27 Oct 2010

Recent work in progress, now completed

I apologise for not making a very meaningful post, but as I’m going to be out of action for a few days, I thought that I’d bring you up to date on some of the work I showed previously in progress. I’m always interested to read other jeweller’s methodology when coming to a design, so thought I’d add some background on my own pieces.

Unfortunately some of the pieces I’d like to show you, that are responsible for quite a bit of my time recently, are custom items intended for gifts, so I need to keep them under wraps for the time being, I obviously don’t want to spoil any surprises.

I’ve been doing some work with copper sheet and showed two pendants in their finished but raw metal state. I’ve now oxidised them and decided upon a final finish.

The pendant and earring set shown below was cut from copper sheet and given a hand finished texture. Then shaped and polished and the smaller pieces drilled for the earwires and a tube bail soldered to the back of the pendant – I wanted to keep the front of it plain without interruption from a jump ring or other bail structure.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view.

I gave the upper surfaces a high degree of hand polished shine so that once oxidised, it would take on a nice gunmetal style sheen. I polished the oxidisation back a little from the surface to reveal the texture.

I’d originally intended soldering solid earwire hooks to the back of the earring pieces, but decided at their size, they might hang a little low and without articulation. Coming up to winter when ladies are more likely to wear coats and scarves, it might cause them to get pushed upwards during wear, so I went for a long stright drop earwire through a drilled hole instead.

Seeing them finished this way I know it was the right choice, as they move nicely and the sheen on the surface gives rise to more interest as they jiggle in wear. But I think next time, I’d split the difference and solder a loop to the back of them and then attach that to an earire, to keep the front surface plain, as I’d originally intended – that didn’t occur to me until after I’d drilled the holes.

I posted earlier that this particular pendant had proved troublesome – sometimes the plainest looking designs need to the most work to keep them that way. I didn’t feel that the resulting finish was up to the standards I am happy with, so this one will be mine. I had given the front surface of the copper a brushed satin finish and wasn’t sure whether to oxidise, antique or leave raw. I do love the gunmetal sheen of highly polished copper when fully oxidised, so went with that option, tumbling it extensively to burnish the flat surface. I hand polished the Sterling silver nuggets to contrast against the darker background.

This pendant too has a tube bail soldered on the back and I think I’ll probably wear it on my Sterling silver snake chain. I like the simple contemporary lines of it and hope to apply what I learnt in making this one to something similar to sell.

These earrings aren’t a new concept for me by any means, I have made several pieces featuring these wrapped copper buds, but a customer wanted something long and dramatic, so these deep teardrop shapes were born – and I made an extra pair for the shop.

I’ve oxidised the earrings and then polished back just the wrapped areas to accent the texture there. The hammered teardrop loops have been left dark and smooth to contrast the textured details at the bottom. The buds were left a rosy copper and whilst these aren’t as red as some I’ve done, they still have a pink glow to them. I’ve hung them from wrapped earwires to mirror the texture.

3 thoughts on “Recent work in progress, now completed

  1. Thank you both. I think I’m a little uncomfortable with the balls pendant Kitty as I know how much trouble I had getting to that result, so it doesn’t feel like quality workmanship. I don’t mind if it breaks on me, but I’d hate a customer to be unhappy with it.

  2. I love the copper pendant – just the right amount of texture and interest.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the pendant with ‘balls’ on, but I recognise that feeling of something not being ‘quite good enough’ to sell. It is an interesting design, I am sure you will soon have a sellable piece of which you are proud.

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