Sterling Work III

This is the last post about Jewellery making for the time being, I promise.

Project 4: Multi-way necklace

I saw a lady wearing this necklace:susan necklace

I thought is was stunning, so I made my own version:

Mulit way necklace 1
You can wear it this way…
multiway necklace 2
…or you can wear it this way.

I think this is my favourite creation so far and I’ve had some kind compliments.

Project 5: Lapiz Ring

I decided it was time to go 3D and make a ring. This was a miniature construction project, which started with a flat plate of silver.  Making the setting for the stone was time consuming and tricky, but so satisfying when it was all soldered together.

lapiz 1
Newly soldered, not yet filed or polished.

In fact the setting was slightly too perfect in the end, so the lapis lazuli stone had to be shaved at two of the corners, so that it would fit leaving enough micro space for the gem setter to do his thing.

The finished ring. Just need a cocktail to go with it.
The finished ring. Just need a cocktail to go with it.

Project 6: Tiny Flower pendant with an even tinier micro ring attached

I asked Sweetpea to draw a design for something she might like me to make for her. She started off by sketching a whopping centrepiece diamond and then smaller diamonds interspersed with  enormous pearls. I’ve adapted her design.

Just a couple of small tweaks.

There are no diamonds.

There are no pearls.

I’m working on this tiny flower pendant which will have a small blue gem set in the centre.

flower 1
The easiest part was piercing the flower. I’ve had quite a lot of practice doing this.
flower 2 tiny ring
The hardest part was making this tiny ring. The internal diameter is 1mm.

Just to give you an idea how fiddly the tiny ring is that I made to eventually attach the flower to the chain, look closely at the photo with the tweezers.

This flower pendant is almost, but not quite finished yet.

almost finished
Almost finished.

I have a much greater appreciation for handmade jewellery. I’m surprised at how inexpensive it is considering the time, skill and equipment and insane amounts of patience involved in making it.

Jewellery making doesn’t offer quick fix gratification, it’s a more of a slow burn achievement.  However, it’s something I probably wouldn’t have had the time or opportunity to pursue elsewhere.  Aside from my disagreement with the polishing machine and the multitude of tiny rings I’ve melted, it’s a great hobby.  

There are plenty of crafts, sports, language lessons and volunteer opportunities available for expats in Jo’burg to explore.  So filling your time is one thing you don’t have to worry about when you move here.  

What unexpected hobbies or opportunities have you stumbled into on your travels?

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