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Filtering by Tag: silversmithing

Intro

Amber Reed

        Working at my bench this morning enjoying a cup of warm green tea & the nice light breeze coming from the open sliding door.

        After pulling out all the tools I needed to get started, I looked at the variety of shapes and sizes of stones I have to choose from. I chose this beautiful turquoise silica egg shaped cabochon. I got this turquoise stone from a local native supply man named Koomer.

       Koomer is a cherokee native, he was in the Navy many moons ago & his art work is absolutely amazing. If he had a site or was online I would post his info. He has pristine labridary (stone cutting and polishing) skills too. He mined & hand-cut the turquoise stone I picked out today. Are you a local in the greater Phoenix area? He sells at the Mesa flea market. I love going through his wares because he carries mainly local gemstones & about forty percent of them are cut and polished by him. I'm a big believer in supporting the local economy. Plus how cool is Koomer? I'm grateful for the friendship and business relationship we've had over the years.

 A short step by step of the jewelry making process for you to enjoy;

  1. Pick out the stone
  2. Draw out the design 
  3. Choose metal material for the stone and the ring shank. Hand saw/cut to appropriate size
  4. File all rough edges especially where the solder needs to flow 
  5. Clean metal before soldering *also make sure heat block is clean 
  6. Solder all pieces in solder temp. order (Hard. Medium. Easy.) Use flux to guide your solder flow lines
  7. Use pickle after piece cools and repeat solder if needed. This cleans off fire scale 
  8. After pickle and soldering, it's time to polish with four different sandpaper grits. Each grit removes scratches, solder marks, deeps marks, fire scale & whatever small damage done during the above steps (may have to start over if the damage is to bad) 
  9. Place the stone in the bezel setting & set it carefully. Sand and polish down the sides to remove any marks the bezel tool could of made
  10. After high-polishing is finished. (carefully polish around the stone) Patina is an option. There are many patina colors available. Each one has its own directions on the box. 
  11. After patina. A final polish 

     I may have missed a couple of steps in between but I wanted to give you an idea of what the process entails.

 

       I treat polishing like a meditation practice because, at the time, my mind isn't wandering and I'm focused on only two things; detail & keeping a steady hand. Meditation is all about finding stillness and peace throughout our daily lives. Metalsmithing makes me still which is good because my nickname is Hummingbee. I received this nickname because I'm a doer and a go-go-go type-A personality (bumble bee) with a calm/peaceful demeanor most of the time (humming bird).

Day One : Turquoise silica ring 

Day One : Turquoise silica ring 

This is my very first blog post & I'm so excited to share my creative process with you. I will be posting new designs 3 times a week! Blogging as often as I can. Let the ideas and solder flow! Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a lovely day! Comment and share if you like my blog.

Love, 

Amber Marie