're building the rings, and basically any type of piece of jewelry, are you taking, if your plans are to sell it, and thinking about how you're pricing it, what type of workflow steps do you take to figuring out how much time it takes and how much you're gonna charge for a particular item? That's a great question. So, first thing, and once again, I'm like, putting way too much solder on here. That's what happens when you get me talking. All right, let's stop doing that. So the first thing I that I would say for anyone who's thinking about selling is that you should keep a work log in your studio. And then I just moved the crap out of that. You should keep a work log in your studio that's literally time in, time out, and what you worked on. So in something like this, where you're building something that's got a lotta steps or that it's a little bit more like a one-of-a-kind kinda thing, you definitely wanna keep that work log so that you know how much it takes. If you were thinking about doing say something like this where it's gonna become more of a production piece, where after the first one, you actually do it repeatedly, then a lot of times, it's gonna be faster. You still wanna keep that work log, but it's gonna be faster to batch your workflow. So, you might decide that you're gonna make five of the same ring. Maybe you're gonna make five of the same ring, but you're gonna do it in five different sizes, right? Like a six, two sevens, an eight, and a nine. I say two sevens because seven is always my best selling ring size and so it's always better to make a couple sevens. But so, what I would say is you would do all of one step at a time. So you would do all of the inner rings at once, and then do all of your external shapes. And then come back and then do all of the next step. So anytime you can batch processes, it's gonna make it much more efficient. But always keep track of that time because especially with something like this, what you're gonna find is that most of the cost, and those of you guys who have taken some of my business classes, you know I'm a big fan of using time plus materials plus overhead plus profit to get you to your wholesale price. In a project like this, most of your cost is gonna be in labor and not materials. So it's really important that you're keeping track of that labor. So I'm trying to kind of dry my flux here and also trying to be not so impatient. And so I'm kinda moving my solder back in place as it's jumping around. As you're working, do you generally attempt to dry your flux on the fly with the torch? Or do you like to do a lotta things, set flux, set it aside? And can the flux be too dry? It can be too dry. I would say you don't wanna leave it sit for more than like, an hour or two just because I don't, I just wouldn't. Generally, in my own workflow now, I usually dry with the torch because I've gotten much more impatient. There was something about grad school that you have the luxury of time. I don't have to worry so much, so I could let things dry for like an hour. Now I'm like, I don't have an hour to let my flux dry. So I better just kinda get in there. So all I did there was I was like, this is not getting hot fast enough. So I literally just turned up my torch a little bit. So yeah, so now I don't usually let my flux dry, but if you're new and you kind of are in the beginning stages, you can go ahead and, you know, if it makes you feel a little bit more comfortable to let your flux dry so that you're not doing what I was just doing having to like, squish things around, you can certainly do that. Cool, thank you. All right, we can go ahead and turn the lights up. So I'm gonna throw this guy. Sometimes things stick to your solder board. And if chunks of solder board come off, it's fine. Quench first, then pickle. I have to catch myself in my bad habits. You develop bad habits when you're working in your studio by yourself that you don't always have when you're working in front of a group. Okay, so, while those are in the pickle, I wanna talk about one more type of bending our exterior shapes, which is just creating corners. So if you want a really sharp corner, you wanna do more than just hammer around the edge of something like we did in our earlier stage when I just hammered that around. So what we actually wanna use is a technique called scoring and bending. So let's just say that I wanted kind of a 90 degree angle in part of my shape. What I would do is I would literally draw a straight line. And I'm gonna measure here. So let's just say, if I was doing a shape with multiple bends, I could do multiple scored lines. I'm not gonna make you guys watch that. We're just gonna do one to show you. And I actually, we did a little bit more of this in the bracelet class, too. So all of those kind of bending techniques we used in the bracelet class, they apply to this as well. So I'm gonna go ahead and just draw this line across here. And then I find, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna make a groove with our files, but I find this to be really, really tricky to not like, scratch all the rest of your metal. So what I like to do is just take a little bit of painters tape. And I use painters tape in my studio more than anything else because usually, I'm just temporarily putting something together and painters tape isn't gonna leave gunk all over whatever you're working on. So I'm just gonna take some painters tape and go right along either side here. So you'll notice my painters tape is wide. I tore it in half, but I'm putting the straight edge against where I'm going to file. So I'm gonna just tape that there. I'm gonna tape the other side. That got a little crooked, but that's okay. I'm still gonna follow my line. I just want my tape to really, there we go. Keep me from getting crazy. All right, and then I'm gonna come over to my bench, and I'm gonna grab my triangle needle file. There we go. That glass jar was so close to falling off while we were hammering. I noticed that in our break. So now we're gonna be careful about that in the future. So now I'm gonna come in here and I'm just gonna take this, and I'm just gonna file across here. Now, because our needle file has a little bit of like a curve to it, it's important that we work from both directions. So I'm gonna go a little bit from this way. And I'm gonna come then from this side. And so depending on how sharp your curve is is how deep you're gonna get that little V. I don't know if we can see that little, that little V in there. So if you're trying for a 90 degree turn, you want just a little bit past half. If it's like say, a slightly, shallower corner, you don't have to go quite as deep. But so then what we can do is we can go ahead and take our tape off once we've got that filed. And this is some pretty thin gauge metal, so you can see it really didn't take me that much filing to get what feels like a pretty good V in there. So we're just gonna take our tape off. And go ahead and bend this guy. So if you're the kinda person who likes sharp corners or geometric shapes, you can use this technique. And it's gonna get us a nice, crisp bend in there. Now, when you're soldering your walls together, you wanna make sure that you put a little bit of solder in this little groove and solder that. Because what you've done is actually weakened the metal by taking some out. So solder will go ahead and strengthen that seam back up.

Class Description

There’s nothing quite like the magic of turning a two-dimensional sheet of metal into a three-dimensional form. In Explorations in Metalsmithing: Hollow Fabrication, you’ll learn how to create volume in metal through various forming and soldering techniques and how to take those forms and turn them into unique jewelry that will turn heads!

In this one of a kind class, designer and metalsmith Megan Auman will show you how to take your jewelry making skills to the next level to create unique and distinctive designs.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Make three-dimensional forms in metal - including spheres, cones, and organic shapes, and more.
  • Use hollow fabrication techniques to create your own ring.
  • Tackle more complicated soldering projects. (Without investing in more tools.)
  • Finish your forms so they’re sturdy and stunning.
  • Turn your hollow fabrication explorations into amazing earrings, bracelets, and pendants.

Whether you’re just getting started in metalsmithing, or you’ve been dabbling for years, you’ll leave this class with the skills and ideas necessary to take your jewelry designs to the next level. Plus, you’ll learn how to create distinctive three-dimensional jewelry - perfect to wear, share, or sell! Join us for Explorations in Metalsmithing: Hollow Fabrication!



After watching Megan solder in this class, I felt like it was something I could take on. There's a lot of soldering in this class! But there's also a lot you can do without soldering that's covered. I have a better understanding of how jewelry is made from this class. I'm looking at things that I own and thinking that I now know how to recreate them!

Silvia Rossi

I liked this course, Megan explains a lot of things about techniques and materials and it's simple follow all the operations to create these types of rings. I think I'd purchase other classes of her.