Thursday, 17 July 2014

Crafting the Image of Elizabeth I Part Two

After soldering, pieces can often look completely hopeless. Sometimes I think I've completely destroyed something until I've pickled (cleaned in a weak acid) and polished it. Below you can see that Elizabeth looks quite mucky and not particularly regal!

After a lot of elbow grease and polishing with sandpapers of various grades, the design becomes clearer and the brooch starts to looks much more wearable. Although the brooch in the photo below has clearly been polished a lot, it still needs a lot of work. I use 240 grade emery paper to take away any fire stains and then work down to finer grades of paper such as 1000 and sometimes even 2000 to get that high shine. It takes a lot of time but at least you can do this whilst watching a film! In fact, sometimes I find that I associate pieces forever with what I've watched whilst polishing them! Today it was The Simpsons. Perhaps I should have watched something a little more historical?

Finally, this is the finished brooch (below). It has been polished to a very high shine. The detailing is clear and I'm pretty pleased with the result! I would like to see if I could make a smaller version to have as earrings and perhaps as cufflinks or a pendant? This is a basic version and I could set gemstones and make more elaborate ruffs as well, which might be fun!

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