turtle pendant

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Today I went with a combination of medallion and shadow box ( the shadow box being the flower inside the turtle . I used 20 gauge sterling silver for that . The reason for not using 18 gauge was that I ran out ,lol :)    But that worked out in the end as I added an extra circle .

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I cut out a large circle 1 1/4 inch in diameter with the help of my disc cutter. If you don’t have one you can always cut out a circle by hand . I invested in a disc cutter after cutting out discs right and left and wasting a lot of time doing it .  I drew the turtle onto paper that has a sticky back( uline label paper ) and stuck it to the sheet of metal . If you only have regular paper either glue it to the metal or use rubber cement ( rubber cement is easier to peel off after you are done cutting  I cut out the turtle with my 6 inch jewelers hand saw and some 1/0 saw blades ( I go with the ones from Germany – being a bit patriotic )

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Punch or drill a feeding hole inside your flower and feed your saw blade through . Start cutting out the flower .  Clean your metal with some sand paper to make it easier to solder

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Make sure everything fits well together . I did not like how the turtle and the circle looked so I decided to add a 1 inch circle in between the turtle and the 1 1/4 inch circle . Next step is soldering .

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Flux the back of the turtle and the 1 inch circle and add your solder ( sheet , wire or stick solder ) . Start heating the metal with your torch using slow circular motions so that the flame does not hit just one spot . Use a third hand to keep things from slipping while you solder. Quench and repeat with adding the turtle to the 1 inch circle  I recommend first soldering both circles together and then to add the turtle . Last picture Is the piece all soldered together after quenching it in water. To clean it put it in your pickle solution .

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After your sterling turns white in the Pickle solution take it out with copper tongues and rinse with water and dry . Pre polish really quick with your flex shaft and start adding some texture ( anything goes – screw drivers , nails ect . )  Polish again and then add patina  Liver of sulfur gives the best result . Polish one last time taking care that you leave some lack low lights so that the texture and the turtle pop . Add a ail or a jump ring and put it on a chain :) finished is your turtle pendant . As always I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial . I am always open to questions and will help where I can . :)


you can visit my store at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com if you are interested in buying some of my pieces


I was born in the late 70's in Leipzig , East Germany. When I turned 12, the Berlin Wall came down and a whole new world opened. I finished school in my home city and also went to Nursing school there. After moving to a different city in Germany, I met my husband of now 9 years on the internet, of all places. He is from New Jersey and we decided to move there. I am always up for an adventure so off we went. Because I was a nurse from a foreign country, it was not easy to get a license and work. I was prepared to go back to school all over again in the US to become a registered nurse. ( I had worked for 4 years in Germany as registered nurse ). My hubby "shopped" around and called almost every state in the USA to see where it would be easiest for me to find work without going back to school and, voila! New Mexico appeared on the radar. New Mexico accepted my translated license and gave me a brand spanking new one after I passed ( with flying colors ) my NCLEX (which is like the bar exam for a lawyer). And then we moved again ... to New Mexico..... I won't bore you with my life too much. We came back in the summers to New Jersey to visit my in-laws and to have be closer to my parents in Germany. (Yes, I took the summers off.) I painted and went to a pottery class in 2008. Next to the building where the pottery classes were held was a small work shop occupied by a little old lady who was a Metalsmith. She made beautiful things in sterling silver and with sparkling gemstones and - lucky for me - she taught classes, too. That is when it began. She showed me how to make a ring and a bracelet from the beginning and how to handle a torch. Needless to say , I love fire! In short , I was hooked! I started out as a small hobby shop in the garage in our house in New Mexico making small pieces and selling them at the local farmers market. I did not sell a huge amount but it was fun and I met awesome, wonderful people and made a couple of friends. One of them introduced me to Etsy, and I opened my shop here in 2009. I was still working as a nurse at that point and saw the site as a nice venue to sell some of my work. Last year in September, my husband "took over" my shop (so to speak) and tried to make it nice for me. My native language is German and so my descriptions were not the best. "This is a sterling silver flower necklace " - well, you get the picture. He took new photos and revamped my store, giving me a lot more time to create and make and build up my shop inventory. December of 2011 was the first month on Etsy where I could say, "Hey, this is a real business and I am making money. Maybe, just maybe, I could do this full- time." I could and I did. In February of 2012, I made this my full time job. I also started making guitar picks out of sterling, aluminum, bronze and copper. Making them from scratch, starting with a blank sheet of metal, cutting the shape out, filing and deburring, stamping, patina and finally polishing the picks is gratifying, especially because I know people will cherish my little picks and play music with them. My hopes for the future is that I will be successful here on Etsy and on my own little .com site, designing and making beautiful jewelry that others enjoy . nicilaskin.etsy.com

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