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By Bill Fretz



Jewelry design choices are limitless. What starting blank, stake, hammer to pick? We will explore the possibilities of a freeform blank being formed into a deep concave shape. After forming the metal from the inside of the curves, we will switch hammers and stakes and move the metal from the outside to totally change the shape and personality of the bracelet design.



By Bill Fretz

We’re going to take the same metal blank used for making a concave bracelet and instead use it to make a domed fluted bangle. Choosing different stakes and hammers will create a piece that doesn’t remotely resemble its genetic cousin.   Along the way we will explore variations of how a step may be done, and the pros and cons of each solution. The more a craftsperson knows about process, the easier it is to create new work that ventures into new arenas of design exploration.

A Tour of Fretz Hammers and Their Uses9

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of explaining all the different Fretz hammers and their uses at various trade shows such as the Society of North American Goldsmith’s Conference and JCK. At those shows, I have answered the question, “What’s this one used for?” countless times. Following is an outline of the answers I give to this question for the planishing, raising, and embossing hammers.

Metalsmithing with a Pro: 5 Expert Metal Forming and Soldering Tips from Bill Fretz

You guys know how much I love a good tip! So every time I watch a jewelry-making video or read a good book or eBook, I keep a little document of good tips. I just noticed how many great ones I have from master metalsmith and jewelry tool designer extraordinaire Bill Fretz--nearly a whole page!--so it's time to share.

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