Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moon and Stars -- Sterling and Pearls

Moon & Stars, in sterling with pearl dangles, is a completely hand fabricated design. I begin with a sheet of sterling, and punch out two disks. The next step is trickier, taking out the central disk, to leave the hole in the first disk.

I have a heavy sheet of plastic, with holes of various diameters cut out in it, and line up the correct size hole over a sterling disk, until I have it just right, then mark the location with a Sharpie. I use that mark to line up the disk in the cutter, then punch out the hole. I could also use a jeweler's saw to make the disks, but I prefer to use a disk cutter -- it makes perfectly round disks every time.

The next step is to metal pieces of sterling scrap for the round sterling balls. I put the scrap on a charcoal block, and melt the silver with a torch. It's a lot of fun, the metal gets shiny, and then begins to curl up on itself, until it forms a nice round ball with a flat bottom. If I want to make a completely round sphere of sterling, I'd just scoop out a little hemisphere in the charcoal block to place the scrap sterling in before melting.

I do the finishing of the disk before I solder the sterling balls on. It's much easier to file, sand, and texture the disks beforehand, which is something I've learned from experience. I used a coarse file to create the texture on the disks, suggesting the surface of a moon after oblique meteor impact.

After sweat soldering on the sterling balls with medium solder, I attach the two jump rings using easy solder. Since the medium solder needs a higher temperature to melt than easy solder, the sterling balls stay securely soldered.

The final steps are attaching the freshwater pearl dangles using wire wrapping -- pearls are too delicate to take the heat of soldering, and adding handcrafted sterling earwires. And voila! A new earring design is complete, ready to be photographed and listed at Dalkullan Jewelry.


Anonymous said...

I like the chromatic combination of metal and pearls, it looks good. When I see new handmade products I also like the fact that there is an explanation to how it was made, that way people can see that there is a real effort that's been put into it!
Well done.

DalkullanJewelry said...

Thanks so much Alexia! I also like the contrast between the textured disks and the smooth pearls and sterling balls, so glad you do too.

The3Maries said...

Beautiful!! As always:)

Arion Jewelry said...

Totally unique. Wondering who is going to be the lucky person to wear those One-of-kind earrings. She will cherish your lovely earrings.

Arion Jewelry said...

Totally unique. Wondering who is going to be the lucky one to wear that one of a kind earrings. She will cherish your lovly earrings.
Great pieces.

Arion Jewelry said...

Totally new and unique. Wondering who is going to be the lucky one to wear that one of a kind earrings. Great work.

Michele said...

WOW! I am amazed by your gift! Absolutely beautiful, and I now have a greater appreciation for all the work and love that you put into your gorgeous creations!

DalkullanJewelry said...

3Maries, Arion and Michele, you're all so kind, thank you very much! Thanks for reading my blog, too!

It's a lot of fun to learn new things about jewelry making, it's so exciting to make a sketch of something, and then actually craft it from metal and gems. Thank you for your support and encouragement!