All posts in category Studio Tips

Tool Talk

Do You Have Trouble Filing Straight? If you have taken a class with me or if you have seen me work, undoubtedly you have seen me use a miter vise. My Ohio pal, Debbie Brown, introduced me to the toolmakers vise, a kissing cousin to the miter vise. What I like about this tool is […]

Do You Live In Tokyo Too?

When you live in a small house there is never enough space. So how do I cope? Pretend like I live in Tokyo of course. This coping mechanism began years ago after seeing a program on how Tokyo residents organize their lives in tiny apartments. After doing a little research for this article I realize […]

Showers, Breaks, Paint and Farts

How to Make More Creative Jewelry Take these 4 steps and according to current research your work will improve. They are easy steps but I am not sure if I could fart and burp very long. 1) If you hit a creative wall, take a nap, a walk or a shower. 2) Let yourself spend […]

Circle Dividing Templates

A while back I mentioned how helpful it is to use circle dividing templates to achieve better accuracy in marking your metal. Cece, one of my blog readers, had a passion to acquire them. This is what she sent.. I was determined to figure out the source of your circle dividers. My husband, the civil […]

Cutting Metal Accurately With The Shear

When you are cutting a piece of sheet metal with a bench shear, blacken both ends with a Sharpie and then scribe your cut line into the ink. If you can (safely) look down over the blade area and line up the two scribe lines with the bottom edge (where the blade will make contact […]

The L-Square

    A common task in the studio is to square up sheet metal. Using an L-square is a simple way to do this. The first image shows you three L-squares of different sizes. Line up the short or long leg of the L-square with the straight edge of a table. Both silver L-squares have […]

Circle Divider

When I started making bangles with stones placed equally around the perimeter I realized the significance of using a circle divider. I have used them for other purposes since. Simply place your object on the circle divider template and mark with a permanent ink pen. Because these marks disappear with the heat of the torch, […]


Beyond Finding Center Dividers can also be used to define arcs and circles. Templates offer a limited number of options which the dividers can easily supplement. Another use for the dividers is finding proportions. Let’s say you are creating a rectangular piece that will have a horizontal wire soldered across. Where do you place it? […]


    It is the small things that drive me wild. You know, attaching a tube set so that it is placed just a bit off center. Or, making one earring slightly larger than the other. These small mistakes have motivated me to find ways to be more precise. In this series I will talk […]

Heat Shields

I taught a class on Pins over the weekend and am reminded yet again how much I appreciate heat shields. In the first image you see a bezel which has been soldered with medium solder. I am attaching a frame to one side also using medium solder. The frame and bezel are pretty close together […]