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

guitar bypass ring

made this today – gold bypass ring in shape of a guitar

made this today - gold bypass ring in shape of a guitar

I started with a mock up in bronze ( much cheaper )

I started with a mock up in bronze ( much cheaper )
20 gauge ( 0.8mm thick ) is what I use i bronze or gold as I have a hard time bending things by hand with those 2 metals 18 gauge ( 1mm thick ) I use for copper and sterling silver as both metals are softer and not as springy

I drew the shape out on a piece of label paper

I drew the shape out on a piece of label paper
make it 3 inches long as you have to “bypass ” the ends and anything shorter will look odd label paper is sticky on one side so its perfect to transfer shapes to metal for the cut outs

my trusted jewelers saw

my trusted jewelers saw
I like to use a 6 inch saw frame ( distance from blade to the back of the frame) and 1/0 saw blades – they are very fine and will move well around the corners

cut out shape

cut out shape
I have several hole punch pliers with different punch out sizes – this one is a 3mm – you need a bit of strength to punch so I tend to sit on the end to make it punch though

added some texture

added some texture
hardened steel punches and chasing tools will last you forever

number 2 file

number 2 file
I filed all edges to make the ring nice and smooth for comfort

foming the ring

foming the ring
I start out with bending the ring around the mandrel with my fingers and then pound it in shape with a non-marring nylon hammer , the head of the hammer has sand in it which gives you a bit more umpf you will work harden the metal when you hammer so it will hold its shape nicely

formed ring

formed ring

cleaning up the inside with a flex shaft

cleaning up the inside with a flex shaft
its basically a dremel with a flexible hose the outside I polished with sandpaper first , starting with a 400 grit and then going finer and finer all the way to a 2000 grit and then ultrafine

finished

finished

rocking 🙂

rocking :)

fresh from the bench

gold gold1 gold2  gold4

So today I decided to work with some gold filled material . Gold filled metal is a much cheaper alternative than gold but of much higher quality than gold plated . The one I used is 14/20 meaning 5% off the metal is 14karat gold . The core is made of brass. The difference between gold plated and gold filled is the quality and the thickness of the layer while with gold plated you only get a microscopic film of 14k gold the gold filled layer is much thicker and bonded to the core via heat and pressure making it tarnish resistant.

I took a 6 gauge half round 14/20 gold filled wire and cut it to a 6 inch length then took a planishing hammer and hammered with the round ( ball ) side of the hammer until you get the nice honeycomb texture. Both ends were filed by hand being careful not to damage the gold layer and then formed on a wooden ring mandrel. Then I just took a small sunshine polishing cloth to take care of any smudges.

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 🙂

done :)

cuff links

skull cuff links – a small how to 🙂

www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

skull cuff links - a small how to :)

Cut out 2 discs

Cut out 2 discs
you want to make them at least 1 inch or the cuff links will be to small . I use a disc cutter but you can also cut them by hand with a jewelers saw

draw your skulls on a piece of paper and stick to your metal sheet

draw your skulls on a piece of paper and stick to your metal sheet
I used 20 gauge sterling silver for both the discs and the skulls ,I want to dome the cuff links later and when you go thicker they will dome funny

cut out your skulls and punch holes through eyes and nose for the saw blade

cut out your skulls and punch holes through eyes and nose for the saw blade
then feed your saw blade through the holes and saw out your eyes

make sure the skull fits well into the circle

make sure the skull fits well into the circle
I am lucky that I can eyeball very well ,I almost never measure ,but please do that before you end up with a too big of a skull for your circle

solder your skulls to the discs

solder your skulls to the discs
I use hard solder

now is the time to dome your discs

now is the time to dome your discs
The way to do is ,is to use a dabbing block ,its a steel block with half domed indentations and corresponding ball on sticks …

choose an indentation and put your disc in skull face down

choose an indentation and put your disc in skull face down

the ball hammer goes on top and the you hammer the end of it with a nylon hammer

the ball hammer goes on top and the you hammer the end of it with a nylon hammer
don’t use steel on steel as you will damage either your hammer or the ball on the stick 🙂 a raw hide hammer or nylon hammer is the best to use

domed skull circles

domed skull circles

now take your links and solder them to the back of your discs

now take your links and solder them to the back of your discs
I am lazy ,I buy the links ,its soooo much faster and they can make them better then I can

after soldering clean in your pickle solution until the metal turns white

after soldering clean in your pickle solution until the metal turns white

start polishing

start polishing
left is the polished one on the right is your non polished one

add patina ( liver of sulfur)

add patina ( liver of sulfur)
www.nic
now if you want to you can stop before adding patina and leave your cuff links like that ,nice and clean and in a ” raw” state ,or you can add patina and leave them all black or……….

…polish and leave the black in the nose and the eyes and a bit around the skulls

...polish and leave the black in the nose and the eyes and a bit around the skulls
that will give you a nice contrast

Today I made a pair of sterling silver skull cuff links…………

Today I made a pair of sterling silver skull cuff links............
hope you liked it

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 🙂

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 🙂

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

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 🙂
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 🙂

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.com   in case you want to see more of what I make