Friday, 30 May 2014

Bench Work

A Ring + Earrings

Well, the household chores took a bit longer than planned (don't they always?) but I got back to my bench on May 29 and took up a couple of projects.

Garnet Ring Done 

I made this ring some time ago but never got around to the final polishing. It is similar to the moonstone ring I made a few months ago but, where that was pierced with tiny triangles to each side of the stone, this one features a pair of silver balls flanking the garnet.

Garnets are said to be protective against evil and to release bad karma. Not a bad combo! Personally, I just love the deep reds. If you can't afford a ruby, this will do ;-)

It's Summer and Earrings Should Move

Just my opinion but I really prefer wearing studs in winter (well, except for parties). Dangles can get caught on turtle necks, upturned collars and wooly scarves. But, come summer. . . .

I cut these squares from sheet sterling silver then filed and sanded the edges to make them smooth.

To create texture and sparkle, I hammered the squares, leaving them with a dimpled surface.

Because I wanted the squares to swing freely (more sparkle), I decided to create ear wires with balled ends and drill the squares so the wires could hold but not grip them.


To the right, the squares and the formed wires. The balls were created by holding the wires upright in heat-proof pliers and applying the torch to one end. In only seconds, the end of the wire forms a ball. You pull the torch away quickly. If you do not, the ball is likely to fall off the wire (I always do this over a charcoal block for obvious reasons!). In the photo, the wires, roughly shaped, are ready for a bath in the pickle pot.


To finish the squares, I gently forged them in a dished wood block. Did you know that silver reflects light much better when it is curved than when flat? Some pieces need to be flat, but if they can be curved, go for the better effect.

I use these odd-looking pliers to finish shaping the ear wires. They do a great job when shaping ear wires, bezels for stone, wire or sheet for rings — pretty much anything round. I really love good tools!