Monday, 1 May 2017

Silversmithing, the beginning of something wonderful (I hope!)

Okay so it's been a while, life is just so busy at the moment between family, work and my latest passion Silversmithing.  I'm only just beginning to learn silversmithing, actually attending a class, which is something big for me as I usually prefer to self learn through practice, trial and error, but when playing with fire and expensive materials I thought it was probably best to go and learn how to do things properly.

So how is it going you may ask?, well I am only a few weeks in and still getting to understand the basics, building my tool kit and practicing what I have learnt so far, but I think this is definitely something that will grow and grow and I hope to carry on doing for a long time.  So today I thought I would show a step by step process for a new bird design I have been working on using some of the new techniques.  The plan was to take some basic shapes, oval and circles and create some bird designs keeping the 'waste' to a minimum, so this is how it went....

1. Cut an oval from copper.  I used a die for this.  Mark out an 'S' shape to create 2 bird'ish' shapes, then cut. I have used my trusty metal scissors but you could use a piercing saw (I haven't used one of those yet lol!)
2. Get to work with the files. I used small needle files to refine the shape and to create a small beak
3. I hammered one of them for some texture before refining and just sanded the other as I wanted to solder that one.
4. I then cut some wings, I used Sterling Silver 0.5 sheet for this and again used a die to cut the circle, marked up with an 'S' to create the wing shapes
5. I then sweat soldered the wing into place for one design.  I used tiny pieces of solder for this to try and keep it as clean as possible, then hammered this piece for texture after pickling and cleaning. For the second design I embossed the silver with a leaf design and used a sterling silver rivet to hold in place
6.  I next drilled some holes and used sterling jump rings to hang from sterling silver chain, then cleaned, polished and they are ready to go.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your interest.