I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them.
I have always been fascinated with Ginkgo’s. The last of a family of trees, the Ginkgo is unique both historically, genetically, and has its own unique beauty.
This Christmas I made a bunch of them for friends and family. The leaves are etched to give a lovely sparkle when they hit the light, and they dangle on a silver chain from a simple silver post, that is capped with a brass circle.
I have been experimenting with some different way to turn bike chain into earrings, here is my first try.
The entire construction is bike chain parts, except for the silver ear stud. The tricky part was figuring out how to cut the very hard steel rings…until I remembered you can tempter steel to make it softer, after several tempering the rings were soft enough to cut through with a jewelers saw, then it was just a matter of putting it all together with a little torch work and some pliers. They have a really nice dangley jingle to them, and the recipient has received many compliments.
I liked the last two weeks projects so much (carving/casting the crow skull), that I decided I wanted to do some more carving and casting. Now that I have practiced a bit I think I can do it all in one week.
I have been listening to a lot of Run The Jewels lately (if you have not heard them, check them out they are great!). Their logo is two hands in a fist and gun.
So I got out some wax, and started carving!
I took the time to drill two tiny holes in the back, and made some little copper loops, so that when they are cast they would have them pre-formed. I want these two be earrings, so they are pretty small.
They would also make nice charms.
I then used the same method as before, placing them in clay, casting one half, and then flipping and casting the other half.
Don’t forget the mold release! Or you will end up with a solid block of silicone. Again I used high temp mold max 60 from smooth on.
I then cut in some air vents, and pour spouts, being careful to make the air vents smaller this time. I didn’t know if cutting two different pour spouts into one mold would work, but it works like a charm.
They came out better than I could have hoped! Lovely and shiny. I am really surprised by just how detailed you can get with pewter, its pretty amazing stuff.
I have occasionally in my goofing around with torch and flux turned a piece of copper bright red. I had no idea how I had accomplished it, and chocked it up to a fluke of chemistry. The color however was gorgeous, and I was sad I couldn’t recreate it….that was until I stumbled upon the hidden knowledge of the Borax Red Patina.
It’s super simple, you just take some water, dissolve as much Borax (20 mule team Borax from the store works just fine), heat your copper up till its bright red, and dunk it in the water. The finish is very rugged and wont wear off, but it is heat sensitive, so make sure you only do cold forming after the treatment, if you need to solder anything on its going to be a little tricky.
I played around with the technique for a while and found it rather fun to just make the copper red, you can lightly polish it after to bring out the redness and make it more interesting.
I ended up making an earring and pendant set. Its all pretty rough, as I was just sort of playing around, but I am glad I figured out the technique and will use it again in the future.