Archive for the ‘Jewelry’ Category

For this year’s Journées de la Culture (see also last year’s post), I went to the Centre des Métiers du Cuir, an art school specialized in leather works.

There, a student showed us how to stamp leather and tint it, to make a bracelet. The leather was already cut with a snap button attached. We could choose our stamping tools (I chose a round tool and a triangle tool to make a flower pattern). And then we could tint it with special water-based colouring.

Here’s what mine looked like:

Leather bracelet

Leather bracelet


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This is a project I made on September 27th, 2008, during the Journées de la Culture (Culture Days). The Journées de la Culture is a 3-day weekend around the end of September when cultural institutions open their doors to the public. There often are free shows, open houses and even workshops.

I always think I’m going to do so much during that week-end, but I’m so lazy, I usually end up doing one or two things.  This was one of the two I did this year.

Bronze leaf

Bronze leaf

It was a primitive casting workshop at the jewelry school of Montreal. Basically, what we had to do was to hollow a piece of plaster of Paris in a shape we wanted. We had to do a “negative” of what we wanted the piece to look like at the end. This was by far the longest part of the process. That, and choosing what deisgn or object to do! Then, we had to dig a hole for the top of the plaster piece in which we would pour the liquid bronze. Afterwards, the teachers helped us liquify the bronze pellets with a torch and pour it in the cast.

I had to cast my piece twice. The first time, the bronze cooled to fast and got caught in the pouring hole, not going all the way in the cast. After the second time, my cast broke…

A teacher then helped my polish my piece. It’s not quite done yet. She gave a bit of polishing paste to finish it at home, but then school got the best of me, and I haven’t had the time yet.

I asked to keep the “knob” (I’m not sure of the translation, they called it the bouton, which can literaly mean a lot of things like a button, a spot, a knob or a bud), which is the pouring hole filled up with bronze,  so I could wrap it in jewelry wire to make a pendant. Of course, the wrapping isn’t done either!

If you are insterested in learning how to do a primitive cast, check out your local jewelry school. If you are in Montreal, the jewelry school of Montreal offers professional classes (to become a professional jeweler) and introduction classes, open to everybody. Visit their website at http://www.ecoledejoaillerie.com/.


If you live in the province of Québec or visit us during the month of September, visit our cultural institutions during the Journées de la Culture.

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