So what was I going to do with it? Make a cuff, of course; even though I could do something like this via chasing & repousse, it was a challenge for me to take the stamping and turn it into something - so I started to ponder what I would do. I figured I would do some piercing but how much? What would I do to the side sections of the cuff so they weren't plain? Would I screw it up having not done something like this before.
I started my ponderings by making a copy/scan of the stamping and drawing on it - where was I going to pierce, how long did I need to make it so the cuff would fit me, how wide would it be. I did 3 or 4 copies with ideas.
It was now time to stop pondering and to start the project!
So yesterday, was the day to start the project and my goal was to have it finished by this afternoon - which I did, yeah me!
I tracked the hours it took - 14 from start to finish. I went through 5 saw blades but having never done this much piercing before, I think that is pretty reasonable. I had to use many needle files to get into all the nooks and crannies from the sawing and I had to stay relaxed by keeping my shoulders down, not using the grip of death on the saw and breathing through my mouth; this prevents you from clamping down on your jaw and that results in overall body tension.
What skills did I use that were not ones I normally use because I don't make much jewelry:
- Sawing a.ka. piercing
When all the sawing and filing was done, I did a pre-polish to smooth all the edges and to see if I needed to get rid of any major scratches, I did not. Then I coated the silver in flux and annealed; the flux goes glassy when the silver gets to annealing temperature. Then I did a real 3 step polish, inside and out - white, green and red to get everywhere nice and bright - plus a good cleaning in between each polish. Once all that was done, it was time to pull out the bracelet mandrel and time to bend the silver into a cuff and my anneal was good enough that I was able to do it with my hands!
Lastly I mixed up some Liver of Sulfur thinking that the antique look would add some depth to the flower details but as I am working the piece, I see the patina going gold and I knew that I had to keep this as the patina; I slowly kept swirling the cuff in the LOS solution and knowing that LOS can go dark at a moment's notice, I worked slow and ended up with a great gold color TIME TO STOP! A rinse and dry with a clean cotton cloth and it was done.
I also took loads of pictures, as usual so enjoy them.