Flower Ring with Amber

the prongs get pushed with a bezel pusher over the stone

the prongs get pushed with a bezel pusher over the stone

finished ring with the bangle I made too

finished ring with the bangle I made too
well actually I made the bangle first a couple of days ago , but I wanted a ring too hope you like it

fresh from the bench – small cross with peridot

dainty cross charm with Peridot

I love peridots , they are with sapphires and garnets one of my favorite stones . The vibrant green always reminds me of spring and nature and fresh mowed grass .

dainty cross charm with peridot

drew on some 18 gauge sterling sheet

I used a template made from plastic as I am not so good in drawing straight lines especially if it is so tiny . There are tons of templates out there , sometimes I make my own template out of 20 gauge brass . there is another small pendant i will make later on .

drew on some 18 gauge sterling sheet

cut out with jewelers saw and 1/0 saw blades

I also added a little circle for the hole for the jump ring as I am terrible in soldering on rings for the bails ( I always melt the metal)

cut out with jewelrs saw

soldered a bezel cup onto the cross

soldered a bezel cup onto the cross

threw it in a cleaning solution

the cleaning solution is called Pickle and will get rid of all the black oxidation

threw it in a cleaning solution

added some tiny flowers

added some tiny flowers

set the stone and polished πŸ™‚

set the stone and polished :)

infinity wedding bands

wedding bands i made

 

www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

wedding bands i made

I cut 2 different width flat wire stock to length

I cut 2 different width flat wire stock to length

5mm and 4 mm width

stamped the infinity symbol

stamped the infinity symbol

filed the ends flat and formed them so the ends meet flush

filed the ends flat and formed them so the ends  meet flush

add flux and solder

add flux and solder

start heating with a torch

start heating with a torch

quench in water and then clean in pickle solution

quench in water and then clean in pickle solution

the black is oxidation that happens during torching

after the pickle bath

after the pickle bath

now start forming

now start forming

use a ring mandrel and a nylon hammer first

use a ring mandrel and a nylon hammer first

after forming the ring you can use a ball peen hammer to make the dimpled texture , polish the inside I polish my rings by hand using different grit sand paper and polishing clohs

done πŸ™‚

done :)

follow your dreams

sterling silver guitar ring

sterling silver guitar ring
following my dreams was scary and still is . 4 years ago I had to quit my job as a well paid nurse ( injured my back on the job – did not get workers comb ) The only thing I had was my hobby – metal smithing. 4 years later I am my own boss now and make what I love , even though the ups and down of selling your own creations or following your dream is scary as shit and sometimes you don’t know how to pay rent its still somehow worth it πŸ™‚

enough with the story – here is what I do

enough with the story - here is what I do
starting out with a sheet of metal – 18 gauge sterling ( 1mm thick)

i usually draw directly on the metal

i usually draw directly on the metal

my trusted jewelry saw

my trusted jewelry saw
I have a 6 inch saw and a inch saw but mostly use the 6 inch ( distance between sawblade and frame ) the saw blade itself is about 0.5mm thick

cut out guitar

cut out guitar

number 2 halfround file

number 2 halfround file
I filed all the edges smooth

punching a hole

punching a hole
I use hole punch pliers for most of the holes I need but I also have a really small drill press for when the punch needs to be bigger

added some texture with some older steel punches

added some texture with some older steel punches

I try to never forget to “mark” the stuff I make

I try to never forget to "mark" the stuff I make
maybe one day in 500 years someone will find one of mine and I will be in some antique jewelry book . lol

bending the ring until the ends meet

bending the ring until the ends meet

now comes the fun part

now comes the fun part
fluxing the joint and adding some wire solder

heating the ring with my hydroflux welder

heating the ring with my hydroflux welder
My husband got me a really really nice toy for my birthday/christmas and any other holiday , its portable and pretty safe to use unlike the torches with oxygen and acetylene

after soldering the ends together

after soldering the ends together
oxidation happens during heating , you an clean it up with putting the metal in a so called “Pickle solution”

after the “pickle bath”

after the "pickle bath"

ring mandrel and ring

ring mandrel and ring
I used a nylon hammer to hammer out the shape to make it nice and round and to work harden the ring

formed ring

formed ring

cleaning it with my flex shaft

cleaning it with my flex shaft
a flexshaft is basically a dremel with a flexible hose

added patina

added patina
liver of sulfur was used – stinks like rotten eggs ( or bad doggie farts ) but leaves a nice dark/grey patina

took some steel wool and polished the surface a bit

took some steel wool and polished the surface a bit

done πŸ™‚

done :)

here is another angle

here is another angle
hope you guys liked it and if you want you can have a look at my shop

heart bracelet

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper
I have a heart cutter from swanstrom ,

flux the back of your hearts and add solder

flux the back of your hearts and add solder
I use hard wire solder for that

heat the hearts until the solder melts

heat the hearts until the solder melts
and then flux the bronze strip and solder the hearts to it

quench in water

quench in water

form your bracelet

form your bracelet
Now I realize that not everybody has a metal press with the anticlastic / synclastic former ,so you can make the bracelet normal on a wooden bracelet mandrel and a raw hide or nylon hammer. I happen to have a full metal shop and have 2 hand cranked metal presses ( the hydraulic ones scare me and I do it rather by hand soI have more control )

thats my metal press

thats my metal press
yay for awesome tools !!

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4  inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you can see how the bracelet forms

you can see how the bracelet forms
hand cranking is a lot of work

almost finished forming

almost finished forming

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it
Pickle solution will clean your oxidation from metal

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

what do you think ?

silver tie bar with brass arrow

Metalwork
draw your arrow on the metal sheet
draw your arrow on the metal sheet
or draw it on a piece of paper and stick the paper to the metal sheet . I just like to draw the easy shapes on to my metal directly
cut out with your jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades
cut out with your jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades
clean the arrow with steel wool for easier soldering
cut a 4 inch long piece from sterling silver
cut a 4 inch long piece from sterling silver
I used 18 gauge ( thicker then that and it gets hard to bend into shape )
flux your arrow and add your solder
flux your arrow and add your solder
I use extra easy wire solder ( silver )
fire up your torch
fire up your torch
Did I mention I love fire πŸ™‚
heat until your solder “flows” ( melts)
heat until your solder "flows" ( melts)
flux your sterling silver strip and put the arrow onto it solder site down
flux your sterling silver strip and put the arrow onto it solder site down
heat again until solder flows ( I took a pic of the red hot metal -its so hot that it is red in color ,much more heating and it would start melting )
clean your strip and start texturing
clean your strip and start texturing
use a dremel with a buffing wheel ,or a polisher or a flex shaft for cleaning , add texture with a screw driver
flip the strip over and start bending
flip the strip over  and start bending
use a pen or something similar to bend the tie bar around it
bend so that the arrow is a bit longer then the lower part
bend so that the arrow is a bit longer then the lower part
flip down and put your pen on the edge and press with your finger at the middle
flip down and put your pen on the edge and press with your finger at the middle
you can bend it a bit more with your fingers
you can bend it a bit more with your fingers
pound with a raw hide or nylon hammer on the right hand ( the bend end )
enjoy your tie bar
enjoy your tie bar

easy teaxture if you do not have a rolling mill

fun with metal

easy texture for metal

this is basic metal smithing 101

take a patterned steel sheet

tape a strip of metal that is softer then the steel to the plate

use clear tape so you can see the back . Start hammering with a ball peen hammer on the whole back ,basically covering the back with dimples .You will need some elbow grease with this as this takes some serious hammer time WATCH YOUR FINGERS !!! while you hammer the back the metal expands and gets pushed into the pattern in the steel plate thus creating a negative the plates are meant for a rolling mill or a metal press .If you do not have those tools ,the hammer is a cheap way to get the texture on the metal

here you can see the dimples on the back which look pretty neat too

flipped over you now have a nice texture

my arm is a bit sore now ,but its worth it this took about 20 minutes of non stop hammering

file your edges and form your bracelet on a mandrel

I have a synclastic form for my small metal press to give the bracelet that nice shape , but you can do an ordinary bracelet too πŸ™‚

I made a copper synclastic bracelet today with some snow flakes

copper disc pendant

And because I needed to work out some frustration I made some earrings and a pendant too

winged ring- brass wings on sterling silver

wings on sterling

draw some narrow wings on a piece of paper

stick/glue the wings to your metal sheet

I am using 20 gauge brass ( 0.8mm thick ) I usually do a mock up in metal that is cheaper before doing a sterling/gold version

draw your ring shank onto sterling silver

this is 18 gauge ( 1 mm thick )

cut out your wings and your ringshank via jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades

make sure the ring shank and the wings fit ( I am good with eyeballing things – I tend not to measure )

solder your wings onto the ring shank

I use extra easy silver solder , after soldering quench in water and clean in Pickel solution

add your texture for the wings

cut the ring shank to length

bend until the ends meet flush and solder again

clean in the Pickel solution until the sterling turns from black to white

form the ring on a ring mandrel with a nylon hammer

polish inside

polish outside

add patina to bring out the texture

polish again

leave a bit of patina around the edges of the wings to bring out the design

I think this is more suitable for a male

what do you think ?

finally got to make another tutorial – it has been a while

fun with metal – how to make a flower ring

You can always look into your community college ( USA) and most of them have beginners and medium metal/silversmithing courses that are not too expensive

I start out with 18 gauge sterling silver

18 gauge is 1 mm thick . I prefer that thickness as the flowers do not bend but are not too heavy either draw a circle ( use a template – its easier )

inside the circle I drew a flower

using a jewelers saw and 1/0 blades for cutting out the flower

cut out flower

cut out flower

I want to dome mine so I am using a dabbing block

mine is a square block with 30 domed indentations and corresponding hammers – put your flower in a ” bowl ” and take the “hammer with the ball that fits ” using a nylon hammer to pound on the end of that hammer if you do not have a dabbing block you can go with 20 gauge sterling which is thinner and bend your pedals with a pliers

file your edges smooth

take any wire you have

take any wire you have
I used twisted wire for the ring shank – twisted wire is easy to do or you can also buy it at riogrande or thunderirdsupply.com

cut the wire to length – file edges flat

cut the wire to length - file edges flat

take a needle nose pliers

bend your ring shank until edges meet

bend your ring shank until edges meet
try to get the ends as close as you can together

domed flower

domed flower

flux your ring

I prefer paste flux add some solder and…

….start heating with a torch

....start heating with a torch
heat until the solder flows , quench in water and clean in pickle solution

soldered ring shank

now comes the forming

using a ring mandrel and a nylon hammer , shape you ring shank until its round

I prefer my rings to be flat and not round

so I used a planishing hammer for flatten the ring

rounded ring shank

rounded ring shank

take some metal scrap – flux and then heat with torch

take some metal scrap - flux and then heat with torch
this is to make the little ball in the middle

heat the sterling until it forms a ball

heat the sterling until it forms a ball
here its red hot metal

turn your flower upsdide down and flux both ring shank and flower

turn your flower upsdide down and flux both ring shank and flower
heat with torch and solder together

flip again

flip again

flux the inside of your flower and add a small piece of solder

flux the inside of your flower and add a small piece of solder
heat again until solder flows – add your ball of molten sterling and again flux and heat

this is after everything is soldered together

clean in pickle solution to get rid of oxidation ( blackness )

after the pickle bath

after the pickle bath
start polishing ( sand paper , steel wool )

finished

finished

I added the smaller ring to the slightly larger one I already had

hope you liked it

www.niciart.comΒ Β  in case you want to see more of what I make

lentil bead pendant – medium difficulty

b17 b18 b19 b20 b21

 

Today I made something that i never did before . I made a so called Focal Bead . A Focal bead is a bead that is either worn alone or in the middle of a necklace to draw the attention or focus of the one viewing .

b b1 b2 b3

 

Take 2 circles of equal size ( I use 18 gauge sterling silver ) . You can either buy the circles or you can cut them from your sheet metal by hand or use a disc cutter ( which I have and it is one of my regularly used tools ) . Both circles here are 1 inch in diameter but size is totally up to you . Make sure your metal is very clean. I use a textured steel sheet that is meant for a rolling mill to imprint the texture onto your metal – well I am not rich and i do not have a rolling mill so there is another way to get the texture onto your metal . Tape both circles face down with packing tape onto the steel sheet . Take your ball peen hammer and hammer the back sides of said circles . The tape is used to keep the circles from moving while you hammer . Make sure you hammer the whole surface . After your done remove tape and circles from your metal sheet ( http://www.riogrande.com has a whole armada of cool textured metal sheets )

 

b4 b5 b6 b7 b8

 

Draw to half circles onto the back of one of the circles right on the edge – those will be your feeding holes for the string or cord . Cut out with your jewelry saw using 1/0 blades . Then take your circles and dome them in a dapping block. Put the circles with the texture down so that the texture is on the OUTSIDE of your domes ( yes I have done it the wrong way ) make sure you use the same indentation and ball on both of your circles . Put the half domes together and look that there are no huge gaps , you might need to use the dapping block a bit more to do that.

b9 b10 b11 b12

 

Now comes the fun part . Soldering . Put both halfs together again and clamp them in between a third hand ( easiest way to do a thing like that ) Apply flux and your solder – I use stick or wire solder but I think paste solder might have been easier for something like that . Heat with your torch until the solder flows , flip your third hand without removing the bead ( careful its hot ) and do the other side . Quench in water . Again you see on the third photo how dark the silver gets due to oxidation during heating . To clean that up use your ” Pickle ” solution

When the Silver turns white you can take it out of the Pickle using your COPPER tongues . You can read in my other tutorials why to not use anything else besides the copper tongues. Rinse in water and dry . Use a number 4 , 3 or 2 file to clean the edges so that they are smooth . Run through a polisher or use yourΒ  flex shaft , both will work

 

b13 b14 b15 b16 b17

 

Add patina so that your texture can pop . Polish the high points with some polishing cloths ( don’t use your flex shaft it tends to take more patina off then you want ) Feed your cord through the holes an enjoy.

 

Again , if you want to buy any of my designs you can contact me through my shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com