Friday, 1 March 2019

Winter Work

A New Take on Hoops

My Rio Grande shipment arrived the other day ;-)

I finished that pair of gift earrings more than a month ago. When I did, I realized I was totally out of ear wires.

The good thing about that was, if I need to order one item from Rio Grande, it's a chance to survey the bench and see what other supplies I may need — or want.

So I placed an order for the ear wires, some rectangular wire (I have a plan for that), a piece of 20 gauge sterling sheet, and a length of bezel wire.

Love my Disc Cutter

Just imagine how long it used to take me to cut hoop earrings. First, draw/trace a circle for each dangle and another one for the smaller cutouts. Then drill a starter hole for the smaller circles, insert the saw blade and hand cut each of the circles. Finally, cut out the larger circles. Next, absolute precision being a rare event when piercing metals, use a file and sanding sticks to remove any wobbles. That is most of an afternoon's work. With my disc cutter, I had the blanks cut in about five minutes.

Dimples to Make Them Sparkle

Because these will swing from shepherd hooks, I want them to have some sparkle. This photo shows my setup for a hammered finish. I have a bigger chasing hammer but, given the size of the hoops, I selected a small ball peen hammer to give the hoops a texture. The hockey puck is a great backing for this work (got that tip from a #Riojeweler recently).

There is something quite satisfying about taking a hammer to metal ;-)

Dapping to Make Them Shine

Silver is more reflective with a curved surface than with a flat one, so I pulled out my old wood dapping bloc and punch set. After a second torching to anneal the silver, I selected an appropriate hollow and punch to dap each circle into a soft curve.

There really is something quite satisfying about taking a hammer to metal ;-)  I think forging metal is my favorite bench activity.

Add Wires and — Done

Available now at #DixSterling on #etsy