I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time:  put together some silver scrap bits into an interesting pendant.  I even had enough for two, which is nice if you’re afraid you’ll ruin one, like I am.  This first one has been cleaned up in the polisher but needs a bit of Mizzy wheel action to get out the rough bits and solder blorps.  And I think a bit of silver black is called for to bring out the stamping and such.


(If you don’t recognize/remember where some of these pieces came from, here’s a trip down memory lane:)

lapisfail moonstoneandclouds braceletfails

Number two also turned out really well, although I wish I’d thought to fix up some of the edges before I soldered everything together; sometimes I get to class and am so eager to get things done that I forget stuff like that. This one is also exciting because it turned out to be a pretty decent backing for my tube-setting practice.  This time I burred out the tube straight and proper (I think last time the problem was I was holding the tube against a slanted v-board, which made for a slanted hole.)  I also used Bur Life instead of beeswax for lube; I’m not trying to hype a product here, but the horrible horrible noise was much less this time.  That’s something to remember.




I might want to clean this up a bit and put just a wee bit more solder around the tube before I set the CZ and polish this.

Some scraps for this one come from excess roll-milled silver, including leftover from these two projects:

squareprogress opalringsanded


And finally, since I brought this up:

lapisfailI cut two long pieces of square wire and made an appropriate notch in each of them to make right angles.  This time I looked it up in Tim McCreight’s Fundamentals of Metalsmithing and learned that a good way to do this is to start with a triangular file to get a nice groove going without a lot of sliding/scratching around.  Then switch to a square file and saw in until you can see a sort of bump on the reverse side.  Then you can fold and solder your angle.

right angles filingI have two pieces of scrap wood screwed together; one sticks up higher than the other.  This is useful for holding the wire against while working.

Here’s what I have so far.  Yes, I need to straighten the wires a bit, and yes, there is excess to be snipped.

lapisset1My teacher gave me some suggestions for corner prongs; I’m not quite sure what’s the best way yet.  Probably doubled-over round wire that can go around the corners in little V shapes.

Oh, and I did do some at-home riveting practice this week!  I’ll go on about that tomorrow.





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Filed under metals, pendant, practice, soldering, stones/gems

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