The fun part about the jewellery making classes, are that as a returning learner, you get to work on whatever project you like. I’ve been trying to get inspiration for my own designs and so far with only etching, soldering and shaping metal under my belt, there’s only so many designs I can get etched onto my pieces that I’d be proud to give away as gifts or to sell to interested parties. So far, while waiting to start the stone setting class in a couple of weeks’ time, I’ve been adding more pieces to my sterling silver filigree lily collection.
My etched sterling silver filigree lily ring, before oxidisation
I prefer the look of my sterling silver pieces oxidised, it gives a clearer contrast between the black, oxidised lines of the design to the shine of the sterling silver ring itself. The ring was shaped, soldered and put in the pickle, so it’s still in its pickled state.
Since I started working with sterling silver, I’ve been fascinated by the white colour the metal becomes after the pieces have been in the pickle. Sadly it seems once it’s polished, that white colour fades, otherwise I am quite fascinated by the white colour patina that can appear on a precious metal. I’ve now oxidised the ring and all that’s left is to polish it to give it a matching matte finish to my other pieces.
For a high shine polish, you could either clean it off with a low grade (ie low level abrasion) sanding paper, or you could get yourself a polishing barrel like this one from Cookson Gold for a high shine finish.
I’ve also made friendship/relationship/family necklace set, similar to the sterling silver filigree lily earrings I made last term, except these are of a slightly larger size but can be worn by family members or friends who want to wear one necklace each as a sign of their close relationship with each other.
I haven’t yet taken any photos of the etched pendants, but will post them up soon.
Another wee project I started that I’m quite excited about are the paw print charms I first introduced as a fundraising initiative for Bengal Rescue Scotland, and am pleased to say they’ve turned out quite well.
My first attempt at etched sterling silver paw print charms
Again, these pieces were placed in the etch tank and have now been oxidised to allow the paw print to become more prominent on the charm itself, and still needs its final polish. I’ll also need to get started on making jump rings for the pendants and the charms, but because I haven’t yet used my workbench tool kit that I got for Christmas, my bench peg and anvil doesn’t have the prerequisite ‘V’ in the anvil that I’ll need to cut into the wood before I can get started. I’ve got my cutters though and my wire for making the jump rings, so I’ll have to work around it until I can get my anvil sorted.