Sterling Silver Flower Pendant with Black Onyx

This sterling silver flower necklace was sawed and constructed entirely by hand from 18 gauge sterling silver and features a genuine black onyx stone in the center to complete the botanical statement.

Embodying the organic flow and rhythm of a flower shape, the outer pedals were sawed as one continuous shape from the flat sheet of sterling silver and dapped and domed on a shaping block to capture a realistic three dimensional form. The inner whorls or pedal structure was also sawed by hand, domed, and then soldered to the outer pedals using a hydroflux welder before setting the onyx cup. Adding intrigue, a subtle patina was brushed onto the flower to produce highlights with natural iridescence that brings out shades of grey blue, grey black, and dark silver depending on the viewing angle. The last step is setting the 8 mm genuine black onyx stone in the cup and hanging the flower pendant onto a genuine black greek leather cord to complete this necklace.

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Flaming guitar pick

Rock and Roll Baby ………….

sterling guitar pick pendant with brass flames

the reason – just because I wanted to and I can

I cut out some equal sized guitar picks

one in 20 gauge sterling and one in 20 gauge brass ( copper or bronze will work too ) I filed the edges round with a number 2 file ( pretty fine )

draw your flames onto the brass pick and start cutting with a jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades

flux your brass flames and add solder – heat with torch until solder melts

solder both sterling and brass together

after quenching and cleaning start filing with a number 2, 3 or 4 file

see the gap ? gap no good , better start filing

file until the solder seam is smooth

start polishing

I just left the metal raw and satin looking and did not add patina drill a hole

add a jump ring and a chain and start rocking

thanks for looking 🙂

tree pendant from sterling silver

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The tree of life is one of the oldest symbols in the world and is pretty much universal . So that is what I made today a tree pendant . This Pendant is based of the usual shadow box but it is not a pierced and cut design .You work your way inward from the edge without having to punch a hole and feeding your saw blade through it . You start out again with 2 circles of equal size. I use my trusted disc cutter . A disc cutter is one of the first things I would get as a new metal smith . It is so much easier to make circles fast and equal in size. Yes you can cut out you circles with a saw by following along the lines of a drawn circle , but even though I am pretty good at sawing I was never able to saw out a perfect circle by hand .

 

Take your 2 circles and draw a tree on one of them , If you are not good at drawing directly on the metal , draw on a piece of paper until you have a tree you like then you can glue your drawn tree onto the metal and wait until th glue is dry and then start cutting from the edge in . My edge is the roots of the tree . Carefully saw out your tree , the smaller your tree or shape the more intricate the design the more difficult it is to saw and you might brake some blades. A good metalsmith that saws a lot will not brake the blades . Mine are actually wearing out before breaking and I get many pieces out of one blade . However in the beginning I broke them right and left . I always buy the 144 bulk pack by riogrande.com .

 

 

After you are done with sawing out your tree I would recommend cleaning your piece with some sandpaper to clean up the edges and to make it easier to solder. If you need to see a tutorial on how to solder you can look at some of my other entries ,some of them show you in detail on how to solder.

 

 

Clean up your tree pendant with either a polisher or use the flex shaft . Add a Jump ring or bail and a chain and voila done :)

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www.nicilaskin.etsy.com       in case you are interested

etch a sketch or how to etch copper

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Take a piece of copper – I used a 1 x1 inch square . Seal the back with nail polish or lacquer and wait until dry.

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After the polish is dry , clean your copper thoroughly with alcohol and q-tips . Do not touch again . I use gloves after the cleaning part. Take a Sharpie and draw whatever you like- have some fun !!! Wait until dry and trace again with the sharpie .

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take a glass container or an old plastic cup and pour a bit of your etching mordant . Be careful not to splash . Wear gloves and an apron . NEVER ever touch the mordant . Carefully place your copper drawing site up inside your container , make sure its covered fully . I don’t dilute but you can . I am just not patient enough . Wait about 3 hours and then take out with either some gloves or a plastic pincher. Put in another container with baking soda to neutralize the acid . Then rinse and dry.

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start polishing to get it nice and smooth . Or use steel wool .

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add patina and polish again. Punch a hole and add jump rings or split rings and make it into a keychain or a pendant .

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www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

winged guitar pendant in sterling silver

This guitar pendant is a bit more involved and I would categorize it in the more intermediate difficulty.

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As almost always I made this one from sterling silver and I love it if I may say so :)

and here is how to do it . Draw your guitar with 2 wings attached on a piece of paper and glue to your metal – I use 18 gauge sterling silver ( if you go thinner then that your fretboard might bend on you. Draw a second set of smaller wings separately and glue this also to the sterling silver . Cut everything out with your jewelry handsaw . also cut out a heart. I use a 6 inch jewelers saw frame with 1/0 saw blades.

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After cutting out your shapes clean your metal with sand paper to ready it for soldering . Flux the back of your small wings and heart and add your solder- I use hard silver solder in wire form . There are many different kind of solders .I happen to like stick or wire solder the best. Heat with your torch until the solder melts and spreads out. Quench in water

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Flux the front of your guitar with the wings and put the smaller wings and the heart onto it solder site down . Heat again with your torch making sure to heat the meta evenly . I usually darken the room a bit so I can see the solder flow around the edges better . Usually when your metal gets to the red hot phase your solder should have molten . Quench in water again and take a look that there are no gabs . If no gabs you can put your piece in the pickle solution for the clean up.

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Your sterling silver will turn from black to a dull white when its ready to be taken out of the pickle . Take it out with copper tongues and only copper tongues or you might ruin your solution . Never quench a hot piece in your pickle or touch with your bare hands . Its an acid and as such dangerous.

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Now you can add some texture with chasing tools or anything you have ( nails , screw drivers ect. ) Pre-polish with your flexshaft .You can put any finish on it that you like . I like a satin finish and thus use an 80 grit bristle brush , you can also use steel wool or sand paper and a bit of elbow grease. Add patina ( liver of sulfur ) and polish again until you like what you see. Punch or drill a hole for your jump ring and hang on a chain 🙂 Gift to somebody special or keep it yourself ( I kept mine )

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Like what you see but are unable to make it yourself ? You can always visit my shop and have a look around 😉

www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

Shadow box flower pendant

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This is a fairly easy project . A so called shadow box pendant . Shadow boxes consist of 2 shapes that are identical with one of the shapes having a pierced and cut design . On my project I am making a geometrical flower. I amusing 18 gauge sterling silver which is 1 mm thick and will give you a nice solid and heavier piece to wear. Most use 22 or 20 gauge though as a more cost effective way. I am now in that age where I appreciate the heavier jewelry .

Cut 2 circles in the same size ( mine are 1 1/4 inch in diameter ) . I use a swanstrom disc cutter for that , a very valuable but a bit pricey tool. You can also buy pre cut discs at riogrande.com or thunderbirdsupply.com or other online suppliers or you can cut it out by hand via your jewelry saw.

Draw on one of the circles your design you want to cut out . punch or drill a hole to feed your saw blade through and start cutting . I cut with a 6 inch jewelry saw and 1/0 blades. After you are done clean the metal with sandpaper to make it ready for soldering. Flux your piece with the cutout and add the solder . Heat with torch until the solder melts . Quench in water .Now some would pickle the cut out piece to clean it up for the next soldering step but I have to admit I never do . flux both circles and put the cut out one solder side down ( facing the other circle ). To make sure the whole thing will not move, I use a third hand . Heat again with your torch until you see the solder flow around the edge. The metal will be red hot at that point . Be careful not to melt your silver into a big blob of scrap. Quench in water and put into a pickle solution. After your piece turns white take it out and rinse with water. File along the edge until the solder line is barely visible . Punch or drill your hole for the jump ring . Start polishing with your flex shaft or sand paper. Make sure you remove all the firescale ( purple stain you get when soldering ) Add patina and polish again leaving the inside area alone . Add a jump ring and a chain and wear proudly.

 

as always if you would love to have this or any other piece and are unable to make it .Visit my shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com  .

 

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flower shadow box pendant

 

 

 

 

This is something easier then the bracelet I posted earlier . A so called shadow box pendant. Shadow boxes consist of 2 components that are soldered together . One base and one with a cut out

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I used 18 gauge sterling silver again but 20 gauge will work well too . You need 2 circles in the same size . I have a disc cutter for that but you can also cut by hand. Draw a shape on one of the circles ( I drew a flower) drill a hole to feed your saw blade through and start cutting . I have a 6 inch saw frame and I mostly use 1/0 saw blades ( from riogrande.com ). After cutting out your shape quickly sand down the 2 circles so its easier to solder.

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Solder both circles together and make sure you have no gabs in between. Quench in water and then put in a pickle solution to clean your silver from the oxidation. Punch a hole for the jump ring or bail.

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After the pickle bath dry your pendant and start polishing . ( I use a flex shaft with bristle brushes ) Add Patina ( lifer of sulfur ) and polish again carefully so that the inner flower stays dark. Add a jump ring and a chain and wear proudly .  🙂

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Again I also have a shop where I sell the things you see at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com 

 

nici