Jewelry Feedback Today

Today is day 80 in my pursuit of 90 straight days of posting content to, after this, I will change focus a bit, but still be creating helpful content.

No tips today but I am curious about  your jewelry making needs. I have been posting things that I find interesting and current, but today I am relying on the JewelryMonk Community to tell me what you struggle with as a jeweler. I am not making any promises that I can help, but I will try.

Have you ever fel’t you have run into a wall and have nowhere to turn for advice?


It has been a few years since I was a beginning jeweler, but I remember there were times when I wish I had a place to turn with questions and support. Here is your chance, I am still new at this blogging and advise giving site, but I do want to create a place where new and not so new jewelers can come and get advise and support. There are no “silly” questions, because I know I used to think I had questions that were silly, but when you don’t know something and you don’t know where to turn, you feel trapped and frustrated. So I am going to give you 3 options:

1. You can comment here or at JewelryMonk on Facebook, and I or someone else in the community will try and help.

2. You can send me an email at and I will try to help.

3. You can send a “VoiceMail” by clicking the “Send Voicemail” tab on the right side of the website. These I will try to answer, or find someone who can on the JewelryMonk Podcast. (Either on the website or on iTunes)

Either way, I and others are here to help you hone your skills as a jeweler and as a member of the JewelryMonk Community.

I hope you are enjoying the Journey so far, stay tuned because we are going to create something good.

Now, go have a good weekend and put a smile on someone’s face, for no other reason than the fact that they need it.



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16 Responses to Jewelry Feedback Today

  1. Stephanie T. August 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Hi Doug,

    I have been doing a lot of wire wrapping and found that it is popular with people I know. However, I plan to open a website to sell my jewelry from. How do i figure out what is popular and/or trendy in other areas of the nation/world?

    Thanks for your help!

    • JewelryMonk August 25, 2014 at 6:14 am #

      Hi Stephanie and thanks for the question. This question is not in my “wheelhouse”, but I have an interview with a guest on the JewelryMonk Podcast in the next couple of weeks that might be able to help. stay tuned…..

      • Stephanie T. August 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

        Thanks for the reply Doug, I’ll watch for it!

  2. Barb August 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    I’d like to know a permanent way to darken my jewelry. LOS rubs off over time. What do you suggest?

    • JewelryMonk August 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      There are a few things I can think of that will darken an area, but most of them will rub off after time. Liver of Sulfur, Paint, Black Rhodium will all do the job, but if you want it to last longer, put it in a recessed area with a protective border. The only thing I can think of that will last is Baked on Enamel.

  3. caro August 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Hello Doug,

    In my poor English…..
    I am living in the Netherlands and i am following you from the beginning of your blog.
    It is so nice that you are taking the time to share your skills through a blog. It must take
    you probably more time then you were thinking of…..
    I am a student silver smith, busy for two years now and i wish I started earlier with this “hobby”
    (o o over 50 now….)
    Your blog is very helpfull because I think that if you want to improve your skills you have to make
    yourself al lot of meters by doing it. And then your blog is very helpful.
    Thank you!

    • JewelryMonk August 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

      Caro, thank you for the response and for following along. Your English is great! you are right, it has taken a little longer than I thought it would, but I do not regret it a bit, especially when I get feedback like yours. Keep it up and you will master your skill before you know it.

  4. Lecia Woessner August 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Doug! I’m writing because I’m getting ready to try and make a bezel ( not sure if that’s the right termonology) for the first time, by myself, with no help & no classes behind me at all except for videos. I’m pretty nervous about it! First of all, I bought the wrong thing for the bezel wire, I purchased patterned wire & it’s to tall to use ( I think I’m right in saying that I could use patterened wire, right?) Anyway, I’m just wondering if I can use regular wire, flattened? Or should I just go ahead & get some bezel wire? I’m using copper. I’m a little lost & would appreciate any help that I can get!

    • JewelryMonk August 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Lecia, I think you can use the patterned wire, even if it is too tall, just trim it a little, maybe off of the bottom. You can also try flattening out the regular wire as well. Have fun and try different things, some will work, some won’t, but you will be learning in the process. If you get a chance, take some pictures of your progress, even if you use the camera on your phone and post them on the JewelryMonk Facebook page and I or someone else will be happy to help.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Jen August 26, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Doug,

    Do you have any advice as to what kind of torch one can get for home studio use (i.e. basement workshop)? I’ve been doing all my soldering at a local art association’s metals studio; they have acetylene tanks with mini torches. I’m not sure I should go that route at home. I’ve seen various small butane torches in supply catalogs, but they look a bit clumsy and I’m not sure they get hot enough to do much more than very small soldering jobs. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing your next podcast! –Jen

    • JewelryMonk August 27, 2014 at 6:21 am #

      Jen, I have never had much success with the butane torch and have always used either Oxygen-Acetylene, Natural Gas-Oxygen, or Propane-Oxygen. I currently use propane-oxygen and really like it, it is clean, easy to get (same tank as a gas grill), and hot enough to do any job I need. Make sure you set it up in a place that is safe though, (not on carpet) on a tile or concrete surface, or some flooring that will not burn. If you get a chance, I wrote a couple of articles on torch safety and torch setup, search them on the site and read them.Good luck.

  6. Lecia Woessner August 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Thank you Doug! I think that I will post photos, if I’m brave enough! Thank you for all you’re doing to help all of us in the jewelry making world!

  7. JewelryMonk August 27, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Lecia, please do post some pics. Feedback always helps and gives you a different perspective which fosters growth. We will be gentle, I promise…. 🙂

  8. Diane August 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    I have been having trouble holding on to small bits of things so ordered myself dop wax. I had hoped there would be instructions on how to use it in the box but there were none. How do I soften the wax enough to use it?

    • JewelryMonk August 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Diane, first it comes in a stick. Melt a little of it onto the end of a wooden dowel or something you can hold. Use light heat with a torch or butane torch to do this. Then when it cools, add a little heat to the surface, just enough to soften the surface, then add a little heat to the piece, then add the piece of jewelry to the Dop Wax. Let cool and enjoy. When you are done working on it, use tweezers and pull on the jewelry at the same time you will add a little heat till it releases. Add piece to denatured alcohol to dissolve wax. In an ultrasonic works faster.
      Hope this helps.

  9. Diane August 29, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    That helps a lot! Thank you very much.