Monday, 30 November 2009

Adventures in Jewellery Making Week Seven

After my experimentations with the rolling mill in my last lesson, I realised that I would have to use stronger card to make my stencil effective. I spent my half term week deciding on the final version of my design and had the stencil pre-cut and ready for the lesson so that I was able to get to work straightaway. My first task was to prepare the stencil so that it would fit through the rolling mill. Then I had to anneal the silver sheet that I had ready and pickle it to make sure it was clean. The next task was to use tiny scraps of masking tape to attach the sheet metal to the stencil. I originally put a lot of masking tape on but Nuala suggested that it might be more effective and would leave less patternation on the reverse of the pendant if I had less tape. I covered the stencil and sheet with normal printer paper and we all watched as it got sent through the rolling mill. The effect was perfect! The stencil stayed in place and the imprint was great! The only thing was that the sheet was very curved so I had to use a hide mallet to flatten the pendant. Unfortunately I had the bright idea of annealing the metal again to make sure that it was easier to flatten and I must have accidentally over heated the silver because part of the curtain now has a wrinkled look to it, which is a shame. However, I did say that I wanted this pendant to be about texture so I suppose it just adds more interest to the piece. My next task was to cut out the stage shape and file the edges. The piece really started to look good at that point and it was time to start making the stone setting. I am going to set an oval amethyst onto the piece and I used 5mm bezel wire, which I trimmed down to fit the stone and filed. I formed the bezel wire into an oval just a tiny bit larger than the stone that I am using with pliers and checked that the edges met together. This was the end of the lesson so I have had to leave the completion of my piece until next week. I will need to solder the bezel wire and set the stone and decide where to drill into the piece so that I can attach a chain. Nuala suggested that I add a loop onto the back rather than drilling into the metal so I will contemplate this and work out what I think will look best. I am also toying with the idea of piercing a pattern into the stage part but I’m not sure if this will ruin the surface of the piece. I will have to see how I feel next week!

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