This blog is to encourage everyone interested in making art jewelry. Topics will be anything relating to ideation,composition,materials, fabrication, resources,materials and of course examples of art jewelry.
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Sunday, January 12, 2014
Time travel with me to the late 1960's and lets make a classic repurposed spoon ring.
This is a demitasse coffee spoon in sterling silver. I purchased a set of these to repurpose into jewelry. The first step is to use a jewelers saw to remove the bowl of the spoon.
By cutting carefully around the embellishment on the handle I am left with a nice pattern like an arrow head. The next step is to anneal the handle to soften the metal. When spoons or other flatware is created in a press it makes the metal brittle. In order to bend it successfully annealing is best.
Placing the middle of the handle on the desired size on the ring mandrel we can begin to bend it around the mandrel by hand.
Here you can see that the top of the spoon has a reverse curve. This will need more annealing with a torch to soften it up for the next step.
Nylon jawed bracelet pliers are my favorite to apply gentle pressure to curve embossed metals.
Place the curved spoon straight on in the jaws and give it a good squeeze.
This will bring it around to begin to conform to the ring shape.
At this point the ends nearly meet and we can decide to make this a fixed size or leave it as an adjustable ring. You could solder the tail to the head to close the ring. Next the spoon ring is placed in the pickle pot in a hot acid bath where all the fire scale will be removed and a layer of pure white silver rises to the surface. I like the matte look of the silver at this point.
Here you can see the matte look and the markings in the shank showing it to be sterling.
I chose to lightly rub the silver to bring up some highlights using a sunshine cloth.
The bottom of the shank shows a light pattern with just the high points polished.
And here is the finished ring. Or maybe not. I may tumble polish it for a while, or buff out the flowers a bit more. And polish down the bowl end a bit. It always is good to let a project for a few hours and take a fresh look to see if improvements can be made.