Archive | Texturing

Progress on the JewelryMonk Design Contest Part 2

Progress on the JewelryMonk Design Contest Part 2

I trust everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. Now it is time to get back into the “Groove” of the 2017 year. I have been busy creating this piece of jewelry, and recording and editing videos for this project, which Jillian, the winner will get. I will also make them available to the public soon thereafter for purchase. Follow along with the progress by subscribing here at

I will also get back into the studio soon and make more JewelryMonk Podcast episodes. Also, after this project is done, I will be adding content, more free tips and tricks, here at

Click Here to Follow Along on this Project

Now, Go make something shiny……


JewelryMonk Design Contest Info


Alright, the First JewelryMonk Design Contest Info:

(You might want to follow along with this Blog Contest)

Click Here to Subscribe

In a nutshell, here are the details:

I have chosen 5 stones for you to use in a RING design. Your job is to select one of these stones (there is a Pear Shaped, an Emerald Cut Stone, a Marquise Shape, a Trillion Shaped Stone, and an Oval Shaped stone. (Pictured below)

  • You design a SILVER RING with one of these stone.
  • You have a until November 27th at Midnight to submit your design to
  • The deadline will be Sunday, November 27th 2016 at Midnight EST.
  • My team and I will select 1 winner and announce it December 4th.  The winner will get their design created by myself. During this process, I will create videos of the whole process from:  Design – The Layout – Wax Carving and Cleanup – Casting – Metal Clean up – Rubber Mold Making – Wax Sizing – Casting the Production Piece – Grinding – Tumbling – Pre-Polishing – Stone Setting – and Final Polishing.

I will make this video series available for purchase when it is finished, BUT the winner will receive the series for free.

BUT WAIT!!!! There’s More!!! (I have always wanted to say that….. sorry….. )

The winner will also receive the finished design model, the mold, and the finished piece to own. This design and finished piece is theirs to do with whatever they want.

Also you all have MY PROMISE, that any design that is not selected, I will not use, create, sell, or produce. It will never see the light of day unless you request me to do so. It is your intellectual property, and I will respect that.

Now, don’t feel like you are not “Qualified” to submit a design. You do not have to be a designer to enter. If you can do a CAD drawing, a pencil sketch, or just a crayon sketch, that is all I need.  My career has been creating jewelry from complex designs, or “chicken scratch”. I have an eye for this. We will not make our decision on the design sketch quality, but criteria set up by our team for this project. So this contest is for EVERYONE!

Here are the stones to design from:

Marquise Blue Topaz: 12x6mm and 4mm Deep


Oval Citrine: 9x7mm 4.5mm Deep


Emerald Cut Amethyst 8x6mm 4mm Deep


Trillion Cut Garnet 8x8mm 4.75mm Deep


Pear Shaped Peridot 5x7mm 3.25mm Deep


So I have 3 things for you to do:

First, Look at the stones you have to work with and choose 1 stone to design a ring with. Take your time and think about it for a bit. REMEMBER, The deadline will be Sunday, November 27th 2016 at Midnight EST. And you only get 1 design to submit…..period (choose wisely my friend)

Second…. Create a design as simple or as complex as you want and email it to I will print out all these entries submitted and my team and I will choose a winner by December 4th, 2016.

Third and most importantly….. Suscribe for email updates! Along this process I will be releasing videos to highlight certain aspects of the creative process and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.
Click Here to Subscribe

Also, Leave a comment on the website. Let me know you are out there, let me know what you think, and most importantly…. encourage one another. Also check out and do the same there. Encourage one another. Don’t post your designs there…. You would be giving away your secrets, but say HI!, hang out a bit, and most importantly…..HAVE FUN!

There ya have it, the First JewelryMonk Design Contest/Video training series Contest Rules.

I am excited for me, but more importantly, I am excited for YOU ALL. I really look forward to seeing what you all are going to create.

Now…… go create something award winning!


How to Use a Burnishing Tool to Polish


How to Use a Burnishing Tool to Polish

Today I want to talk about a simple polishing and finishing technique that has been around for a long time, longer than polishing machines, electricity, and even the internet…… yes, even the internet. It is called BURNISHING.

First, let me direct you to a Blog Post I did over a year ago on how to make a burnishing tool out of an old bur. This post will show you how to make, finish, and polish your own burnishers out of worn out burs. I always say, NEVER throw out your used burs, you can always use them for other projects and tools. I have many, MANY, shapes and sizes of burnishers. Here is a link to the Blog Post.

The process of burnishing is to take a smooth, polished tool, that is harder than the piece of jewelry that you want to polish, and rub with pressure. No Foredom or spinning motorized tool needed. This action will smooth out the piece that is softer than the steel or stone burnisher that you are using. (For instance gold or silver)

There are many types of burnishers to purchase:

Tungsten Carbide Burnishers are made out of a very hard steel that will keep it’s polish for a long time.


Another Tool you can use as a burnisher is a Steel Scribe.


A cool tool to use in your burnishing is an Agate Burnisher, a burnisher made out of stone.


I also use a scribe, shaved down and sharpened, to scrape and trim areas that are hard to get into.

smBurnisher4  smBurnisher5

I then burnish the hard to get into areas with the sharp end of a rounded point of a burnisher.

smBurnisher3 smBurnisher6

Again, the burnishing process it to rub an area with a polished object over and over to smooth and polish an area. The tool can be polished with Yellow Rouge on a piece of paper.

Texturing2 (2b) Texturing2 (3) Making a Burnishing Tool (6)

This is a great way to detail your jewelry, it is actually meditative and soothing for me. You can watch the polishing process happening slowly and have great control over your finishing work.


As Always,  if you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to  Subscribe to the JewelryMonk Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner of  also if you know someone who makes jewelry, tell them about this site or The JewelryMonk Podcast.

You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Periscope…. we are all over the place.

Now go make something Shiny!


Interesting Way to Transferring Designs to Metal (CAD) Video Demonstration

JewelryMonk Header Full

Today I will show a couple of quick ways to transfer designs from Paper to Metal or Wax, Plus a video demonstration to help as well. 

1a Locket 01

There are a number of ways to start to create jewelry, from finding an existing media and turning it into jewelry, to Computer Aided Design (CAD), wax carving, metal fabrication, Precious Metal Clays (PMC), etc.  For the first step let’s look at metal fabrication. I found a design on an antique locket that I would like as an earring. If I could draw, I would but alas, I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I found a way to scan the design and get it on a piece of paper. In this instance I used a CAD program, but you can use the original picture, scaled to the size you want, and then I cut and taped it to a flat sheet of sterling silver. I took a very sharp metal Scribe and traced around the outside of the picture with a series of small points, just hard enough to make a mark, but not too deep.

1e Locket Earrings 01       1f Locket Earrings 02

As I was contemplating an easier way to show this process, I did a quick Periscope session and here is a quick video made from some excerpts from that Periscope.  CLICK HERE for video.

(Periscope is a free app for your computer or mobile device that allows interaction via live streaming video. Follow JewelryMonk on Periscope)

After I traced around the design completely, I removed the paper and I have an outline on the silver. (this works on wax as well) I now pierced the silver with a hole large enough to get a saw blade through. I usually use a 3/0 blade, but you can use smaller if you like, I tend to break smaller ones a lot more. after I have the piece completely cut out, I smooth the edges with small “escapement” files and sandpaper, then polish. At a later date we will get into detail on how to best file, sand, and finish pieces, but I figured we would start with an easy way to get your ideas onto metal or wax.  On this piece, I also used gravers and a Foredom to give the piece more of a rounded look, but that is what I wanted and that is the cool thing about jewelry making, it is an expression of one’s self as well as a craft.

1g Locket Earrings 03 1j Locket Earrings 08

Finished Amethyst

Remember to wear your safety glasses!

As Always,  if you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to  Subscribe to the JewelryMonk Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner of  also if you know someone who makes jewelry, tell them about this site.

You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Periscope…. we are all over the place.

Now go make something Shiny!


Episode 10: Contrasting Jewelry Textures, Fiber Discs, and Sleep

JewelryMonk Header Full

Episode 10: Contrasting Jewelry Textures, Fiber Discs, and Sleep

In this blogpost I will touch on some of the subjects I covered the JewelryMonk Podcast Episode 10:

First I have been reading this book this week by Greg McKeown called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. It has a lot to do with business and business practices, but so much more.  There is a chapter called “Protecting The Asset” which covers the fact that most of us suffer from sleep deprivation. I cover some benefits of getting enough sleep and some of the effects of poor sleeping habits. It is quite “eye-opening”.


Next I answered a question from an email I received about keeping track of time spent on a project, pricing, and collecting information on trials, errors, projects and experiments. I won’t give you the rundown here, but I will give you a hint….. Evernote plays a huge part in my system.

If you have a question or comment  Send voice mail (button on right side of or send email to

I also had a Jewelry Tip of the Week where I covered some tool I use in texturing jewelry:

Ball Bur….. using a .5mm – 1.0mm ball bur to texture.

Textured (4) Textured (5)

Electric Engraver with steel a modified bur or a diamond tip.

Making a Burnishing Tool Header  Texturing (15) Texturing (9)

Flat Graver Blade to bright cut an edge

Textured Ring2

Lastly I talked about my pick for the Cool Tool of the Week:

Micro Fiber Separating Disc or Snap-on Sanding Disc to create a florentine texture. 

Fiberwheel2 Textured Ring1


Micro Fiber Separating Disc

They can be used as a cut off wheel, a sanding or filing disc, and a texturing tool.  Flexing, 0.30 mm in thickness and reinforced.

 And we bring in the Christmas Season with some Christmas Music:

Why can’t it be Christmas all year by Rosie Thomas
Santa’s Lost his Mojo by Jeremy Lister
Everything’s Changed at Christmas But You by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
Joy to the World by Andrew Ripp

Thanks for stopping by. As always, if you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to  Subscribe to the JewelryMonk Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner at

Also a HUGE favor…..if they know someone who makes jewelry, tell them about the JewelryMonk website and podcast, or have them follow us on all your favorite social media sites. I would appreciate it.

Now, Go Make Something Shiny!