Welcome back! This is a video I shot with my iPhone as I created a custom ring for a client. It shows me working the metal and creating the piece from scratch. I thought it would be nice to show you guys the fabrication process in action and the final product.
Feel free to like, share, comment or repost!
Sterling silver necklace made entirely by hand. The leaves have been individually hand-cut from silver sheet I rolled. The five bezels are shaped and soldered true to the stones size, each jump ring is individually made from 18 gauge wire I drew, and the chain consists of different links made from 16 gauge sterling silver wire I cut, bent, shaped and hammered. Very proud of this piece.
Always With Love,
Join me next weekend at Carnaval on the Mile! Visit me at booth #108 to find your Always With Love favorites and for the unveiling of my new designs! This is a juried show (my first) and I’m very excited I was picked to participate.
Carnaval on the Mile is located on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, Florida and the mile is closed (for cars) on March 1 and 2 and made into a mile long art festival.
Saturday March 1st from 11am to Midnight
Sunday March 2 from 10am to 9pm
See you there!
Custom requests are when I have the most fun. In this particular case, it was extra fun because I was making my husband’s anniversary gift!
He already owned a Hei Matau pendant made out of bone and wanted it in silver. Since bone is very fragile, I couldn’t make a mold “the regular way”. Normally I would use silicone rubber and make a mold using a vulcanizer. However, in this case, the vulcanizer’s heat would have pulverized the bone and ruined the mold. For this reason I had to use a special two-part resin mold that cures at room temperature.
Here is how I did it:
1. I applied Super Glue to the bottom of the bone pendant (hei matau) and attached it on a brass sprue.
2. Took two aluminum plates and covered the frame. Placed two small clasps on each side to hold the frames tightly.
3. Mixed the resin and the catalyst according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After mixing I placed the compound in the vacuum and removed as many bubbles as I could. Even after vacuuming, the sucker had TONS of bubbles I couldn’t remove!
4. Poured mixture in the frame until it covered the piece. You can see the bubbles I couldn’t get rid of! Urgh!! I set it aside and waited 16 hours for the mold to cure at room temperature.
5. Removed mold from the aluminum frame and cut it open with an exxacto knife. Took the pendant out and examined the mold. You can see all the bubbles that didn’t come out at the top of the mold. Here’s when I started freaking out. By some miracle from above, none of the bubbles touched my mold! wohoo! Thank you Jesus!
6. Injected the mold with wax 5 times. Hubby gave me the green light to produce more than just his gift. So 4 of these babies will be up for sale soon! Woot!
7. Then I made a wax tree out of the wax models that I was casting in silver. Notice the green anchor? That’s another custom order!
8. Filled the flask with investment, placed it in the steam dewaxer for 1 hour. Once the timer was done I put it in the hot kiln and waited patiently for the 5hr burnout process to be completed.
9. After a loooong burnout process the wax melts and the investment hardens leaving and empty cavity in the shape of the wax models. This cavity is then ready to be filled with melted silver using a centrifugal casting machine. I put the flask in the spincaster and melt the silver. Then when the silver is liquid, I let the casting machine spin and the centrifugal force shoots the melted silver in the flask filling out the cavities. So awesome.
10. After submerging the scolding hot flask in water, the investment dissolves and the cast silver pieces come out with ease. They are black from oxidation and, to remove it, I put them in an environmentally safe pickling solution until they turn white. Cut out each piece with the jeweler’s saw and keep the scrap silver for future pieces. Nothing is wasted.
11. File, sand and polish the piece. Here I am polishing the pendant.
12. Clean in the piece in the ultrasonic and done! Phew! Casi que no! Happy anniversary!
always with love,
Yesterday I joined an Etsy team called All Handmade by Me which is only for artists who sell real handmade items and not mass produced ones on Etsy. It is nice because you have to apply to it and they make sure your creations are indeed handmade by you. After you have been approved you will be able to display the handmade badge on your shop; I put mine in my about page. Not everyone gets approved (awesome!) and it separates true handmade shops from the masses which Etsy is not controlling (or caring about) anymore.
Anyways, today I was featured in a treasury by a fellow teammate, and made my day! Feel free to visit the treasury curated by Sheena from Koolnecks Accessories and the team too! My piece is the Blue Magnesite Bead Necklace.
Always With Love,
I am THRILLED to announce that my Facebook Page just made it to 1000 Fans! Woot! I am so happy thankful for every single one of my fans/likers/followers and everyone who entered the cash giveaway.
I would like to give something back, the best way I know how. So… shipping is on me! Yay! Promo code expires 8/31/2013. Enjoy!
Open rings are very popular right now, so I decided to make one the AWL way. I made this one out of Sterling Silver (925) and blue turquoise resin. The resin I use is called Colores and I purchased it from my favorite jewelry supplier: Riogrande.
First I made the wings and ring band out of 16 gauge silver sheet. I thought I was going to keep it simple, but my husband suggested I do something else to the design… so I did
I soldered 18 gauge wire to the wings and made silver granules to embellish it. This is what the pieces looked like individually.
I cut the shank open with the saw and filed the edges round. Before soldering I stamped the piece with my” AWL” makers mark and the “sterling” quality mark. The following is not the best picture, but you get the idea.
Polish the piece (no picture for that step, sorry!) and then apply the resin. My husband loves this part so I let him do it. We used the blue Colores resin and mixed according to the instructions in the bottle. He used a syringe to ensure a perfect fill. He did great!
Allow a few hours to dry and its ready!
Many of us don’t understand the value of handmade jewelry. This is because we don’t know how much time, material and work goes into finishing a single piece. We are used to everything being machine made or mass produced and we drift towards less pricey items. To give you an idea of why handmade jewelry is priced higher than mass produced items, I will show you the steps I took to make a sterling silver flower ring.
1. After making a brass prototype of the flower petals, the band, and the bezel, I proceed to make molds of each individual piece and inject them with wax. The ring consists of 3 parts making it more time consuming and challenging.
2. I cast the wax models in Sterling Silver.
3. Cut, file, sand, and polish the castings. Assemble the 3 part flower ring (band, bezel, & petals) and solder.
4. Once all 3 parts are soldered and connected, its time to set the stone. I melt dop wax in a ring clamp, insert the ring in it and place the citrine in the bezel. Then with an electrical hammer, I hammer the bezel down so that the metal covers the stone completely. This has to be done very carefully or else you could break or chip the stone. Can you see the hammer marks on the metal around the stone?
5. File and sand the hammer marks off.
6. Remove from ring clamp and soak in paint thinner to get rid of residual wax. Clean. Do a final polish if needed, and Done!
As you can see, this its not a piece that can be finished in one day. It requires time, patience and lots, and I mean LOTS of work. 🙂
If you liked what you just saw, leave me a comment below!