An overview of metalsmith jewelry

Jewelry has been created by hand for as long as we humans go back in time.  Because this type of jewelry is made by hand, and no two hands are alike, consequently no two pieces of jewelry will be alike either.  There are modern machines that make jewelry now, but these machines make jewelry of the same design, and therefore manufacture many “cookie cutter” pieces.  There is no comparison to the quality and craftsmanship you will get from an original handmade piece of jewelry.    

     Artists who specialize in handmade jewelry, particularly metalsmith jewelry, will often choose not to use any pre-made materials at all.  Instead they use scraps of metal, or use things they find and make them into something useful such as clasps, hoops for earrings, or hooks.  There are many ancient techniques of metalsmithing that are used to create unique effects on metal that will never be able to be replicated and will vary depending on the tools used and the tool marks left on the metal.

  Metalsmithing techniques are very old techniques involving a number of processes that are used in hand making jewelry. Some metalsmithing techniques include chasing (the use of tools against the back of a metal to create a raised design in the metal), soldering (joining metals using solder as filler that has a fairly low melting temperature), forging (the process where a metal is heated and placed in a die and then compressed to take the form of the die), raising (metalsmith technique where a sheet of metal is hammered into a hollow form), and many more.  These techniques used in combination allow for those who hand make jewelry to create beautiful, exquisite forms from various metals.  To add detail, many metalsmithers will etch or engrave the metals and use numerous other techniques on order to add color to the pieces of jewelry.    
     
Although the art of metalsmith jewelry is one of great beauty and detail, many other jewelers will create handmade jewelry using none of these techniques at all.  Instead they use their hands as their tools and use only a few other basic tools to assist them in designing and forming these exquisite pieces of jewelry.    

     People who use the metalsmithing techniques to create handmade jewelry will often time use a variety of different metals as well as gemstones to add character and beauty to their pieces of jewelry.  Commonly used materials include diamonds, cubic zirconia, bronze, gold, silver, and so much more.  Since handmade metalsmith jewelry is so unique and one of a kind, the pieces will often be able to compete with other extremely expensive pieces of jewelry due to the uniqueness and guaranteed quality that comes with any made by hand.  The price of handmade metalsmith jewelry also goes up due the fact that they are not mass produced by a machine, and are therefore limited in supply.  Many jewelers will make pieces customized for requesting clients, and this can take a great deal of time.  But in exchange for waiting you are assured a piece of jewelry that no one else will ever be seen wearing except for you.

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