I wanted to show the steps in making a piece of jewelry, to share with you all the work that goes into a handmade piece. I have to say, after documenting the process, I, myself, have found a new respect for the amount of steps it takes to make one necklace! I decided to show you the steps to make Franken heart, because it is one of my most popular pendants, and it uses a variety of steps and techniques that will showcase the majority of what I do all day. So here we go!
The first step is to draw the shape of the heart on the sterling silver plate with a sharpie.
Then, using a hand saw and jeweler's blade, I follow the outline I just drew and cut the heart out of the silver sheet.
In order to make the silver more maleable, I need to heat the heart that I just cut out! What you see is my torch heating up the hearts.
Now it's time to draw the "crack" in the heart and also to indicate where the holes for the stitches will go.
Now we're ready to drill holes in the silver, to cut the crack out!
I'm using my flex shaft, which is basically a drill which is light like a pen, to drill the holes that I just marked on the silver!
After cutting the crack in the heart, I start texturing with a metal hammer. This will give my final product an abused look.
This is me, Sewing up the crack in the heart using silver wire. This can be the funnest part! In Baby Frankenheart, it's also the hardest!
Still sewing! Using chain nosed plyers helps!
Using a Doming block, I am now doming the heart, to make the crack open a little which highlights the stitches.
Next stop for our Franken heart is back on the firing block to solder on a tube that acts as the connector between the heart and the chain.
This is a close up of pre soldering the tube on.
This step is called pickling, it is a method of cleaning the silver after its been fired.
Now for the smelly part! Oxidizing is darkening silver using the chemical heated sulfur. It smells like rotten eggs.
To oxdize you have to dip the piece into the heated sulfur, count to ten swirling the piece in it, then switch to swirling in cold water. Repeat. This makes sure the oxidization is not limited to the surface of the silver.
You can see how dark the pieces are after being oxidized!
Finishing with Steel Wool, gives the piece a nice shine!
Phew! that took long!!! But it was all worth it! Hope you guys liked the process!