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Riveting Show & Tell

June 27, 2015 , In: Inspiration, Metalsmithing
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A couple of weeks ago I splurged and ordered this set from Interweave.  I was lucky enough to see a FB post reminding me that the Interweave Store was offering a limited 40% off sale.  Wow, I thought that was too good to pass up.

My physical haul from the kit…plus my earrings!

 The kit arrived and included everything you see here…the first obvious perk is a wonderful little Fretz riveting hammer.  I have to admit, this is my 1st Fretz and it is so sweet!  It also included the DVD by Tracy Stanley, Making Jewelry with Metal Tubing, a Bead Smith punch and riveting tool, 2 packages of hollow rivets to use with the tool and a variety of Vintaj blanks to play with.

Earrings made from Vintaj blanks and brass stampings…riveted with sterling.

The kit also included 3 digital products, Making 3 Perfect Rivets and Riveted Earring Project, both by Tracy Stanley, and Bodacious Copper Bangle Project by Kim St. Jean.

Now, I have done rivets before, but am by no means a pro at it.  Tracy made it look so easy and was really engaging in the videos.  I had to put it all on hold until I got back from my beach vacation, but this week I played a bit.  The above earrings are Vintaj blanks from the kit, raw brass stampings I had on hand that I riveted with sterling wire following Tracy’s instructions.  The Fretz hammer worked like a dream and I think made all the difference.  These are still a bit rough!

Next, after watching the Tubing DVD, I decided to try a bracelet, but didn’t want the dangles, so I opted to streamline and make a bracelet bar with chain.  I had 1/4 inch copper tubing on hand, so that is what I used.

My 1st riveted bracelet!

 I flattened the tubing and textured it as in the instructions.  I opted to shape the ends, rather than folding over, as Tracy did in the DVD.  I was going to create the chain with my own links, but when I found this big copper rolo chain, I opted to use it instead, just adding my own sterling connector links and clasp.

Wow, the Fretz hammer even makes a great prop!!!

 I didn’t want this novice piece to be blingy…I knew it would be staying with me, and I don’t really do bling!  Mixed metals?  Yes, please 🙂  I decided to add 3 of my white copper metal clay components,,,2 flowers and a heart.  As you can see, they are askew, but Tracy says in the DVD, “you meant to do that”!

How it hangs on my wrist…don’t like the big jump rings at the sides….must. fix. 

I have to admit, these wire rivets were harder to do than I remembered from ages ago.  A couple of things I would take away from the DVD and Tracy’s other video…make sure your hole punch and wire match!  The wire should barely fit in the hole!  I made a few mistakes and am not showing the back side because of that!

I didn’t use the punch/rivet setter yet…I wanted to on the brass earrings I showed earlier, but rivets in the kit were not long enough.  Tracy also suggests using brass escutcheon pins/nails for taller stacks, but I didn’t have any in  my stash.

I lucked out and got a great discount on this set.  I think right now it is marked down to half price, but the DVD alone is a great resource.  Now, I am off to practice!

***Disclaimer…this is just my 2 cents on this kit!***

Melissa Meman

Melissa Meman is a mixed-media jewelry artist and owner of Melismatic Art Jewelry. She loves all things metal... fabrication, fold-forming, enameling, but has recently been drawn into metal clay and polymer clay! Her Melismatic Morsel line features pendants, charms, and more in all her favorite mediums. Melissa lives in Frederick, MD with her husband and son and dreams of retiring from her day job, and resorting to singing and hammering/finishing metal for a livelihood!
  1. Reply

    I think it looks lovely. The one time I tried copper tubing it was a total fail, I spent all the gas in my torch trying to anneal it, but it never become soft enough for me to flatten it

  2. Reply

    One of my very-first-ever classes at BeadFest Phila was a riveting class (no pun intended!) with the fabulous Tracy Stanley. I had never attempted anything like this befire (what's a rivet? I need a hammer?). She made the learning fun, easy, memorable..and yes, I 'definitely meant to do that!'. Tracy made me see little flaws a whole lot differently. Thank you for showing us your tubed version..it's so pretty!..I may need to run to the hardware store for a bit of my own tubing!

  3. Reply

    Melissa, this looks like a great set! All the tools you need to learn to rivet. This is one of the skills on my "bucket list" and you made the process sound like so much fun!

  4. Reply

    Great bracelet! I absolutely love riveting, even though it can be irritating at times;)

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