Posted by Corkie Bolton on

Every month over at Metalsmith Society a new project theme is announced for the #metalsmithchallenge. The purpose is to have fun, challenge yourself and perhaps make something you normally wouldn't. So many of us dedicate all our time to the production of our jewelry lines I thought it would be a nice way to get to experiment, creating something that doesn't necessarily need to be for sale.

In April the theme of the challenge was TRIBUTE. Dedicating or honoring a person or pet with a piece of jewelry. I'm so blown away by what was created and wanted to share the stories or sentiments behind each piece.

@heatheroleari "Hand carved 18kt yellow gold Angel Wings. A pink bead from a favorite necklace was incorporated into the design to keep love and memories near the wearer. "

@thewanderingmetalsmith "A piece I made as a tribute to my father who has been a recent inspiration to me to always continue learning. Despite nearing the end of his engineering career he has been studying coding languages and machine learning through online courses this past year for the purpose of personal development and to improve his ability to perform his job."

@corkieboltonjewelry "This pendant has hairs from the first haircuts of my both my children, encapsulated underneath a magnifying cabochon. I plan to get it hand engraved with their names or initials on the back."

@lilactreemakes "It’s been so lonely without you here ☔️My little metal tribute to the Purple One, modelled by @sammylouiseox His music will live on in our hearts! 🎵 💜"

@tuppenceanddelilah "L O V E A L W A Y S B L O O M S.....You may remember that I mentioned working on something very special last month, well I can now show you what it was
I was making a very special hollowform bracelet for my mum. This has truly been a labour of love I can tell you!
Every technique was a first for me..I have never hand pierced a design into silver sheet, I have never made anything hollowform before and I have never made chain from scratch but I wanted it to be a real tribute to the love I feel for my mum who has been a true inspiration to me, teaching me that whatever life throws at you, no matter how unjust, sad or downright tragic giving up is not an option! .
I am including this in April's @metalsmithsociety #metalsmithchallengeas the theme "Tribute" really sums up what this piece is for me...a tribute to my mum."

@fariskeidesigns "So this Easter, my sister came home, because sadly our 19 year old pet cat, Missy, is about to depart for cat heaven. 19 years! Can you believe that?! She's pretty heartbroken about it, so I was able to fashion her this little cat ring as a reminder of the 19 wonderful years she's spent with us. Pets are family and it's always rough when we lose one. 
We love you Missy girl 😻❤"

@speciellajewellery_mdillner ”Buddha in Disguise.” On this mala I put the fingerprint from the one you consider to be the master in your life. (Your child, your partner...😅) And on the bracelet I put your childs fingerprints. 
Tributes to our beloved. 💛"

Thank you so much everyone that participated, if you'd like to participate in a future challenge all you have to do is create something with that months challenge and use #metalsmithchallenge and tag me @metalsmithsociety.

If you aren't already, follow along on Instagram @metalsmithsociety for daily jewelry making tips!

If you'd like to support Metalsmith Society, check out the shop, and buy some goods!

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Posted by Corkie Bolton on

This week on Metalsmith Society I posted a fantastic tip from @jessicajo_designs about making perfect silver balls. I thought I would recap some of the additional information that members of the community talked about in the comments!


The tip is to use fine silver to melt into super smooth balls. In the post two silver balls are featured, the one on the left is fine silver (99.9% pure silver) and the one on the right is sterling (92.5% pure silver). The benefits of melting fine silver are that you can create smooth balls with greater ease than sterling silver, there is also no need to create divots in a charcoal block as they come out perfectly round.

If you don't have fine silver to work with there were some great suggestions made by the community in the comments section for working with sterling silver, and some general tips regardless of what kind of metal you use!

  • Using sterling casting grain can be an easy way to add decorative balls without having to melt anything
  • Slowly pulling your flame away from melting your balls can help them come out more smoothly
  • Fluxing sterling helps them come out smoother
  • Mixing fine silver and sterling scraps can also help you to create smoother balls
  • Using jump rings or pieces of wire cut to the same length can help you create the same size balls
  • Try melting silver on a piece of wood ( I'm excited to try this, but do be careful of starting a fire in your studio)

An alternative metal that was also mentioned by many people is Argentium silver, and that it balls up beautifully. Keep your eyes peeled for future posts on using Argentium silver.

Thank you to everyone who shared their knowledge on this awesome tip! If you end up experimenting with any of these tips we would love if you share it with us! You can use #metalsmithsocietyshare and tag us as well.

Join the conversation! Follow @metalsmithsociety

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Posted by Corkie Bolton on

I'm super exciting to be offering some merchandise with the amazing logos that were created for Metalsmith Society by designer Simon Beale (follow him @beardedcreative_studio). If you'd like to support Metalsmith Society you can choose from a variety of apparel and home good items. I love that these products will also help spread the word about our community, so wear them to your next workshop!


I also wanted to mention that its very important to me that the products are ethically made. Choosing products that are ethically made and sweatshop free is a little more expensive, but well worth it. 

The other important thing to know is I unfortunately cannot accept returns on Metalsmith Society goods, if you read my policies page it explains everything in detail. I want everyone to be super happy with their purchases! There are size guides included with every item and you can also feel free to reach out to me, and I will do my best to assist you!


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Posted by Corkie Bolton on

In early 2018 I was feeling a bit frustrated with Instagram. I was putting tons of effort into gorgeous photos and thoughtfully written posts (showcasing my jewelry) but my growth and engagement sucked. Algorithm changes and the grind of posting daily on my business account (@corkieboltonjewelry) had me feeling discouraged. I had however made some amazing friends and marveled at Instagram's power to connect people. So I had an idea: what if I started a page that connected jewelers that were willing to help each other out? @metalsmithsociety was born.
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