Today a very easy project and some basic tools you need . Good tools are essential to metal smithing and for me the rule of thumb is . The cheapest ones are most of the time not a very economical option as they brake fast and you have to keep buying new ones . Some of my tools are very expensive , however over the time they paid for themselves and I have them since years .
you can start with some basic tools for easy projects like this one .
1. jewelry saw
2. saw blades
3. V- clamp
4. bees wax
5. files ( I have several different ones) , for this one a number 2 , 3 or 4 Grobet file
6. flex shaft
7. Liver of sulfur
8. chasing tools
9. Hole punch pliers
I get most of my supplies from www.riogrande.com
a company based out of Albuquerque , New Mexico . While they might be not the cheapest I find them very responsive and easy to work with. Fast shipping and excellent service .
On with the project.
Draw your clover leaf either directly onto the metal sheet ( I used 18 gauge sterling silver ) or on a piece of paper ( I found label paper for the printer the easiest to work with as you can stick it directly to the metal without needing sticky glue or rubber cement ). After drawing cut it out and stick on the metal . Take your jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades and cut out your leaf . I prefer a 6 inch saw frame ( space between the blade and the back of the frame ) as this one gives me a lot of maneuver room without being to heavy , but you can also use a 3 inch or 8 inch frame . When sawing lock your wrist and move the saw out of your elbow , don’t push into the metal – the saw blades are super thin and brake with too much pressure – ( you know you mastered your saw when the saw blades wear out before you brake them )
After you are finished sawing take your file and start rounding the edges . Take your chasing tools and add some texture ( if you don’t want to invest into those you can also use old screw drivers , nails ect. ) . Punch a hole for your jump ring ( I love my hole punch pliers , but you can also drill ) . Take your liver of sulfur and add some warm water , submerge your leaf for a minute or two until it turns black/gray.
Be forewarned , Liver of sulfur stinks to high heaven ( like rotten eggs ) so don’t do it in your house ( garage or outside is best )
Dry your leaf . Now I stopped at this point and left it with a nice black/gray patina as I wanted an aged look . But you can polish it with your flex shaft so that only your texture remains dark ( if you have no flex shaft , you can also use steel wool or sand paper )
add your jump ring and put on a chain ….done 🙂
hope you liked it .
Check out my metal shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com and as always If you have any questions I am always happy to help