Friday, 23 September 2016

Turning My 9ct Gold Scrap Into A Pair Of Earrings

For someone who's loved silver forever I seem to have an awful lot of scrap 9ct gold! Some of it is from gold chains and a ring I had when I was younger and some of it I was given by my Mum as she wasn't a big gold jewellery person either. She preferred wearing my early bead creations bless her!

There's also a couple of scrap pebbles from previous projects.
I started by melting it into as large a pebble as I could manage with my torch.

I ended up with a slightly saggy looking black lump. As I thought gold wasn't supposed to oxidize I decided to look up exactly what 9ct gold contains and found out it's made up of 37.5% pure gold and the rest is made up of silver, copper and zinc. That's explains the oxidation........

This is the 9ct gold after pickling - still a bit grubby and you can see some of the copper on the surface.
I then ran it through the rolling mill, annealing several times as I did so.

This is the result. It started to split on one edge and the copper content is very evident from the annealing before it was pickled.

I chose this design to imprint onto the gold as it fit the size of the sheet the best.

The patterned gold after pickling. I think the copper is drawn to the surface of the gold during annealing but I wasn't too worried about it as I have the means to remove it with...........

Super pickle is a 50/50 mix of clean pickle and hydrogen peroxide and is fabulous for removing copper from where it shouldn't be.

As you can see the super pickle did it's job.

After tidying the edges of the two gold pieces I added a satin texture to two pieces of silver sheet and soldered the gold pieces onto them.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the earrings yet so I used fairly large pieces of silver sheet.
Then I started trimming them...

I still didn't know what I was going to do at the top of the earrings so left it a bit longer.
Then I decided to trim that off too.............:D

 And add a jump ring for the earwire. 
{I think my design mojo had nipped out that day}

I soaked the earrings in the super pickle again to remove the copper that had appeared on the surface from soldering then added sterling silver earwires.

After tumbling the earrings to clean them up and polish them I decided to oxidize them in liver of sulphur to add a bit of depth around the join where the gold part meets the silver and also because I like the contrast of oxidized silver with the shiny gold.

I cleaned them up with wire wool and tumbled them again and here they are all finished...

I really enjoyed making something different and as I have some scrap 9ct gold left will most likely be making something else of the golden persuasion soon.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 2 September 2016

A Useful Infographic Guide To Soldering

Here's an infographic courtesy of Cooksongold that should be very useful to budding solderers!

It covers the basics you need to follow to solder succesfully but the most important thing to bear in mind is, like anything, soldering gets easier the more you do it!

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 26 August 2016

New Rolling Mill Texture Cards

Several months ago I swore off using texture cards with my rolling mill after some pretty unimpressive results with copper and silver sheet. The last lot of patterns I bought were from a different supplier than usual and left me feeling that using the cards wasn't a good idea anymore - the imprinted patterns were so faint.

 Then a friend told me that Tracey from Rolling Mill Resource on Etsy had a GoFundMe page as she needed to raise funds for a new laser cutter machine. In return for pledging a certain amount of money she was offering double the value in texture cards - so $50 would buy you $100 worth of texture cards. Ooh, very tempting, especially as she was promising lots of fab new designs.

So I gave in to temptation and paid $50 {about £35} then waited a few weeks until Tracey had her new laser cutter and had listed her new designs. I then spend ages choosing my designs.
 And here they are... 

Aren't they lovely? I chose a lot of the smaller complete shape designs in pairs as they are perfect for earrings.
The designs seem to be cut deeper than any texture cards I've previously used so I was confident they would produce good results.

I was really pleased with the results - the designs came out very clear, especially on the copper sheet. I'm not sure if it's the colour of the metal that causes it but designs on copper always look better somehow :D  I think I'll get another use out of these three pieces of card too as the design is still deep enough for another go - bonus!

I cut out the shapes and made them into simple earrings. I've not had time to do anything else yet as I've been busy with made to order stuff lately but I'm really looking forward to trying out the other designs I chose.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Making A Synclastic Bangle

I wrote a blog post a while ago where I practised making a mini synclastic bangle using a pair of synclastic pliers and dapping punches. I thought it was about time I made a proper sized bangle!

If you're wondering what on earth a "synclastic" shape is it's where the surface curves towards the same side in all directions or in the case of my bangle rather than having a flat profile when viewed in cross-section it's domed. Or if you still don't understand it...just look at the photo :D

I started with a strip of copper that I'd added a stripe pattern to...

Once it was soldered and the join tidied up I rounded it on the bracelet mandrel and sanded both sides to get them flat. I cut the strips of copper sheet myself so they are inevitably a bit wonky to start with but it's easy to sort out once the bangle is soldered.

I decided to make a medium size bangle and cut the length longer than normal to allow for the decrease in the inside diameter of the bangle as the sides will be curved inwards as the synclastic shape is formed.

I then used my synclastic pliers to start off the curved shape. I went round the bangle once then flipped it and did the other side.

The result is a little bit wonky and not as curved as I want it. The marks left on the inside of the bangle by the pliers are surface marks and disappear with a rub with some wire wool.

After annealing the bangle I started to shape the curve a bit more using dapping punches fixed in a vice and a nylon mallet. The nylon mallet won't flatten the metal just move it so the striped texture will be preserved.

It took a bit of hammering and a few annealings but I managed to even out the bumps and the wavy edges and get the curve pretty smooth.

The next stage is to flatten the bangle so it sits flat and to smooth the edges.

I use a file and sanding sticks to take the edges off the metal so it's comfortable to wear then pickle the copper to clean it up.

The bangle ready for oxidizing.

The finished bangle.

Using the dapping punches as a stake to make these synclastic shapes is ok but does make the process a bit fiddly as they tend to move a bit in the vice.
Which is why I treated myself to one of these!!

It's a Bonny Doon Anticlastic/Synclastic Forming Stake available from Rio Grande and Bonny Doon.
It's the perfect size for the narrower anticlastic and synclastic bangles and earrings I want to make. 

My parcel of goodies from Rio Grande arrived today and I've literally just opened the box and got the stake out to have a look at it as I write this post. I haven't had chance to try it yet {that will be another post!} but it looks like it's going to make life a lot easier.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 12 August 2016

New Copper Bangles With Silver Wrap Bead

I had a break recently and took the opportunity, once I'd caught up with lots of other things, to make some new stuff.

I wrote a post a while ago about making metal wrap beads in copper with the thought of doing a sterling silver version and that's one of the things I did in my break.

I had the idea of having a set of three bangles with three beads on just one of the bangles and the other two plain with a hammered finish. Then I decided it would look a bit more contemporary {to me anyway!} to have just one bead on each of the three bangles.

I started with some silver sheet I put through the rolling mill until it was about 0.25mm thick. I used the wrap bead template I made myself......

...and cut three lengths for the beads. I used the smaller size this time. I made three bangles using 3.25mm copper wire that I textured with a hammer. I then flowed some solder onto the the silver sheet on the side that would later become the inside of the bead.
Then I soldered the wide end of it to the bangle.

Once I'd attached the end of the silver sheet to the bangle I used pliers to fold the end down so it sat close to the copper.

I then started to wrap the silver sheet around the copper bangle and form the bead.

Despite the silver sheet being very thin at 0.25mm there was still a fair amount of tension in it meaning there were gaps between the layers as the silver sprung back when I let the end go.

 I annealed the silver and pulled and squeezed the silver wraps to get them a bit closer together before I soldered the bead wraps together using the solder I'd flowed along the inside length earlier.

Bit of a blurred picture but you get the idea :D

I needed to sand the edges of the silver beads as they were a bit sharp in places due to the gap thing going on.

 I'll need to find a better way to wrap the silver bead so the layers sit close together. Maybe I need to be a bit more forceful and use my pliers or mallet to force the silver sheet into a tighter wrap. Or maybe I just need to anneal the silver a bit more before I wrap them - it needs some experimentation and knowing what I'm like, will bug me until I get it right!

The shiny finished version before oxidizing.

Being cleaned up with wire wool before going into the tumbler for a polish.


These will appear in my Etsy shop and on my website very soon.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.