Sterling Silver is an alloy of silver and copper. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, by weight. This blending of metals makes it harder and more durable, thus making it more suitable for making jewellery, than softer fine silver.
Unfortunately, the sterling silver alloy is prone to tarnishing due to the copper component. Because of this, other metals, such as germanium, are also alloyed with silver to produce an alloy called Argentium that resists tarnishing. Argentium is used in jewellery production, but sterling silver is still far more common.
This pendant was for my daughter-in-law’s birthday. Her birthstone colour is blue so I decided to use a blue topaz and 2 white topaz gemstones with sterling silver wire for the pendant. Again for my inspiration I turned to nature. Continue reading Nature Influenced Pendant
This is the first time I have used liver of sulphur to patina my silver rings. I really liked the effects that that other people have created with this process so I decided to give it a try. Continue reading Using Liver of Sulpher
This is my second attempt in making a sterling silver cabochon ring. As you would have read in part 1, I had trouble attaching the sterling silver disc to a ring band. What learned was that I needed to purchase another tool, a third hand ( this has 2 hands on a mounting plate) so I order it and once I received it I attempted to make the glass cabochon ring again.
The third hand was wonderful to use I could hold everything with this so it left my hands free. It was so much easier to place the disc on the third hand platform and then use both of the hands to hold the band onto the disc.Then I placed solder around the disc and band applied the heat and it all solder wonderfully.
Once I had the ring made I quenched it and used a brassl brush to clean it up. Then I dried it with a clean rag and polished it with the flex shaft and polishing discs.
The next step was to attached the cabochon onto the ring. I used Araldite Ultra Clear glue to attached the cabochon.
After allowing the glue to set I had my ring.
Once I had made the large ring. I decided to also make a small ring with a small glass cab on it as well. Again I made the small rings the same way and as you can see from the picture it all went well. The glass cabochons were all made by Jeff.
I also made a stamped ring, with this ring I made the ring with 1mm sterling silver wire, stamped the small sterling disc before soldering in onto the ring.
Jeff and I are always looking for ways to combine both the sterling silver and the glass cabochons.
Then one day we had invited friends over to show them the things we had made with the silver and the glass cabochons. Our friend Karen suggested making large cabochon rings. We laughed, as Jeff had suggested it a little while ago but I wasn’t sure, thinking that the cabochons would be too big or so I thought. She said, she would wear them and she knows others that would too.
Well , Jeff and I talked about it and decided to give it a go. So I ordered some 10mm round sterling silver stamping shapes and sterling silver wire. The thought was if I soldered the round sterling silver disk shape onto a ring we could then glue a cabochon on to it. The glue used today is so good that we had no fear of it separating from the ring.
The only thing I didn’t realise was how hard it would be to solder the disk onto the ring.
Looking for jewellery making and silversmith work video tutorials has been an interesting task. The videos I have found vary from free, which you usually have to watch on the site, to paying for them so you can download them for future reference. Both have proved to be valuable, so I would like to share them with you. Continue reading Finding Silver Jewellery Making Tutorials
The plan was to make spiral drop earrings with both copper and sterling silver wire.
When designing the earrings I had a couple of things to consider. One was to be able to glue a glass cabochon on to wire. The other thing was to make the design in a way so that the light could shine through the cabochon to show up the colours in the glass. So my thought was to make a spiral with the wire so that the cabachon could be glued onto it and also allow light to shine through the glass cabochon.
The last silver class I attended our project was a twisted sterling silver wire bangle. This project was interesting and fun.
First I had to measure across my hand so the bangle would go over my hand and on to my wrist. Unfortunately I have arthritis and it made my measurement quiet big.
The next step was to measure the wires to length needed. Once I had all wires at the length I annealed them.
While doing the bangle I was quiet nervous, as you do have to be careful not to over wind the wires. You need to keep heat on to the wires so the wire will twist. It does require some of your ceative juices, as you have to decide when to stop twisting and how you want the bangle to look.
This bangle required me to twist two small round wires together using a vice and a hand drill. Once they were twisted I then had to use a larger half round wire and attach it to the two twisted smaller wires. This was done with binding wire. Once the wires were attached, one end had to be soldered to secure the wires together. When twisting the larger wire with the smaller wires the heat had to be applied as the larger wire needed softening up so it would twist. When I finished I put it on and I did find the bangle a little big but I still think it looks great.