Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fabricating Metal Earrings

I'm working on a new earring design, and it's one that I'm fabricating from sheet metal and wire.

The picture to the right is a piece of brass sheet metal, and you can see the holes where I've punched disks out. Using a disk cutter, I slide the sheet metal into it, strike a couple blows with a household hammer on the cutter, and out pops a lovely round metal disk. It's a lot easier and more accurate than the way I used to make circular metal disks, using a jeweler's saw.

Next I cut an addition hole out of the first disk, this one off-center. Then I hammer the metal with the ball end of a ball pein jeweler's hammer, to texture the metal. And finally I give the metal a rounded form, using a dapping block and punches.

A dapping block is a heavy piece of steel with hemispherical depressions tooled into it, and the corresponding punches are bars of metal with spherical steel ends that mate up with the holes in the dap. Using a dap makes it possible to evenly round a piece of metal.

The earring still needs to be filed and polished, and have an earwire attached.
I'm going to use a sterling earwire, and maybe a bronze colored freshwater pearl. As you can see, it's a work in progress, but I hope you've enjoyed getting a little glimpse into how I make jewelry.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Definitely interesting, and thank you for sharing!