Sterling Silver Tapered Petal Necklace Project

 
Tapered Petal Choker
Tapered Petal Choker Project

The next project from my class was a Tapered Petal Choker necklace.  This piece was quite a bit more challenging than the earrings, especially for my current metalsmith capabilities. 

The components for the necklace are 5 pieces of 10 gage round sterling silver wire (1-40mm piece, 2-35mm pieces, and 2-30mm pieces), 16 gage round sterling silver wire about 19″ long,  and 4 10mm glass beads.

The first step was to take the 5 pieces of 10 gage wire and make the tapered petals of the choker.  The instructor made it look so easy in his demonstration but it certainly was not as easy as it looked. 

I started with the center petal. The goal was to flatten half the lenth of the wire using a sweeping hammer motion.  This was a little trickly at first but I eventually got the hang of it.  After the first half was flattened, the petal was turned 90 degrees and the other half was flattend.  One the pice was flattened on both ends.  The piece was filed.  The instructor gave us the choice to file to a blunt straight edge or a round rounded edge.  I decided to to the rounded edge. I thought it would give it a more finished look.  After it was filed, a hole was drilled at on end to slip over the choker wire.   I finished the other four petals in the same way. 

The final step was to place the beads and tapered petal on the 16 gage wire and add a simple eye and hook on the end of the wire.

The smallest petals have the cleanest look, my rythym and technique seemed to improve as I completed the each petal.  Take a look at the blow up of the centerpiece and you can see what I am talking about.

Tapered Petal Choker Center Piece

Tapered Petal Choker Center Piece

What I learned from this project:

  • I really underestimated drilling the hole.  On the first petal I just thought I could “eyeball” the location of the hole, bad idea!  With the other petals, I used the centerpunch to mark my drill hole.  It went much better on the other petals.
  • The technique to flattend and flare metal wire (I hade tried it few times on my own but just couldn’t get it to work).
  • Use a centerpunch to mark your drilling hole.
  • How to drilling with a flex tool.

This was a really fun project, but a lot of hard work.  I have a lot of practicing to get this skill set down but I am really excited about all this.

The final projects were two sterling silver bracelets……

First Metal Forming Project

Metal Disc Cutter

Metal Disc Cutter from Rio Grande

Yesterday was the metal forming class at Rio Grande.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be a great day.  I learned so much.   The tools they have to work with their are really top notch.  There were so many tools that I wanted to bring home.  My favorites were probably the disc cutter and the jump ring making setup they have.  I would love to have both of them, my penny bank just won’t cut it.  They are both a little pricy.

Copper Earrings

Copper Earring Project

The first class project we worked on was a couple pair of earrings.  The first pair were the copper earrings.  We started with a  piece of copper sheeting and cut out discs, 2 small discs and 2 large discs.  It was then up to the student how to make the earrings.  For the smal disc I decided on a smooth finish and used the doming block for it’s shape.  The larger discs I used a ballpen hammer to texture the disc.  I had never used a flex tool so that was a bit of a challenge in the beginning.  

The lesssons I learned on this project:

  • Always measure the location of the drill holes.  One of the larger domes had the drill hole too low and the the discs overlap.
  • Texture, drill and then shape a piece of metal.  On this pair I drilled first and after I textured, the drill holes were almost completely closed from stretching the metal.  I had to redrill the holes.
Sterling Silver Earrings

Sterling Silver Earring Project

The next pair of earrings were sterling silver earrings.  For this project the shapes were precut for everyone in the class.  We were given a round sterling disc and a somewhat rectangular shape sterling piece. 

On the disc I ran the disc through a metal corrugater.  This was kind of a cool tool too.  You place a piece of metal through two corrugated wheels and depending on the amount of tension  on the wheel will contol how deep the corrugated impressions are.  The disc was then placed in the domer for it’s shape.  On the relangular pieces  I used a goldsmith hammer to get the texture on the metal.

Both of these projects were great to get started with the metal forming.

The next project was a sterling silver petal choker, I’ll tell you all about it next time…..

I Followed My Bliss…Now What?

I have chosen Artfire for my primary selling venue.  They have a wonderful administration, the other Artfire artisans are great for support and just everyday relationships, and promotional tools they offer are outstanding.

The latest promotional tool on Artfire is the Artisan Curated Collections. These collections are made of hand-selected item from an artisan and then published in the Collections section on the website.  My pieces have been featured in a few of the collections.  It is such an honor to be recognized by another peer.  Every time I get a notification that you have been published in a collection, you think “how cool!” and it puts a smile on your face.

I Followed My Bliss Now What? Artfire Collection

The collections on Artfire have been very popular with a lot of the Artisans, to date there are over 1000 collections that have been made.  Many of the Artisans are reporting an extreme jump in their viewing statistics on their studios once they have been featured in a collection and there are many that are selling the items that are listed in the collections.  The collections are a phenomenal promotional tool, and just in time for the start of the fall and holiday season.    And the collections are so fun to make, they are almost addicting.  It gives you such a great opportunity to view some the great talent that can be found on Artfire.   There are a lot of items that I have found when creating a collection that normally I would have never looked for.

I Followed My Bliss Again Artfire Collection

These are a couple of the collections from my Artfire guild, I Followed My Bliss…Not What?.  The guild is a group of Artisans that have chosen to follow their passion but also have full-time careers in addition to their creative passions.

A Look At My Studio

I thought I would share glimpse of my work shop this week.  I thought about cleaning it up first but decided against it.  I cleaned it up about two weeks ago, so it isn’t in too bad of shape yet.  It really isn’t much just a small corner in the garage that my husband was gracious enough to surrender.  I don’t think he ever thought he would have to give up any of his precious space in the garage.   The space I have works for now.

On the left side of the workbench I have my tool chest.  That is the invisible boundary between my space and his space.  The “Less Nessman tape” so to speak. Oh, look now I am dating myself.  My tool chest has a lot of my tools.  files, burnisher,  brushes, screw drivers, pipe benders, and punches.  A lot of the tools were handed down from my grandfather.  He did metalsmithing as a hobby.  I sure wish I would have been more interested in jewelry making when he was alive.

The center of the bench is where I keep my beading board, this is where I do most of my layout work and assembly of my pieces.   Everything is within hands reach from my board.  Beads on the left and finding on the right. 

On the right side I have a narrow bench where I do some of my metal forming and hammering.  On the end of this bend is my baby anvil.  I just love this anvil. It is great for working with small wire and pieces of silver or copper. 

Well, there’s a quick look of my studio.

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