Pic 1: After calculating the length needed, I cut a strip of 1x5mm silver, bend it into a rough circle and solder closed. The blue flame is from my LPG soldering torch.
Pic 2: Put on my 'baby bracelet' mandrill and forged into a perfect circle.
Pic 3: It's gently hammered mostly flat on the top of an anvil, then here one side is being sanded to be perfectly flush.
Pic 4: I traced around the circle onto some 0.8mm silver sheet using a scriber, then in this pic cutting the circle out of the sheet with my piercing saw.
Pic 2: With a combination of drawing from photographs and an image that I've digitally manipulated, I lay out the design on the surface.
Pic 3: Punching dints ready for drilling.
Pic 4: With my smallest, sharpest drill bit in the drill press, I very carefully drill the places where I'm going to start cutting.
The bottom pic shows the cutting finished. It's hard to see the detail with the jagged edges of paper and the metal crumbs stuck to the sticky tape, so I'm constantly blowing on it and sweeping it with a paintbrush while I saw.
Bottom pic is the flame on the piece as its at soldering temperature. With it upside down, I can't easily see when the solder has melted and is flowing properly, so the colour of the flame helps me know what stage the solder is. Here the whole piece will be at about 750 degrees C, just enough for the solder to flow without melting any of my fiddly piercing work. The green tinge in the flame is from the flux, and the orange only gets this bright close to melting point.
Bottom pic is the tools on my bench from the cleaning up stage.
I filed this wee periwinkle down to make it look old, like you might find in a bog that was seashore in millennia past.
When the resin is set, I brush the surface of the silver with a tool I made from scotch-brite pads (middle).
After I've sanded off the excess resin from the top, that surface is polished on my big polishing mop on the bench motor.
Photo isn't the best, unfortunately I didn't check that I had a good picture before rushing it off to its new home. The silver is actually a bright shiny white, rather than the reflected grey here.
The client and her mother love it, happy ending :)
Other commissions I've made here
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