Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Learning to Setup the Rolling MillSo I bought a rolling mill. What next? Learning all about it of course!

Learning to use your tools properly is so important! So once the Rolling Mill had been mounted properly on a sturdy table (it is a heavy piece of kit! Weighs 28 kg.) it was time to get to know its various parts and how they slot in together.

Some of the steps in learning to set up the rolling mill

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

The first job was to open it all up and see what part was what.  There are so many different bits that are screwed together to make up the tool.

I took off the gears, those two round things and the one with handle on top. That is the easy bit. They just slide off. Then the screws have to be taken off. Thankfully it comes with the right spanners. And Mr A has a collection of spanners and ratchets in the right size too. If you don’t, they are not too expensive to buy.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

After I had worked out how to use the spanner properly and removed the screw I took the top off.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

The Rolling Mill arrives with a thick coating of heavy duty grease. Make sure you have a roll of kitchen towel handy to wipe off the grease as you go along. Don’t do this wearing nice clothes!

Taking the the top off it exposes the top roller, which is a plain roller. Be careful not to scratch the rollers as any marks could (probably will) transfer to the metal when you roll it.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Taking out the top smooth roller carefully. Make sure you have enough space around you to put these down safely. And don’t forget, these are rollers and will happily roll off the table so put it in a cardboard box, drawer or a tray.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Changing the roller to one of the patterned rollers that came with the rolling mill.

Contents of the pack:

My Rolling Mill has 7 rollers: • 2 plain rolls for sheet rolling • 2 wire rolls for wire drawing • 1 roll with cross checks and flat checks • 1 roll with dull and lining • 1 roll with v groove and half round

Plain rolls are already installed in the machine and the rest came individually packed and sealed in little cardboard boxes. There is a generous grease / oil  coating which had to be wiped off with paper kitchen towel. In the picture above I have installed the cross & flat checks roller.

Once I had installed the roller I put it all back together and it worked! 🙂

I have not really used the patterned or wire rolls yet, it will happen another time. I will need practice in using the wire rolls. After I had checked that the patterned roller was setup correctly I opened the mill up again and put it back with the plain roller.

I have had a few sessions and rolled some patterned paper and stickers through the rolling mill so far and made some jewellery. I have a whole lot of things in my stash box that I will try rolling to create more pieces.

One of the first pieces I made using the Rolling Mill – Handmade Paper Texture Earrings 

If you are thinking of buying a Rolling Mill there are several models available to choose from

Handmade Paper Texture Earrings 

Paper Texture Earrings made using my new Rolling Mill. I cut the copper sheet into discs and rolled it through the Mill to print the texture.

Really pleased with the result 🙂

Paper Texture Earrings


I bought a sheet of handmade paper recently and rolled the copper discs with the paper to create these handmade paper texture earrings. I have more of this paper and will be creating more pieces of jewellery using this pattern. I am currently sawing some flower shapes from more the paper texture printed copper sheet I rolled in through the mill.

View in my online Shop: Handmade Paper Texture Copper Earrings | Shalini Austin: Metalsmith

YAY! I Bought a Rolling Mill!

Rolling Mill installed on my workbench New Toy! I bought a Rolling Mill and I am so excited! 😀

Another view of Rolling Mill installed on my workbenchThanks to the wonderful customers who shopped in my online shop and at the ESC Artists Market in June I was finally able to buy a small Rolling Mill. It will help me create new textures and patterns on my jewellery and sculptures.

I will post more about it as I get to know it better.

First two pieces made with my new toy:

Copper Earrings: Handmade Paper Texture
Copper Earrings: Polka Dots Texture

There are lots of different Rolling Mills available to buy online. Have a Look!

Felt Bird & Copper Feather Bookmark: Made to Order 

Felt Bird Bookmarks made to Order in Lincolnshire by Esha – an art collaboration between felt artist Eve Marshall & Me. Each bird is needle felted by Eve and attached to the feather shaped textured copper sheet. Great gift for book lovers. 

Felt Bird and Copper Feather Bookmarks

Thinking of gift ideas for Christmas? Why not commission a felt bird bookmarks online: Felt Bird & Copper Feather Bookmark: Made to Order | Shalini Austin: Metalsmith

Air-Chased Copper Pendants

I have added three new air-chased copper pendants to my online shop recently. Each piece has been individually hand forged using air-chasing and texturing techniques in my home studio in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Air-Chased Copper Pendant on Torc Necklace
Air-Chased Copper Pendant on Torc Necklace

Air-chased Copper Pipe Pendant on Torc Necklace
Air-chased Copper Pipe Pendant on Torc Necklace

Air-Chased Copper Pendant on Handmade Chain
Air-Chased Copper Pendant on Handmade Chain

My previous air-chased pieces have all been on a waxed cotton cord. Feedback from customers and stockists is that a ready made necklace or chain is preferred to cotton cords so I will be adding more of these to the new pieces.  I am going to play with a few more ideas for the chains and update existing pendant listings to offer the option of the torc necklace on pieces already in the shop.

I will of course still offer the option of waxed cotton cords or ready-made organza necklaces for anyone who would prefer those.

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Read more about my air-chased design adventures

Copper Cuffs – Air-Chased & Fold-Formed

Last week-end I spent some time making more one-off copper cuffs. It was a LOT of fun 🙂 And the finished pieces have definitely put a smile on my face. I hope you like them too! 

I made a series of social media posts as I crafted these pieces. This is what I plan to do with all new work I create so you might want to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see pictures of my work as they happen. I have copied the posts I made below with the images.  

All three Cuffs have now been added to my shop and can be purchased on-line. I accept commissions and will be happy to create a piece for you. If the size you want is not available the shop please do get in touch to have a piece made especially for you.

Fold Formed and Air-Chased cuffs are individually crafted in my studio and no two pieces are ever identical. 

Air Chasing Copper Pipe

Air chasing Copper sheet to create another ‘Lunar’ cuff bracelet.

Making good progress on the Air-chased Copper Cuff.

I have also started a fold-formed cuff bracelet.

air chasing and fold forming
fold forming

Fold Formed Copper Cuff coming up nicely

2 Cuffs ready for pickle.

I have some copper pipe I want to work on next so I will get back to this later.

air chasing and fold forming
copper cuffs in the pickle

3 copper cuffs and a pendant in the pickle pot getting cleaned.

I will take these out in a few minutes and make it nice and shiny using a wire brush and then think about patina

Weekend work just out of liver of sulphur.

Now I will spend some time buffing and cleaning and then they will be ready

liver of sulphur patina
copper cuffs

And finished!

I am so pleased with the new cuffs I made over the weekend

Tools you will need for air chasing and fold forming:
Jeweller’s vice

ESC Artists Summer Market 2017

Felt & Copper at ESC Artists Market in Stamford on 11 June 2017

Oh What a day at the ESC Artists Market!

Fantastic support for our Artists Market held at Stamford Arts Centre on 11 June.

Great sales, wonderful comments and so much support for local artists. It just makes all the hard work worthwhile 🙂

Some photos from the show to give you an idea of the amazing arts, crafts and gift-ware that was displayed ta the show.

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Fold Formed Copper Cuff “Saree” | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith

“Saree” Wide Fold Formed Copper Cuff. Individually Crafted, One-Off Fold Form Bracelets

Source: Fold Formed Copper Cuff “Saree” | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith

Etched Copper Bracelet with Indian Agate Beads | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith

Etched Copper Bracelet with Indian Agate Beads. Elegant Bead Bracelet in Copper

Source: Etched Copper Bracelet with Indian Agate Beads | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith

Fold Formed Copper Cuff 14 | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith

Fold Formed Copper Cuff, Handmade in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Source: Fold Formed Copper Cuff 14 | Shalini Austin: Artisan Metalsmith