Thursday, 19 March 2015

Silver nuggets

Any jewellery maker who works with silver inevitably collects lots of little scraps and trimmings. I'm talking about the 'scrim' between pressings of disks, jump rings that haven't quite worked and so on. I collect all mine in an old baccy tin and every so often I have a session of weighing, melting and polishing to make them into the silver nuggets I like to include in my work.

 
I weigh them on a tiny jewellers scale.....
 
 
I place them on a charcoal block and melt them with my torch.....

 
and then I put them in some jewellery pickle to take off the firescale.

Ok, I know they don't look very promising when they are fresh from the torch, but when cleaned they look great, very organic and nicely textured. If a shinier finish is called for a bit of sanding does the job nicely. I'm using some at the moment in a pair of earrings, here they are in the early stages, soldering done and now about to sand and refine the finish before the resin goes in.

 

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