Riveting is such a great jewellery making technique. I used it a lot when I was a student/recent graduate as it was a great way to avoid soldering! I also loved the mechanical quality of rivets as opposed to the glueing type of technique that soldering is. And apparently rivets are one of the oldest types of fasteners and date back to the bronze age so they have a healthy provenance!
Riveting is a type of ‘cold-joining’ technique, so called because there is no torch involved (you do need a torch to anneal your rivet wire but no one ever mentions that!) Other types of cold joining used in jewellery are screws, tabs, knots and even bezels as the metal is worked cold over the gemstone. The process of riveting involves drilling matching holes in whatever it is that needs to be joined then sliding a rod or piece of wire through the holes and forming a head on either side to clamp the two pieces together.
Because there is no heat involved in making the connection, it is a perfect technique to use when making jewellery from materials that don’t solder such as: plastic, wood, aluminium, titanium, rubber, fabric, etc. They are also an excellent way to incorporate movement in a piece of jewellery and sometimes they’re good to use when you just want the decorative element that riveting gives.
So, if you’d like to learn how to rivet or even if you know how and you want to update and extend your jewellery making skills, our Upskilling: Riveting! course starts next week! It’s only two sessions for $175 on a Wednesday night and we have two big gas heaters to keep us warm (as well as endless cups of tea and anzac biscuits).
I will be the tutor of the course and we will be covering standard rivets, flush rivets, tube rivets, ball-headed rivets, extended rivets and others. Have a look below at some examples (click the images for source).