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Friday, December 30, 2011

New books to read, new metal to work

My daughter gave me this book for a present. It is one of the most complete overviews of historical jewelry I have ever seen. It has become my leisure time reading lately. Filled with great illustrations of jewelry from all eras and locales it is a valuable design source. I have already made 2 rings from illustrations in the book, duplicating hand forged rings from 2000 BC in Europe. Its worth a look. And since my daughter is a savvy shopper this is probably available at Half-price or similar stores.

This book I purchased for my self. It is like an encyclopedia of technique for silver...and what works for silver works for copper,brass,bronze and other metals. Soldering,shaping,etching,cold connections its all in there with clear photos and concise instructions to get you over the little hurdles in metal working. It is available through Interweave.

Since silver is expensive these days I have been trying alternatives in both wire and sheet. Silver filled is a good alternative especially in wire work. Here are a few sheets of silver filled bronze. The sheet with 380 on it is the back..jewelers bronze or NuGold the others show the front which is clad in sterling silver. The piece on the left is heavily forged..fold formed,hammered for texture and heated repeatedly to anneal. Then pickled. Even before polishing the fine silver color is apparent.I plan to make a ring shank from the top piece with sterling on the inside and the bronze out side. Imagine etching through this sheet with ferric nitrate and revealing the gold layer through the silver...Just as a design element the two color metal has many possibilities. I purchased my single clad 1/10 silver filled sheet from RioGrande.
New inspirations for a New Year...be creative and grow your mind and your art.

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