Monday, 17 January 2011

4 pairs of earrings and a necklace!

After practising my silversmithing techniques since getting back to London after Christmas, I finally made some of my more usual jewellery when we went back to Somerset over the weekend. I made a lovely necklace - all mauve and pearls and sparkly crystals - it really is pretty and lovely to wear. Took me a long time to wire wrap all the stones and crystals. I also made 4 pairs of earrings. I have just put them all on the website but will post the pictures on this blog as well.
Rained so much this morning I had to dragg S&M down the road to the park. The only way I can get Megan to move is by running and then she runs with me - otherwise she stands and shivers and digs her heels in!
I have so many ideas in my design notebook that I can't wait to make. Don't know where to start. Have to pick up my hallmarked items on Wednesday so will have to do something with those. It's all go!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Happy New Year! The joys of stone setting

Back in London now. Having made 4 sterling silver bangles and 4 rings, I decided to try setting a gemstone in a ring. Have been using my new book, Jewellery Making - a complete course for beginners by Jinks McGrath - very much recommended for an introduction to silversmithing. I bought a couple of amethyst cabochons - 4mm - big mistake as they are so tiny. I decided to use a 6mm purple zircona instead. Made a ring band from sterling silver sheet and hammered it. Not too bad apart from the fact that it started to melt and I had to file some off the top! I then had to make a bezel cup from bezel wire. I made that, so I now have two rings in effect. Both soldered with hard solder. Then I had to solder a silver backing sheet to the bezel with medium solder and saw round it making a small bezel cup. (found out later that you can buy them in Cookson's for about £1!) My cup then has to be soldered to the ring with easy solder which has a lower melting point than hard and medium solder which means the other joints will not unsolder. Are you still with me? That worked fine. Then I had to fit the stone. - it was a very tight fit and I struggled. Richard had to help and eventually managed to push the bezel top over to hold the stone in place. It looks OK and is wearable but I won't put anything on this site unless it is perfect and it isn't - see picture. So I am keeping it for myself. With all the time it took to make it I would have to charge about a million pounds for it.
I have now got another book from Amazon about art clay called Magical Metal Clay Jewellery by Sue Heaser - another wonderful book with amazing things in it. I have a 20g pack of slow dry silver art clay so I will make some things with that to attach to a ring or bangle - watch this space. See picture of the art clay pendants I made recently that are waiting to be hallmarked.
S&M are doing fine - I am letting their fur grow as it's so cold - they look very cute.