Judy Larson is a wonderful jewelry designer and instructor and lucky for us, one who has generously shared her tutorials. Most of her tutorials are wire work ones. But this set of Southwest inspired jewelry designs uses metal work techniques.

She explained, "I am always looking for ways to maximize the use of metal sheet for my students. Fifteen different pieces of jewelry can be made from just one 6x6 inch piece of 24 or 26 gauge sheet metal and a few findings in this set of tutorials. Since I used this in a class I was teaching, I also included quite a number of tips."

The tutorials cover how each design was created using common metal work techniques. Judy also links up to Youtube videos and other useful resources to help students better understand, for example, fold forming. What she doesn't elaborate on is how the metal sheet is cut.  She leaves it to your personal preference - metal snips or jewelry saw.

She certainly has many, many tips. I love her alternatives to making copies of her templates to fix onto the metal sheet, ready for cutting. Who knew sticker makers could be useful for jewelry making?

Many of her tool suggestions include things like drive pin punches which you might already have at home or are easily bought from the hardware store. Or using nails as rivet tube spreaders. Neat!

Her home made pickle solution for cleaning metal after torching is simply a 50% vinegar solution with some salt added to it.

One cautionary note about using Barkeeper's Friend - an excellent household cleaning agent which can be used to clean tarnished metal.  The active ingredient is oxalic acid which is a strong chemical. So please use gloves, adequate ventilation, don't get it in your eyes or mouth and definitely keep away from children and pets!  Just be careful with it as you would bleach or ammonia.

Oxalic acid also occurs naturally too. One of the reasons why we eat only rhubarb stems is because the leaves have high levels of oxalic acid and are definitely poisonous.  (Your scientific trivia of the day!)

You can download this collection over on SlideShare - which is free to join.  There, you will also find all her previously shared tutorials which I uploaded for all to learn from.

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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