Monday, 30 November 2009

Adventures in Jewellery Making Week Nine

My confidence has grown hugely this week as I took another jewellery making class with Kelvin J. Birk on Sunday and made quite a few pieces under my own steam. It was fun to be able to make ideas into reality without worrying too much about the perfection of the finish and I think it was particularly valuable to see how a budget jewellery-making studio would work. I am now confident that I could solder and pickle in the flat so this will free me up brilliantly after Christmas as I will be able to take more regular commissions. I’m really excited about setting up my silver shop in January. I am going to plan in my Christmas break so that I can set it up with a flourish all guns blazing. I set an amethyst stone in my stage pendant to finish it. This was done with a setting tool, small mallet and vice where the setting tool has a flat edge so that when gripped in the vice you can hammer the edge over the stone so that it is flush with the gem and prevents the stone from coming loose. I think I could have done with filing the top most edges of the bezel wire a little bit more and I would certainly do this on my next stone setting but that is all part of the learning process. I polished the pendant using Tripoli and rouge. I don’t like the finish as much when compared with using the polishing barrel but I guess that the design may have been destroyed had it been put in the barrel. I think I will use acetate for my stencils for the rolling mill in the future. I have a feeling they might be reusable in this medium. Will have to see in time. I have begun to work on my medieval village bracelet and have hammered the individual castle shapes. I am just waiting for my little sapphires to arrive and then I will set the little stained glass windows and drill the holes so that I can link the buildings together. I am particularly taken with one castle shape and I would like to make a pendant of this. I am keen to experiment with oxidising silver too so I will have to see how this range turns out once it has been truly developed. I have also ordered myself a diamond and I am really looking forward to making myself a diamond ring. It is only very tiny so I don’t think it will take too long to make although I suppose that just because something is small doesn’t mean it is easy to make. Sometimes the opposite is true!

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