I've been working very hard lately to learn how to make .999 Fine Silver pieces to add to my products. On the surface, it seems pretty easy to do, but as it turns out, it's easier said (or demonstrated by an expert) than it is to do. I've had a steep learning curve with many beautiful ideas not surviving. But I am getting the hang of it and am finally ready to show you some works in progress that I hope to finish soon.
Back on December 1st, I posted a story about getting a kiln to make .999 fine silver jewelry in: I can't believe that was almost three months ago, before the holiday rush.
At that time, I showed the picture of the acorn and vetch leaves below before they were ready to be fired in the kiln.
I also tried using a mold of a seashell for a pendant. I am also planning to make my own toggle clasps and other findings.
It took me more than two months to finally put the acorn, vetch, seashell, and early toggles into the kiln. And here they are after firing!
I found a template for toggles, and they are going to be in the next batch in the kiln after I do some embellishments and connectors.
My biggest plans are for using silver to mount the 100's of semiprecious stone pendants I have accumulated. Here's a teaser, and the first attempt starting with a strand of agate/carnelian dolphins I have. It has been a learning experience.
I love the swirly prongs, but I found out they were too thick and would crack, so I tried to thin them out and wah-wah it broke. Here's a picture of the first one after I broke the prongs off and later broke the whole thing, and a second one I tried, along with the strand of agate dolphins.
This is my second try and it still needs a lot more work before going into the kiln. I put the dolphin in it so you can visualize what it will look like in the end. The prongs will bend down to hold the dolphin in place. The clay you see will burn off and leave .999 fine silver. In the process it will shrink a bit, so the silver mounting will end up being about 90% of what you see - just a perfect size for a pendant!
I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm hoping to get my process perfected and move into other semiprecious stone mountings and toggle clasps.