Still busy… and getting busier, as I’ve been offered the opportunity to attend an unexpected training session on Thursday. So this is just a quick little picture to show you what I made in last night’s silver jewellery class. It’s a pair of earrings made from reticulated sterling silver. You can’t really see the scale from this picture, but they’re about an inch long.
I did finish two pairs, but when I went to try on the second pair, I managed to snap off one of the wires. Hopefully my tutor will be able to show me how to repair this next week, as I think it must have been a soldering error on my part. Oops!
The surface texture is made by heating the metal several times. Sterling silver is actually an alloy, containing around 7.5% copper for strength. Repeated heating brings the fine silver particles to the surface, and with a bit of careful work from the blowtorch, they’ll transform into this delicate texture. The trick is in knowing when to take the blowtorch away, so that the entire piece doesn’t melt.
Originally they were going to be the front pieces for a pair of cufflinks, but I accidentally melted the back pieces, and then lost patience with the chain I was trying to make. After a bit of a struggle with lots of little links, I made an executive decision that earrings were the way forward. Much nicer!