Remember this little guy from a couple of weeks ago? My practice attempt with aspirations of becoming a bangle bracelet that ended up being a ring?
This week in jewelry class…round two…this time I engaged the services of the rolling mill.
First, forging the thick copper wire into the basic shape…aiming to get the two tails of wire as close and straight as possible. Then, after three or four passes through the rolling mill, I tweaked the flattened wire together some more with a hammer and bench block. (annealing a few times in-between wire wrangling to keep the wire pliable helped with this process )
Next, silver soldered the wires together. More passes through the rolling mill until I was happy with the thickness. After annealing again, I forged a bangle shape with the use of an oval bracelet mandrel…and this is why I’m thrilled to have such a class and lab in my community with access to all these tools.
Then, came the shaping of the ‘buckle’ clasp…more fiddling. Stamping some details added some interest. After filing and smoothing the ends, it was time for the silver button. I was able to finish up the piece at home using a heap of silver scrap wire to make the button and solder it to the copper wire.
Last step…oxidizing, polishing, and tumbling for that patina we all love!
Now my chunky little ring has a big sister! It still needs some clean up working on the inside to remove the extra silver solder. I’m feeling more confident about moving on to the prize…this bangle in all sterling silver!