jewelry class: metals

14 Apr

Piercing. Sawing. Soldering. Hammering. Bezel setting. Finishing.

In an effort to increase my jewelry making repertoire, I have been taking a jewelry class at Redux, a local art center. This is the beginning phases of the silver ring I so lovingly used the piercing saw to cut away from a strip of 20 gauge sterling silver. In other words, it ain’t no piece of cake.

Sheet metal comes in many gauges ranging from 24 – 16. The lower the gauge, the heavier the silver.

In order to join the metal together, we employed a technique called soldering. This involves heating the metal and applying a small piece of solder, when the solder pools the process is complete. The silver ring is then dipped in water and placed in a crock pot filled with pickle, a weak acid.

Now comes the filing and finishing process. It really is quite incredible to see a sheet of metal formed into a wearable piece of jewelry. I’m thinking about creating a collage or mixed media type design on the ring with copper, brass, and silver. And next week, for your viewing pleasure – I’ll debut the finished product all polished and pristine.

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