Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Step by Step: the Crossroads Pendant

So finally I have had the discipline to take pictures of my working process. I have been toying with the idea for some time now to show you, my dear blog readers, how I work.
So without further ado, here comes the photographic documentation of the making of the Crossroads Pendant. (I only realized while gathering the pics for this post that it's not a complete 'step-by-step guide', because at some point it looks like I got carried away an forgot to take more pictures!).
I usually start my design process with a simple drawing in my sketch book or on a piece of paper. I then scan the image and work on it in Illustrator. However this piece emerged from rearranging bits and pieces of my Peggy Pendant.
Then I print out the outlines and glue the paper to my metal of choice. This time it was a sterling silver. Once the glue is dry I cut out the piece with a really tiny jewelers saw blade.
When cutting out inside shapes, I drill a tiny hole in the shape I want to cut out...
...and insert the saw blade in it to proceed to pierce out the shape.
Once I'm done with the sawing, I peel off the paper and file the edges, getting rid of imperfections and making them smoother (so they feel nicer to the touch).
I cut out a round shape of sheet brass and looked for a bezel that would fit my cabochon: Lapis Howlite.
After sanding the areas to solder (to make sure they're clean) it's time to fire things up. I first soldered the sterling silver shape to the brass circle using medium solder (a metal alloy that acts like a glue, fusing metals together. Hard, medium and soft/easy describe how quick it melts). Once this is done I soldered the bezel onto the center of the piece with easy solder.
Time to clean things up a little. I used my cheapo flexible shaft with a new set of "Advant Edge" polishing kit, that I purchased at riogrande.
And apparently at this stage I got too carried away to take pictures in between each step :)
Once the surfaces were clean and I decided from where to hang the pendant from a chain, I drilled two holes for the jumprings. I oxidized the silver, using black max, making it completely black (as the name indicates). Then I carefully sanded the piece a little, taking away any excess blackness and giving the piece a matte, aged finish. I placed the cabochon in it's bezel and pushed the frame around the stone to secure it. After attaching different chains, I finally settled for this copper ball chain, because I think it goes well with the color palette and it's not overwhelming - making the pendant truly the center piece.
So, what do you think? Did you enjoy this look "behind the scenes"? Let me know. Have a great rest of the week,

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