Tag Archives: Art Deco necklace

Advanced Class Round-Up!

So last night was the last official class of the advanced session.  There’s going to be another meeting next Monday, where we can just pay for studio time and finish up some things.  I’ll probably go, because I have an idea that involves a cross-peen hammer, which I don’t have (perhaps I can talk to Santa about this.)

Anyway.  Here’s what I’ve gotten done.  First, the Divorcee-inspired, art deco pendant:

norma4This practice one came out so much better than I hoped, although it has a few imperfections, and I never did make my own bail (that’s a piece of scrap tubing I slapped on there).  Someday when I have the money and the energy, I’m going to make a larger one out of 18 gauge silver so the layers really stick out dramatically.  Since I’m getting better at grinding and polishing with the flex shaft, I’ll probably round off the curves really nicely too, and make a chain out of square wire.  Meanwhile, I’m just going to wear this guy with a prefab chain.  Proudly!

Last night I put a little silver black on the top of my clasp to make the design pop.  Stuck it in the tumbler for a little more polishing, and now it’s done!

boxclasp2 boxclasp3Not too shabby, especially since I couldn’t figure out what the hell we were supposed to do the first couple weeks my teacher was talking about it.  If I get some Christmas cash, I’m going to go buy a string of beads to put on this.

And . . . the suitcase.  My lesson in patience and care.  He’s still ongoing.

suitcase3I did get the other hinge done last night, and fairly quickly, too, as the pieces were all cut and ready to go.  Then I found out I had to make them actually lay correctly against the back of the box, so I cut out some spaces for them with a grinding wheel (messy but useful) on the flex shaft.  They need a little cleaning up and squaring off, but the hinges fit and that’s cool.  I also sweat soldered a lip on the inside front, and might add one to each of the sides as well.  I’m getting to the point where I have to figure out which thing I want to do next–solder the hinges then the handle?  Add little wire clasps or no?  Rivet the corner protectors last?  The next class session isn’t until January, so I’ll have time to think and research, plus practice riveting.

Meanwhile, back to practicing wire work.  Maybe I’ll try wire-wrapping stones.  Someone wanted to commission me to do that recently, but I wasn’t sure I could do it properly–so yeah, let’s add that skill to the toolbox!




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Filed under metals, pendant, soldering

Wanna See You Sweat

I’m completely and utterly in love with the 1930s, at least from an aesthetic point of view. And I love the silly magic of classic M-G-M films, where the Cedric Gibbons sets are huge and full of wonderful things, the Adrian gowns are white satin cut on the bias, and Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer are the most beautiful people in the world.  And the jewelry!  Art deco . . . Egyptian revival . . . I don’t know what you’d call it, but pieces like this necklace rock my world: ssdivorcee42

The Divorcee.  See shadowsandsatin for more on the movie.

Last summer, when some people in class were making their own versions of silver jewelry they liked, this necklace came to mind.  I always wanted it . . . couldn’t I try my hand at it?  The only problem was, I never could get a very good look at it (I have the movie on VHS) and the picture above is the best still I’ve ever been able to find.  Perhaps that’s a good thing; I’ll just have to make it my own in some ways.

And so I’ve begun, using LibreOffice 4.1’s drawing program to make the basic shapes (hey, I use what I have).  Printed those out onto a sheet of address labels and stuck them on a practice piece of 20g copper.  Sawed them out and got this:

IMG_3221Okay.  The bail presents a problem, being wider horizontally than vertically.  I’d planned to fold it over somehow, but that’s going to be tough.  My teacher thinks I should just grab  a piece of tubing and cut 45 degree angles off the ends.  I could do it–I actually have a copper piece.  But I don’t have any silver tubing for the “real” version, and I can’t do any more spending right now.  Plus, why not meet the challenge?  There is a bracelet-bending thingamajig in the classroom, and it looked promising.  I even bent a few test pieces from the scrap bin, but on the actual bail? I ended up with a sloppy bend.

IMG_3238And this is why I’m making a copper version first.

I’m going to saw out that slightly wider piece this week (oh yeah, third dimension, duh) and maybe a few more like it.  Perhaps I’ll practice with mandrels and a small hammer until I make a good bail.  Maybe, too, I should try making one from a larger piece of copper, and not cutting off one long end until I’ve sanded, buffed, and bent the bail.  But . . . I might want to slightly dome the pendant, and having the bail already there might screw me up.  And when I make the silver version, I might not have enough extra silver sheet to do it that way . . . but . . . but . . . always a but!  I WILL figure this out.  I love puzzles, after all.

Meanwhile!  The body.  I sweat soldered the layers. Here it is, still uncleaned and with an annoying solder blorp that oozed out from under onto the topside.  WTF, solder? Why you play me like that?


This was maybe harder than it should have been because someone contaminated the flux jar with yellow ochre, and the only other flux was hardened dregs mixed with water.  Passable for regular soldering jobs, but not really for this.  My teacher handed me a bottle of some other kind of liquid flux (“for gold and silver”) that you can brush on after heating the piece.  It was ok, a little awkward, and as all the brushes around were dirty, I had to sort of dab it on with paper towel after the copper was reasonably cool.  I’ll make it a point to research this type of flux this week, although we should have more of the usual stuff by next time.  In any case, I had some trouble, but I knew I would.  Again, I’ll study and review and (fingers crossed) get it right when I do the silver one.

Because (high-pitched, 1930s Norma Shearer voice): “I’ve learned something!  And I WILL get it right, you can be sure of THAT!”

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Filed under necklace, practice