Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7:29 AM |  

Jewelry making has long been an art form passed on from father to son, all the way back to ancient times; people have adorned themselves in Silver, Gold, and Gemstone Jewelry,

African tribes, the Native American Indian tribes and numerous ethnic tribes have used Bone carved pendants, Animal Ivory, Bird feathers and Seashells, to fashion accessories to use as jewelry.

Today we give our Jewelry titles ,such as Ethnic Jewelry ,Tribal Jewelry ,Antique Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry and so on .In this article we are going to Talk about Designer Handmade jewelry ,How to make it either for fun or for those really keen students how to do it and make money from your hobby.

Right lets get going .You have two options to start with, you can either buy raw silver from your local distributor, or find a Jewelry Manufacture that will supply you with the materials, there is a choice between 925 or 985 in the grade of silver you buy, I prefer to work in Fine silver 985, but you may find this a little difficult to buy. For the purpose of this article we are going to choose the second option and buy our material from a reputable Jewelry Manufacture and we are going to start with making a simple Sterling silver 925 pendant with a Turquoise cabochon Gemstone.

The majority of tools needed can be purchased form a good hardware store and some of the more hard to find items you will be able to get from either a Silver Jewelry Manufacture or Supplier.

Your heat source can be either a gas bottle with extension hose and flame adjusting nozzle or as we use in our workshop a petrol bellows and hose set with adjustable nozzle, its important witch ever set you buy that you can regulate the flame and heat .Next comes the hand tools you will need a small brass hammer, tweezers about 7inches long, small tin snips, brass block 4inches by 4inches and 1inch thick ,rags,2part epoxy, battery acid, fine grade file , a flexible shaft grinder and a ceramic base to heat your silver on ,here is a handy tip a house brick and unglazed roof tile work just great. That should be enough for you to get started.

Step1 is to cut a strip of silver slightly wider then the thickness of the turquoise and long enough to wrap around the diameter of the gemstone, and carefully cut it so as the 2 ends meet tightly around the gemstone.

Step2, take your solder and place a small amount of flux on the two joins, heat the silver strip till red, apply the solder carefully, and it’s joined. If you haven’t done any soldering before try a few practice runs first, you will be able to use that silver later on.

Step3, take your sterling silver band and place it on a flat piece of silver plate, check that the turquoise still fits, then as in step 2 apply flux and solder the band to the plate.

Step4, remove the excess silver with your tin snips and sand off any rough edges.

Step5,decide on a shape for your bail and cut it out of silver accordingly, bend into shape .now solder that to the pendant ,and while hot dip the whole pendant into a small jar of acid ,rinse in a jar of clear water and dry.

Step6, Place your turquoise into you silver and carefully trim away any surplus silver. Once your happy with the fit you can sand the silver again with fine grade emery paper, give a small amount of epoxy to the inside of the pendant and insert the turquoise stone .Now take a spoon and using the back work it around the pendant to give a snug fit with the silver and allow to dry.

Step7, Using your flexi grinder insert a polishing cloth disc, add some silver polish and buff the silver to the required finish.

The principles above are applied to all silver work; no it’s up to the imagination of the jewelry designer and skillfulness of the jeweler.

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