Monday, 25 November 2013

Several projects in progress

My desk is covered with work in progress at the moment. Printed heart shaped charms and wired bead dangles wait to be incorporated into jewellery.

Two newly sawn pieces of copper sheet are ready to be filed smooth and transformed into earrings tomorrow in silversmith class. I will anneal and texture them and then shape them into organic forms. At this stage they look most unpromising, but a session with the torch, hammer and pliers will work some magic on them. Having a sketch and a rough version in scrap metal helps a lot. I've become fascinated by playing with the way you can fold metal once it's been annealed. With this design the wire wraps round then comes through the hole left in the middle. freshwater pearls strung on thinner wire create stamens. Once I've made a version in copper and become confident with the techniques I will be brave and get myself some sterling silver to do the final version.
Here is a sketch of the piece I am intending to make next term, a leafy shape with leather threaded through it. I’m intending to etch the metal with acid to make the leaves textured.  Using pliers to bring part of the metal shape to the front will make it quite dimensional and curling the stem will create a channel through which I will feed the leather cord. Always good to have a plan!
I did manage to finish one piece this week. Lovely and chunky on a 4mm leather thong. After making loads of jump rings I shaped each one in my half round pliers then applied the liver of sulphur patina. When they are threaded on the cord the bends in them makes a great squiggly texture and I have echoed this in the choice of chunky toggle clasp.
Must say the flexshaft makes the subsequent polishing sooo much easier as it does so many little jobs. Can’t imagine life without it now. It does give my workspace the appearance of a dentists though. In fact I am using dental burrs quite often in it as I love them for detailed shaping of metal and rounding off wire ends with little cup shaped ones.

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