5 Popular Metalsmithing Techniques for Jewellery Making

| 4 min read

Metalsmithing is the process of creating jewellery through the manipulation of various metals. Sterling Silver is used most often in the jewellery making process; other popular metals include Copper, Brass and Steel, as well as more luxurious metals such as White Gold and Platinum.

Metalsmithing is an age-old technique and is one of the first metalworking methods. It can sometimes only need basic tools, but always requires a masterful skillset.

A range of metalsmithing techniques are used when it comes to creating fine jewellery. Our in-house designers work tirelessly to make the most exquisite gemstone jewellery pieces for you to cherish, and there are several ways in which it can be achieved. So, to give you an insight into how our jewellery is made, we’ve compiled a list of the most common metalsmithing techniques.


18K Gold

Annealing is the process of heating metal to reduce its stress. This can be done with either a torch or kiln, and is used to soften the metal before bending it. This makes it easier to shape the metal, and also decreases the chances of damaging it. When metal is annealed it turns darker – also known as ‘oxidising’.

After the metal is heated, it must be quenched. Once the metal is red (when it’s reached a critical temperature), the heat must be removed from it to eliminate any risk of melting. Therefore, it must be put into cold water.

This annealing process can be repeated several times with one piece of metal, as there is no limit to the number of times a metal can be heated and manipulated to form a certain shape.

Chasing & Repoussé

Gold Plated

As two techniques often used alongside each other, chasing and repoussé are two of the oldest metalsmithing techniques in the world.

Chasing, which involves creating a design on metal from the front side by hammering it, comes from the French word ‘chasser’, meaning ‘to chase’. Repoussé, however, refers to the art of pushing the metal up from its back side. Repoussé comes from the French word for ‘push up’.

Although mostly used alongside each other, these two techniques can also be performed separately.



Forging, a traditional jewellery-making technique, involves using controlled hammering to shape the metal.

A solid piece of metal is first heated, then hammered until it forms the shape and size required for the jewellery piece. The shape of this metal is then filed and bent to create a completed piece.

As well as jewellery, the forging method can also be used to make other metal objects such as weaponry.



This technique is one of the fastest ways of shaping metal, and involves pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.

Sinking refers to hammering a piece of metal into a hemisphere-shaped die in order to create dome-like forms. These semicircle shapes can then be used to create jewellery pieces such as pendants, bracelets and even earrings.

The Sinking method has a variety of alternative names, including ‘dishing’ and doming’.


Rose Gold

Soldering is a common technique to join metals together with the use of heat and another metal alloy called solder.

A small piece of solder is placed on the metal join and heated; when cooled, the bond between the metals strengthens and fixes into place.

Most metals can be soldered, particularly Sterling Silver and Gold, as well as Brass and Copper.

White Gold

Metalworkers work incredibly hard to create the top-quality pieces of jewellery we bring to your doorstep. To learn exactly what goes into the art of creating and shaping metal for jewellery, Kate Farron Richbourg’s book Metalsmithing Made Easy, available through Jewellery Maker, explains everything from soldering to stone setting. Or, if you’d like to see everything that Jewellery Maker has to offer, join them on Sky channel 674 every day from 8am til 1pm, or watch online here.

The metal a jewellery piece is made from is just as important as the gemstones included in it; therefore, just as much thought should be involved in choosing the right metal for you.


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