Sunday, November 19, 2023

Silver Sunday

 I have gotten into a bit of  a rhythm since returning, of heading over to the workshop with Barry on a Sunday, and sitting down and trying to do some silversmithing.

I think living with a metal worker does make it easier to attempt things like this that are far from paper and ink, but I am nonetheless finding my feet and getting into the swing of it. And loving it! It is meditative in a different way to my stitching, writing, setting type and making of books.

It does however take me away from my notion of myself as a maker with words. It will be interesting to see how far away I go. I can see it being an adjunct to, but not the main making I do.

What has happened is that it has brought together my desire to improve at soldering and hammering and making with silver, with my many explorations of pebbles. So I have set myself the challenge of making pebble-like jewellery. 

I soldered 6 small jump rings last week, and today I got to check if they worked and then began to shape them into pebbles. I put them through the rolling mill which flattened and elongated them; and then I got into hammering them.

They are pretty small!

One opened up as I hammered (poor soldering by me) but I figured I could use that as my middle pebble when I tried to overlap and re-join them. Before cleaning.

After cleaning. It was worth taking this photo because I had been polishing the one on the left and thought I was getting nowhere; so when I compared it to the one I was yet to polish I realised I had done OK. Of course, I have no photo of the finished pair! Yet.

I also challenged myself to solder the post on. The posts we had bought have this nice circular plate at the bottom which makes it easier; but my pebble was too narrow and the plate would have shown, so I was bold and cut the plate off and soldered just the post. Very chuffed that I did that. You can see one on the unpolished one above.

But then I wanted to go big, and make some jump rings from thicker wire and formed them into wobbly pebble shapes.

Playing around with positioning.

Reminding myself how much polishing adds, in comparison to clean, but unpolished.

I popped a circular jump ring on, but didn't like the curved nature of it, so took it off and tried to hammer it a bit flatter on the tiniest of mandrils.

Much happier with the hammered look.

And now to try and find some cord or wire or chain to go through and take some finished shots!


  1. as ever, I continue to be fascinated by the range of hammers that show up in the posts that you and Barry write ... how they each have purpose

    1. Many of my questions to Barry are along the lines of "which hammer should I use???" Slowly getting my head around some of their uses...


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