handmade jewelry & metalsmithing

Taking Requests

So, this week has been nice-I got my first AnvilJewelry Etsy sale, and I got a custom request from a lady who saw the pieces that I have in the Knoxville Museum of Art gift shop. What’s ironic is that they were both Black Silver items, which I think are gorgeous and have always sold well for me, but I’m always being told that things would look better in shiny silver or gold. Whatever, I say there’s so much of that out there already, so I tend to make multiples in the different colors just so the options exist. With my gemstone extravaganza on the backburner for now, I made an earring version of my ornamental grille pendant. It turned out really lovely, so I’m very glad that the lady requested it-otherwise I never would have made them.

The starting point for this piece is that coil of sterling silver square wire.

Working with silver this way, I try to emulate the look of blacksmithing in a much tinier version.

At this size, I can't use the same blacksmithing techniques, so i use pliers for the shaping. Also, sterling cracks when it is forged hot, so I just have to keep annealling the pieces with the torch.

Making the little guys match up just right is really the most time consuming part, but earrings gotta match! We're not doing those wacky 1980's earrings anymore.

The center design is soldered together with collars.

Then a frame is created to fit around it. This design is intended to create the illusion of the original I made with mortise and tenon connections.

Almost there, now to attach the interior with more collars.

The second trickiest part-attaching a bail for it to hang from. Form the earwires, solder them on, mix up the patina, polish-and there we are! Check out AnvilJewelry.com for finished photos of what I made this week on the 4 other days when I forgot to charge my camera's battery. I like having special requests- feel free to post your ideas to AnvilJewelry on facebook.

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