Tuesday, 9 June 2015

June 9

Make a Pendant — Long & Slim

I made a couple of long, slim pendants topped by striped bars a few years ago. One is mine; the other my daughter's. Liking the look, I decided to create one for my etsy shop <https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DixSterling>

In this blog, I will show you the process.

Measure, Cut and Anneal the Metal

Here is the back plate, cut to size from sterling sheet, on my charcoal block. I torch annealed it and am about to quench and pickle it. Boy, that is a seriously worn pair of cross locking tweezers ;-) They have served me well for many years — and it shows! At this point, I used a file to smooth the edges. I am better at cutting a straight line, but far from perfect!

Time to Add the Wire Bar

Next, I cut a length of 16 gauge square sterling wire, slightly longer than the back plate and soldered it on.

Here is the assembled piece, still looking frosted from its bath in the pickle pot. For those who don't know, there is no dill involved. The "pickle" is a mild acid solution which works best when hot. So, like most jewelers, I keep mine in a mini crock pot just to the side of my soldering blocks. A few minutes in the pickle removes surface oxides produced when the silver is heated. That frosted look is pretty but will not last. To get a permanent frost finish, I will use a wire brush dipped in soap.

Marking the Decorative Pattern

I decorated the top bar with a series of randomly arranged dark lines. In this photo, I have marked the line positions with a fine tipped marker. The lines get cut with a saw and deepened with a scribe. When everything else is done, a patina solution will permanently blacken the lines.

I finished cutting the lines, then polished the entire piece, bringing the back to a mirror shine and giving both sides of the front that brass brush frosted look. I mirror polished the top of the bar to highlight the dark lines.

Done Deal

I have a particular chain planned for this. When it gets here from my supplier, I will be listing this on etsy.