A little aluminum vs. sterling experiment

Screenshot at 2018-08-07 10:22:40

 

I did a little experiment a couple of days ago in my own facebook   https://www.facebook.com/NiciArt/  and a metalsmithing group I belong to that is also in facebook .

My posting there asked the question ” which is which ? ”  What guitar pick is made of sterling and what is the aluminum . Just by looking at a picture . When I did the math about 76% percent picked the wrong metal – by the way the left guitar pick is aluminum the right is sterling .

Now why do this experiment at all and what did I want to gather with it ? My point was that when you buy online not everything you see that is silver is in fact sterling silver . If the price is too good to be true it most likely is . I have seen websites offer sterling silver rings and other jewelry for the fraction of what it would cost someone to buy from me or any other metalsmith .

When you shop online you cannot feel and smell the metal – aluminum feels very different from sterling as does steel or some other silver looking metals .

Even looking at the little stamp 925 ( mostly inside the jewelry or on the back ) does not guarantee that what you get is in fact the real deal .

So when buying online be careful out there . Again – if the price is too good to be true – it might very well be …. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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.

[shopify product=http://metalopiajewelry.com/products/sterling-silver-flower-pendant-with-black-onyx]

Boho Rings

I was procrastinating today a bit and those 2 rings are the results

I was procrastinating today a bit and those 2 rings are the results

I am actually supposed to work on fathers day orders but for some reason I got side tracked

i used galery wire for the so called bezel setting

i used galery wire for the so called bezel setting

wrapped once around the stone tightly to make the setting

soldered the ends together so they form a ring

soldered the ends together so they form a ring

place the stone inside

place the stone inside

there is a lot of forming going on with you fingers so that the stone sits tight but can be taken out without loosing the shape of the bezel

I traced around the bezel to make my inner ring

I traced around the bezel to make my inner ring

punched a hole in the middle

punched a hole in the middle

I used a jewelers saw to cut out the middle part – that is where the bezel will sit inside

cut out part

cut out part

looked again to see if everything fits

looked again to see if everything fits

traced the lager oval to make the base

traced the lager oval to make the base

cut out again and stack

cut out again and stack

now cmes the fun part

now cmes the fun part

soldering everything together we moved recently and I lost my tripod somehow – its easier to sweat solder from the backside if you have a tripod and a screen so I had to use a charcoal block – its trickier as you have to heat everything from the top and the bezel wire is thin and will melt the fastest

this is the ring top all soldered together cleaned and textured

this is the ring top all soldered together cleaned and textured

i chose this wire for my ring shank

i chose this wire for my ring shank

made 2 different ones just to see which will fit better

made 2 different ones just to see which will fit better

the wire gets bend until the ends meet to solder them together to form the ring shank

this is after the last soldering step – joining ring shank with the ring top

this is after the last soldering step - joining ring shank with the ring top

now I just had to clean it , darken the metal and set the stone

now I just had to clean it , darken the metal and set the stone

I had so much fun with the first one that I made a second one

I had so much fun with the first one that I made a second one

The stone is a Turquoise from Bisbee Arizona from a mine that has been closed since almost 30 years – I got some really cool cabochons from a friend of mine – He cannot make jewelry anymore because his eyes and hands are too kaputt

www.metalopiajewelry.com

copper buttons

copper buttons

made some buttons for my mom

I remember as a child my mom had a small wooden box with tons of buttons in it . I was very facinated by it and when she got that box out to make something I would sit on the floor and play for hours . She still has that box with the buttons , so I made her a couple of new ones out of copper

I cut out 2 discs an 2 flowers from copper

I used a disc cutter for the circles as sawing a circle by hand and make it perfectly round is really hard to do , so one of my most prized tools is my disc cutter the flowers were sawed out by hand with a jewelers saw and 1/0 blades ( very fine )

circles and flowers

always clean your metal before soldering – trust me on that it will make your job easier

after soldering the flowers onto the copper I used some stamps to add something interesting

As you can see I did not really bother in cleaning the buttons up before the stamping , as i have to solder again for the button loop . I did however cleaned the back to get rid of the black oxidation

I domed the buttons in a dapping block and cut some wire and formed it

My buttons will have old fashioned loops instead of the holes , like the buttons in my moms box I cut some wire for the loops and formed them with needle nose pliers

make sure they fit together and then another round of soldering

After I soldered I cleaned and polished may pair of buttons

I used my trusted polishing machine . I like the antqiued look of copper better than the polished shiny finish so I put them in a patna bath ( Liver of sulfur ) the left button has the patina the right button does not After the patina is dry I just took some sandpaper and sanded the buttons so that some of the patina was left

seal the buttons with lacquer of leave them pure

a banana for scale 🙂

as always if you liked my tutorial , come and take a look at my shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com