Tutorials by K S Jewellery Designs

Tutorials by K S Jewellery Designs
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Friday, 5 April 2013

Sawing, piercing and soldering - the jouney so far

Thank you so much to all those fellow jewellery makers who commented on my last blog and encouraged me to go in a new direction with my jewellery making.  Since my last blog post, I decided to take the plunge and bought a whole load of new jewellery tools to enter into the world of sawing, piercing and soldering (and I discovered that along with that comes filing, sanding, more sanding, more sanding and finally polishing!).

I have taken on everyone's advice and spent a long time watching different online tutorials, bought a wonderful book called 'Soldering Made Simple' recommended by Tracy of Cinnamon Jewellery (thanks Tracy) and also followed some guidance from my husband.  He is not necessarily 'artistically minded' but he has experience of soldering metal and he always encourages me to 'just have a go' and learn from my mistakes.  So I am!

I thought I would show you some of my attempts so far:

Petal Trio Pendant

This was my second attempt at piercing and sawing - the first attempt had too many angles and I am realising my limitations at the moment with dexterity with the saw.  Curves seem much easier to negotiate and I have only broken three saw blades so far!  I am also pleased with my first attempt at a hidden bail. Whether or not my method is the correct way to do this I'm not sure but the bail held strong and looks okay when you turn the pendant over.

Textured Circles Pendant
 
This pendant turned out completely different from my planned piece which was supposed to be a rectangular pendant with hammered circles 'sweat soldered' on to the surface.  Making this was definitely a learning experience as everything was going smoothly until I tried to solder on the middle circle and then foolishly re-heat it to move into the correct place.  Too much heat resulted in the silver circle starting to melt and the surface of the pendant starting to become textured.  I have since found out this is called 'reticulation'.  Once I realised there was no going back to my original design, I then went on and reheated the whole pendant to add more texture.  I quite like the result.  It is 'interesting' (as my husband described it!).  I might play around with texturing silver this way another time but I know I need to focus on my soldering skills at the moment.

 
Hand sawn flowers
 
These flowers took ages to create and did make me wonder why I didn't just make them out of silver clay.  The main time was spent filing and sanding however I do like the way a flat piece of boring silver can be changed with work and I also had a go with my new dapping block to shape the flowers.  I am going to turn these into earrings by adding little balls to the centres and soldering earwires to the back.  This is similar to a project in the book I mentioned above by Joe Silvera who explains things really clearly, step-by-step and I like the way he repeats important technical information during the different stages of a project.
 
So what next?.... Having had a go by myself, I have realised I still need guidance in a more one-to-one setting, so I have just enrolled onto a local silversmithing course for one morning a week for 11 weeks.  I am so excited as I think this will be a perfect way for me to learn new techniques and practise them at home ready for the following week's lesson.  I am really looking forward to it.

17 comments:

  1. How fun! I LOVE the trio pendant. It's gorgeous.

    And that is so fun that you are taking a class. I would love that! The silversmithing seems so intimidating to me, so good for you for trying it out. I'm excited to see more.

    PS - you just have the best style!

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  2. Thanks Janice and lovely to hear from you - it's been a while since I've been in blogworld so I hope you and all your family are keeping well. I know what you mean about silversmithing being intimidating. I have been in awe of some of the wonderful work I have seen other jewellery designers make and never thought I would venture into their world. I know I have so much to learn but 'bring it on' is how I feel at the moment! Thank you also for the lovely comment about my 'style'. I am hoping I can still create jewellery that feels like mine and is from my own designs. I know at the moment following tutorials is the best way to learn but I will always try to adapt them to add a bit of me.
    All the best
    Kristin :)

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    1. I haven't been online as much lately either, just too busy, so it was grrR to get to see your new stuff! My family's doing great! We're currently on a trip in the beautiful Montana mountains, and it's lovely!

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  3. I love what you are doing! I think you've made a great start and your first attempts are very creditable. I am going to finally take the plunge and get my bench work off the ground soon, but there are many other things to sort first! Keep up the good work :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel and good luck to you too with your metalworking. You have a great eye for shape and colour so it will be great to see what you create.
      Kristin :)

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  4. Yay, good for you! For what it's worth I think your Petal Trio Pendant is beautiful.

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  5. Thanks so much dottycookie, I really appreciate your comments and glad you like the pendant.
    Kristin :)

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  6. This is very inspiring! Love these pieces!!! :)

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    1. Thank you Jeni, glad you like them
      Kristin :)

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  7. Good for you for taking the plunge! You have created some beauties already. I look forward to following you on your metalsmithing adventure.

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    1. Thank you Christine, I have always wondered if I would be brave enough to try soldering. I'm so glad I got over that and also that I currently have some free time from working so much to enable me to learn. What a lucky lady I am!
      Kristin :)

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  8. The best way to learn is through your mistakes - I know this so well!
    Your pieces are looking really pretty plus the reticulated piece can always be described as "organic". :D
    Not sure if you have a third hand but they are very useful for holding things in position while you solder.
    Looking forward to seeing your new stuff. I bet you'll really enjoy the silversmithing course!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Tracy. Your book recommendation was excellent and I also watched Joe Silvera's online tutorials on his website which helped me set up my working area. I might use the 'organic' description, thanks. It fits so well as the texture really did 'grow' over the piece the hotter it got!
      Kristin :)

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  9. That top pendant is really beautiful. Elegant design and the hidden bail makes it look very sophisticated. I like your hubby's attitude - just go for it and keep on experimenting!

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    1. Thanks Deborah, I appreciate your encouragement. I'm not normally one for liking making mistakes but I'm am realising I am not going to be perfect at this skill for a long time, so I will be making lots of them along the way!
      Kristin :)

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  10. Lovely work! Piercing is fun, isn't it? Time I got back to it too ;-) Looking forward to seeing your future creations! Maz :)

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    1. Hi Maz
      I still have a lot to learn but I am certainly enjoying the journey!
      Kristin :)

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