I hear that question a lot. Both from budding jewelry artists and from friends and clients.
I thought I would add a few posts that show the process, a little peek behind the scenes. This first post isn’t very detailed as I thought to take photos a bit far into the process last night, but it’s a start!
I was making a pendant when I stopped and grabbed my phone.
Typically I begin with large sheets of metal (in this case sterling silver).
For this project I used my jewelers saw (a hand saw with VERY thin blades) to cut two shapes from the sheet. I also cut a piece of ‘strip’ to use as the sides of the setting for the stone.
I used my hand tools and torch to shape, form file, texture, sand, solder, etc.
In the next photo is the orientation they will be in to form one pendant as well as one of the stones resting in place briefly for a fitting.
The next step will be to create some sort of connection between the pieces as well as something for a chain to go through, finish creating a setting on the smaller piece, then clean it all up, set the stones, and maybe add a patina (a darkening) to the piece to highlight the textures.
People often ask about glue. No, we don’t use glue. If done ‘right’ the stones stay in a piece of jewelry though ‘pressure points’ of metal…the slightest amount of metal is pushed over the slightest edge of the stone to hold it in place. NO GLUE. (that would be considered bad practice)
Hopefully these photos will give you a bit of an idea of what I mean when I say that my jewelry is ‘handmade’. I will share more studio snapshots soon!