Getting Ready to Roll

When I was first getting my studio put together I knew that a rolling mill was a must have for my design style. I was planning to pattern sheet and wire, reduce metal thicknesses,roll wire, and create graduated wire. And having my own rolling mill would give me the opportunity to do some fold forming and of course to create sheet from ingots that I’ve made from my scrap.But what a big commitment to make! I knew that I wanted a tool that would last a lifetime,or maybe longer. After doing a lot of research, I decided that a 120 millimeter combination with reduction gear would work perfectly in my studio. For what I needed the choices quickly narrowed down to only two, a Cavallin or a Durston rolling mill.

The Cavallin Rolling Mill is made in Italy, the Durston in England. Both of them are well-regarded and have been in business for many, many years. The Cavallin had pulled out of the US market for a few years ago but is back,stronger than ever.

I checked with several metalsmithing friends who have their own rolling mills. Two of them were kind enough to let me come into their Studios to play with both a Durston and Cavallin Mill.

I arrived with annealed metals, Copper and silver sheet, to my friend’s Studio. Her Durston is a beautiful machine. I easily rolled my 20 gauge silver down to a 24 gauge. And, she had some pattern papers that we ran the copper through with. All in all we had a lot of fun and the Durston is a terrific Mill. I was almost sold on the Durston at that exact moment, but I had already set up a time with the other friend to take a look at their Cavallin. A few days later I went to his Studio. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did.

Once again, I brought annealed metals, 20 gauge copper and 20 gauge sterling silver sheets to run through his machine. Because I was trying to compare the Cavallin and the Durston, I did everything that I had done before. I rolled the sterling silver down to a 24 gauge. I found it easier to do with the Cavallin mill. It was a true pleasure to work with and seemed a natural fit in my hands. My Durston friend had given me some of the patterned paper that we had used on her mill. I used this again on the copper sheet that I brought with excellent results.

After my Durston VS Cavallin test I came to the conclusion that both the Durston and the Cavallin are versatile, excellent quality Rolling Mills. They both offer excellent customer support, especially now that the Cavallin is represented in the United States again. The Cavallin simply felt “better” to me.

So, as you can probably tell by now, I ended up purchasing a Cavallin Rolling Mill for myself. I could not be happier with how much this has improved my work. I can’t imagine not having one at hand. The rolling mill in my studio makes my life so much easier, not to mention it saves me a lot of time! Time I can use to drink coffee and work on metals.

Jewelry Pliers: What’s the Difference Anyway?

Jewelry pliers come in a great variety of shapes and sizes. Each set of pliers has been designed to accomplish a different job.
Chain Nose, Flat Nose, Round Nose, Bent nose . . . what’s the difference anyway?
Well first the basics, there are four main types of pliers, each designed for specific tasks.

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Nancy Megan Corwin on her passion for chasing and repousse.

Nancy Megan Corwin

Nancy Megan Corwin, Megan to her friends, is an artist in the truest sense of the word. She has worked as a bench jeweler with her own line. She has also taught in Arts centers, colleges and universities for over 30 years. She was an adjunct instructor at Cabrillo College and Monterey Peninsula College in California since 1984. Nancy was head of the jewelry and metals program for the University of Oregon from 1989 until 1994. For the past 15 years she has traveled across the United States teaching short courses in an impressive list of schools. Including Penland school of crafts in North Carolina, Haystack Mountain school of crafts in Maine, the Glassell school in Houston Texas, the University of New Mexico at El Paso, Pratt Fine Arts Ctr., Danica design, as well as various other programs all across the United States. Megan’s handcrafted jewelry and hollowware are an outstanding blend of contemporary artistry and old world craftsmanship. Hammer in hand, she raises rich textures and sculptural forms capturing the intrinsic beauty of the various metals that she works with.
We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Megan.

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Gordon Uyehara

Gordon K. Uyehara is a freelance artist/designer and writer. He is also an Art Clay Silver Senior Instructor. Born and raised in Hawaii, Gordon received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After working thirteen years in the information technology field, he decided to take some time off for artistic exploration. Taking a class on silver clay at a local workshop he realized that he had found his muse! Gordon still lives in Honolulu and from there he is actively involved in local, national and international competitions. He conducts workshops and speaks at conferences and his art is often featured in magazines, books, blogs and websites. Gordon authored a book,Metal Clay Fusion, which came out in March 2012.

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Soldering, Stone Setting, Lost Wax and More with Anat and Joe Silvera

Joe and Anat Silvera are metalsmiths and teachers who currently hail from Berkley, California where they run a small school for jewelry making. They also teach around the Bay area and at bead shops and various festivals around the country. They are well known for their hands on teaching style, with a focus on good technique, as well as their use of equipment that is affordable and very home friendly.

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“Home of the Rainbows” Rainbow Fluorite

A semi-precious gemstone, Rainbow Fluorite is famous for its beautiful bands of color, often seen side by side creating a stunning striped look. These bands, called zones are most often seen in purple and green. Less commonly seen are yellow, pink, reddish-orange, blue, black, brown or colorless stones. Because of the colors and its beauty, Rainbow Fluorite (also called fluorspar) is often called “the most colorful mineral in the word.”

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