Monday, 16 August 2010

A Taste of Silver (Post 9)

Silversmithing is something that is quite new to me, and is definitely something that I'll be experimenting with.  It is something that lends itself to 'uniqueness' - as you know,  a word I like to use!  There's something quite satisfying starting with a sheet of precious metal, or length of wire and manipulating it into a work of art.  

This is my first ever silver pendant.  My own design, (quite easy to do I thought ...) surprisingly however it was quite fiddly to shape.  I'm told it gets easier!  
The piece was drawn freehand using tracing paper and wax to transfer the pattern.  I then cut it using a piercing saw, (well after a few broken blades that is!!).  After cutting, it was filed and shaped, burnished ... conditions the silver and helps it to shine.  It was then further polished.  A true work of art.  It was enough for me to be bitten by the bug.  Its just great, having so many techniques to draw upon. 

Charm Bracelet

 I hope I never lose the 'excitement' that I felt when developing these new skills.  This charm bracelet was made from silver wire.  Each link end was made into a 'ball' using a blowtorch ... that was fun, watching the silver run up the wire and form a ball, whilst making sure you didn't hold the flame too long and risk it dropping off ...

I decided the links would look that little bit fancier if I flattened them.  So, with a couple of careful swings of a hammer ... they were well and truly flattened.  

Then again, from the wire, jump rings were made, which were flattened and soldered.  Everything had to be 'pickled' to get rid of the flame marks and the discolouration.  

Then the fun part ... assembling all of the links to the rings and finally, making the clasps.  The bracelet was then 'tumbled' for that extra shine and hey presto - a beautiful charm bracelet.

Oh, I must show you my wire-wrapped pebble next time.  

Hope you've signed up for Laura's competition - see Post 8.  Its going to be a tough call, because her work is so beautiful, EVERYBODY wants to win.  But as they say, 'you have to be in to win'  - so go and treat yourself.  The draw takes place on Wednesday, I believe?

(Just remembered, I now have a 'slow cooker' tucked away in my wardrobe - well sort of, I couldn't fit it in, because of the pasta machine I'm also hiding upstairs! - The slow cooker is my secret weapon for 'pickling' ... I know, its a funny old world).

Keep watching, and I'll keep blogging!



  1. WOW, you have so many tallents! I can't wait to see the wire-wrapped pebble, which is something I want to have a go at in the very near future...if you have any tips or know of any good tutorials please pass them on ;)


  2. Mick,
    Thank you for your confidence in me! I'm an avid reader - and pick up lots of tips this way and searching the internet. I'll have a think about adding relevant jewellery links and tips etc to the blog.

    Thank you for your comments.

  3. Hi there Charters,

    I really admire the fact that you are getting out there and learning your craft. Your bracelet is lovely. Keep up the good work


  4. Stunning work Charters, your talents go on and on! WOW

  5. Debbie,
    Thanks for following, love your blog - you have some great bead work!

    Bedecked Beads,
    Always good to have your support.

    Thank you both ...


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