Category:Jewelry Zone

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Zone Information
Zone Name Jewelry Zone
Status Active
Zone Slogan “Master new skills and have fun making something unique and beautiful!"
Zone Coordinator(s) Ann Marie McFadden
Zone Slack #jewelry-zone
Zone E-mail

Zone Color Orchid
Paypal Button Pay money to Jewelry Zone

Welcome to the Jewelry Zone!

Making jewelry is a great way to express your creativity, master new skills, and make really cool wearable items to keep, exhibit or give as gifts. The mission of the i3Jewelry Zone is to provide a safe, friendly environment where jewelry makers can develop and master their craft, share their expertise and have fun creating unique and beautiful jewelry.

The Jewelry Zone is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week to members who have been certified and are authorized to use the area and equipment. Like all areas in the i3Detroit Makerspace we aim to provide space, tools and support that is often difficult for a single individual to obtain on their own. For example, the Jewelry Zone offers a professional jeweler's bench and a Paragon SC-2 Jewelry kiln for enameling, glass and metal clay use. We also have a Durston rolling mill and a Foredom SD Rotary Flexshaft tool with a modest selection of bits. We also have a limited, but growing selection of hand tools like Jeweler’s pliers, saws and hammers. All are available on a 24/7 basis to *trained and authorized* members. A limited selection of materials like enamels, beads and metals are available for purchase at the Zone.

In addition to zone introduction and equipment training, classes offered include Basic Jewelry Making and an Introduction to Jewelry Enameling. Like most classes at i3, these classes will be taught by members for a nominal fee. As the interest in jewelry making and the number of jewelry making members increases, so will the class options and selection of tools and materials. All money raised through material purchases and donations will be reinvested into the Jewelry Zone in the form of new tools and materials. For example, someday in the not too distant future, we hope to purchase a hydraulic press and a set of high quality forming hammers.

Please note that all jewelry soldering (torch work) will take place in the Welding Shop and some metal work (including polishing/buffing) will take place in the Machine Shop (using buffs and polishes stored in the Jewelry Zone Cabinet). Be sure to contact the wardens of those areas if you have questions or need specific training/authorization on equipment in those zones.

Welding Shop Page

Machine Shop Page

Jewelry Making Quick Start Guide

So you can’t wait to get started on making jewelry? That’s understandable. Here is a list of steps to get you started…

  • Sign up for a class or arrange for a training session with one of the Jewelry Zone Coordinators.
  • Read the Safety, Ergonomic and Hazardous Materials Information below. Make sure you have a good general understanding and come back for specifics before you work on a particular project. Don’t let it scare you, the likelihood of injury is very small if you follow guidelines.
  • Decide what you would like to make. Starting with a simple project will help you master skills without becoming too frustrated. Look for inspiration on the Internet at Pinterest and other online sites, in museums, local galleries and art shows and all around you in nature, architecture and everyday objects.

Area Shut Down

  • Return all tools, equipment and materials to their “home” (usually in the Jewelry Zone Cabinet to the right of the workbench area)
  • Please consider the materials you have used and the cost of Zone upkeep and make a donation to cover costs
  • Make a note on the shopping list if any materials are running out
  • Clear off the workbench, wipe down all surfaces and sweep the floor
  • Check the pickle pot and to make sure it is off
  • Turn off overhead lights
  • Lock the Jewelry Zone Cabinet. Also, put lockout cases over the kiln cord and Foredom Cord and attach the padlocks.
  • Make sure the kiln is off. If it is still hot, make sure that the “Hot Kiln” sign is up and visible.
  • If you are soldering in the welding area, remember to use all appropriate shut down procedures for that zone, including making sure all gas tanks are properly shut off
  • If you have used the rolling mill clean and lubricate the rollers by putting some 3 in 1 oil (in the jewelry cabinet) onto a paper towel and hold the towel against the rollers while turning the handle. This will protect the rollers from rusting and pitting.
  • The rolling mill should be covered at all times. Dust will cause pitting


  • List with prices here* Under Construction


There are many ways to make jewelry. Like any craft, jewelry involves tools, materials and techniques that even with proper use, can pose safety issues. Read the following and use common sense. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety, for not endangering the safety of others and for reminding others about proper safety behavior. ALWAYS MAKE SAFETY YOUR FIRST PRIORITY.

  • TAKE BREAKS. It is easy to get completely focused on what you are doing and lose track of time when working on a project. Take regular breaks and ask yourself, " Am I hungry, thirsty, tired or uncomfortable?" If the answer is “yes" to any of these, be sure to take care of your needs by eating, hydrating, resting and/or walking and stretching. Be aware of when you become too tired to continue working. Pushing past that point often leads to accidents, injuries and ruined projects. And by all means, do not work on jewelry if you are in an altered state such as under the influence of alcohol or drugs (with the possible exception of drawing designs).
  • DRESS FOR COMFORT AND SAFETY. Dress comfortably. If you will be using a torch or other sources of high heat, wear non-flammable materials like cotton and wool. Polyester and nylon can melt and burn. Take off all jewelry, tie back your hair and avoid wide sleeves, scarves and any other dangling or flowing garments that could get caught in machinery, dip into liquids, or ignite when hanging into flame. This is particularly important when using automated machinery like the Foredom Flexshaft, grinder or buffing machine. Hair and other items can get caught in machinery and may result in scalp removal, loss of limbs, other injuries or worse.
  • PROTECT YOUR EYES. While working with metals and other materials small bits can go flying, particularly when power tools are involved. Always wear safety glasses when using tools - powered or manual. Tools under stress (ex. hammering) can sometimes chip or break, sending pieces flying. Regular safety glasses can be found in the Jewelry Zone Cabinet and in the central tool crib. Wear them. Even small particles landing in your eye can be very painful and cause permanent damage.
When working with a bright light, such as when soldering, welding or looking into the kiln, use proper eye protection against the bright light and ultraviolet rays. You will be preventing cataracts and other threats to your vision. There is a pair of #3 welding goggles next to the jewelry kiln that are intended to be worn when looking in the kiln. If you are TIG, MIG or Arc welding you should be wearing a welding helmet. If you are using oxygen/acetylene welding then you should be wearing a pair of gas welding goggles or a dark face shield.
Consider using an Optivisor or other magnifying aid to assist your eyes when working. Being able to see more detail will reduce stress on your eyes and body and also improve the quality of your work. There is a light with a magnifying lens on the bench in the Jewelry Zone.
  • PROTECT YOUR EARS. Loud noise, particularly loud repetitive noise over a period of time, is one of the leading causes of deafness in older adults. When using loud equipment (like the grinder) or when doing noisy procedures (such as hammering metal) wear ear plugs or earmuffs designed to protect your hearing. You’ll be glad that you can still enjoy music and hold a conversation when you are older.
  • PROTECT YOUR LUNGS. You should always work with good ventilation to insure fresh air and elimination of toxins. There is a fan above the laser cutter that can be used to move air near the Jewelry Zone. The one exception is when you want to keep that air still to avoid moving fine particulate around the shop (for example, enamels). Always wear a respirator or face mask appropriate for the type of work that you are doing.
There are generally two type of airborne dangers to your lungs to be conscious of when making jewelry. Each requires different safety protection. The first is fine particles (particulate). Particles are generated when cutting, grinding, sanding and/or polishing materials. Inhaling powdered airborne metal can lead to serious health problems. Some materials like enamels (powdered glass) can also cause health problems and are already in the form of fine particulate.
To avoid getting particulate airborne, use wet methods when possible (wet sanding, wet packing of enamels, etc). This will limit the amount of particulate that becomes airborne. If wet methods are not practical, check to see if dust collection or downdraft air vents are available for your machine or process (for example when using the buffer or grinder in the Metal Shop). A shop vac with a HEPA filter can be used as a temporary dust collection device. When neither wet methods or dust collection is appropriate or and/or available for your project take the following precautions: Use small amounts of materials when possible (example enamels); make sure local fans are off so the particulate cannot be moved around in the air; and work outside when possible.
IMPORTANT: Always wear a mask/respirator that is appropriate for the type of particulate you are using or creating with your process. At the least it is recommended that you use a N95 rated mask. Consider P100 rated masks for even smaller particulate (example: glass powders).
The second most common airborne danger to your lungs are fumes, aerated oils and other airborne chemicals. Particulate masks are not enough protection from these lung hazards. Chemical cartridge/gas mask respirators are appropriate for these types of hazards and they come with different cartridges depending upon the nature of the hazard. There are only a few processes in jewelry making that may require this type of protection. Most of them involve chemicals for surface coloration (for example, patinas), adhesives (for example epoxy) and other chemicals. Know what materials and chemicals you are using, read the labels and check out the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Be sure to follow the safety guidelines listed.
  • PROTECT YOUR HANDS. Your hands are your best tools. To take care of them, remember to wear appropriate gloves when handling materials that are acidic, caustic, or just plain irritating. Read the labels of all chemicals to determine if gloves should be worn. Avoid wearing gloves when using machinery that could get caught on your gloves and pull your hand into the mechanism. Read the safety guidelines for each machine to determine whether or not wearing gloves is a good idea.
  • PROTECT YOUR FEET. Wear closed toe shoes when working in the Jewelry Zone, preferably made of leather. This will protect your feet in case something drops on them. Leather is less likely to burn if exposed to high heat.
  • DO NOT POISON YOURSELF OR OTHERS. This may seem like a “no brainer”, but taking precautions in order to avoid ingesting (eating) work materials is important. Always wash your hands after working and before handling food. Do not eat in the work area as dust and residue (i.e. metal dust, enamel powder, etc.) can transfer to your food. Always make sure that items are clearly labelled so they can not be mistaken for eatable materials (for example, cleaning solutions vs. bottled water).

Jewelry Making Safety Resources

””VIDEO Jewelry Studio Safety | Jewelry Tips with Nancy”””

””VIDEO Studio Safety by JMW”””

ARTICLE A jewelry workshop safety report: Safety and Substitutes by Charles Lewtin-Brain

ARTICLE "General Respiratory Protection Guidance for Employers and Workers” OSHA Bulletin

ARTICLE "How to Choose a Respirator or Dust Mask" by Julie Day

BOOK "The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide" by Monona Rossol.

BOOK "Health Hazards Manual for artists"

BOOK "Artist Beware” by Michael McCann


PAY ATTENTION TO ERGONOMICS. Jewelry making often requires working with small objects in a limited space at close range for many hours. This can be an ergonomic recipe for disaster. In addition to taking frequent walk/stretch breaks, be sure to optimize your body position while working. Many adjustable chairs and stools are available at i3 are available for your use. When possible, choose a stool/chair that allows you to place your feet on the ground with your knees at approximately a 90 degree angle. The item(s) you are working on should be at a height that allows you to work with your neck, shoulders and arms relaxed. Do not work “in the air”. Use appropriate material support (clamps, bench pin, vice, etc) to provide yourself with secure place for your tools and materials and a work position that is relaxed and at the same time gives you adequate control. If you notice an area tensing up (for example, your shoulders heading toward your ears), take a moment to thoroughly relax and reassess your position and the set up of your work. Use magnifying aids when necessary. Your body is your most complex and critical tool. Take care of it.

Jewelry Ergonomics Resources

VIDEO Setting Up Your Bench by Rio Grande with Mark Nelson

ARTICLE Ergonomics for Jewelry Makers by Jean Wilson

ARTICLE How You Move, Sit and Stand: Ergonomics by Charles Lewton-Brain

Hazardous Materials


  • KNOW WHAT MATERIALS YOU ARE USING AND ANY HAZZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. Study all manufacturer instructions, user manuals and material data sheets. Ask questions when you have them (

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) can be accessed from this page and found at the following site(s)…



Training and Authorization

How to become authorized to use the Jewelry Zone

  • Description of certification process. Under Construction.

List of Trained Users

Jewelry Zone Trained List

List of Trainers

Jewelry Zone Trainers List

Tools and Equipment

Respect and maintain the equipment - it will work better, last longer, give you better results and be less likely to cause accidents

  • Read the manuals and pay particular attention to the safety tips
  • ASK if you are uncertain about something or have any questions about operating a piece of equipment
  • Attend group training or ask for a personal lesson in using each piece of equipment.

Jewelry Zone Equipment

Foredom Flexshaft

The most important things to remember when using the Foredom Flexshaft are:

“”Foredom Flexshaft Owners Manual””

“”Foredom Basics Training Videos”"

“"Other Useful Foredom Related Videos””

“""Foredom Flex Shaft -””"

“""Using Flexible Shaft Machines - CoolToolsVideos””"

“”"The Flex Shaft and it's Many Uses | Jewelry Tips with Nancy Hamilton”””

Paragon SC2 Jewelry Kiln

The most important things to remember when using the SC2 Jewelry Kiln are:

“”Paragon SC2 Jewelry Kiln Owners Manual””

“” Sentry Xpress 4.0 3-Key Digital Controller: Single Segment and Ramp-Hold Manual””

“"Other Useful SC2 Kiln and Digital Controller Related Videos””

Jewelry Hand Tools

We have the following hand tools and are working to increase the number and diversity of available tools (see donations).

  • Jeweler’s saw with a variety of blades
  • Jeweler’s pliers: round nose, flat nose, chain, large nylon flat nose,
  • Small wire sized drill bits.
  • Small selection of bits for the Foredom rotary tool
  • Kiln tools and equipment: Kiln “furniture” (shelf and posts), 2 small kiln spatulas, i large kiln “fork” (for removing materials), 2 steel kiln “grates” for delivering enamels to and from the kiln, #3 welding goggles for eye protection when looking the the kiln,
  • Under construction
  • As tools are added, please update this section

Donations and Wish List


i3Detroit is a 5013b non-profit and donations are usually tax deductible (check with your C.P.A. to be sure). We exist entirely on membership fees and donations and are always looking for generous contributions of tools, materials and money. Some of our tools and equipment belong to individual members who keep them at the space for use by the entire community.

Jewelry Zone Wish List

New or used, but of good quality and condition…

  • Jewelry hydraulic press
  • Accessories for jewelry hydraulic press
  • Foredom bits and accessories
  • Quality files in steel and diamond surfaces
  • Metal stamps
  • Jewelers bench(es)
  • Good quality forming and texturing hammers
  • Forming tools
  • Jewelers pliers, saws and other hand tools
  • Jeweler’s Miter Vise
  • Sheet metal and wire in non-ferrous metals (copper, brass, silver, etc)
  • Jewelry solder (soft, med, hard and IT)
  • Cut stones and glass cabochons for setting
  • Metalsmithing and jewelry making books
  • Tumbler and polishing media


^^click the title to edit the todo^^

The following list is an attempt to offer up suggestions of tasks that could be accomplished throughout the space by people interested in helping out.

Feel free to take charge of one or more of these items as your time and expertise allow. If you have taken charge of a task, please put your name into the field next to the task.

Should you run out of time or ability to complete a task, make sure to post on the mailing list and "fail loudly". This ensures that task status is shared, and no task languishes in silent failure.

  1. REDIRECT Jewelry Zone TODO

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