Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Twenty Minute Toe Ring

I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post! Actually, I can because it has felt like forever since I've felt ANY sort of inspiration. But I have a feeling all that is about to change. The oncoming cold, gray weather has me thinking a lot about what I can do with silver (get it?? cold and gray. never mind!).

Well, I've dedicated today as "Get Back in Your Studio and Make Something Day" and the self-imposed pressure is working much better than expected. I've drawn out a design for a custom order project, cut the template and actually have the raw forms done. Next is filing and since I hate that step, I decided to take a little break. It was a working break during which time I created what I call the Twenty Minute Toe Ring.

What's that?? You want to know how I made such a lofty piece of important jewelry?? Thought you'd never ask, but I took pictures of the process anyway. Here's a great, easy thing for your spare time...

First, I cut a thin (2mm x 44mm) strip of 20 gauge sterling silver using a Guillotine cutter and smoothed the edges with a small hand file and fine sandpaper. Then, I used my "wrap and tap" pliers to start forming the metal. As you can see in the third photo above, my next step was to pound on a hammered texture using a small brass mallet and ring anvil.

After that, I reformed the ring using my homemade swage block and trusty small, brass mallet. Next, I polished the ring with a felt polishing disk on my flexshaft. Then, using a brass brush, I washed the ring in hot, soapy water with ammonia to remove the polishing compound. Finally, I tried it on and adjusted it for best fit. Now, I just can't wait to show off my toes in yoga!

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