Sunday, March 28, 2010

Silver Fabrication Therapy Results...

Nothing like some cathartic beating on metal and heating stuff up to red hot/melting to make a person feel better...
If you want to know how these are made, see directions below...
You can click on the images to see them bigger...

1. Cut pendant shape out of 22ga sterling silver sheet
2. Put on firebrick and add silver filings, small scraps etc on top of pendant
3. Heat with acetylene torch until red hot, watch as surface turns molten and remove heat when desired fusing is accomplished. Use a medium sized, fairly hot flame. Not too hot or it will be harder to control the fusing. You may have to reheat several times as it's very easy to turn the whole thing into a silver puddle if it is overheated. Quench in water.
4. File edges with bastard file.
5. Sand edges with 400 grit sandpaper
6. Place on steel bench block and use spring-loaded center punch to create the hole for the bail. Use one corner of the block because this will leave small divots in your otherwise pristine bench block. Punch five times.
7. Place on 2x4’ scrap and repeat five punches with same center punch.
8. Use round needle file and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth and enlarge hole.
9. Use wood dapping block and improvised wooden dowel punches to dome pendant.
10. Cut 2-3in length of 18ga silver wire and file one end smooth.
11. Use round-nosed pliers to form loop in wire.
12. Flux, heat, and apply solder to joint in loop.
13. Heat very carefully with small bushy flame. Remove heat as soon as solder flows or you’ll melt your wire. Quench wire in water.
14. Put unlooped end of wire through hole in pendant. Hang wire over edge of firebrick and heat with sharp hot flame until end balls up. Quench in water.
15. Bend wire so pendant hangs gracefully and moves easily.
16. Pickle pendant in warm acid bath for 5-10 minutes to clean it.
17. Move pendant to baking soda/water bath to neutralize pickle/acid.
18. Move pendant to water to clean it completely.
20. Move pendant to rotary tumbler with mixed steel shot, water, and one drop of dishwashing liquid and tumble for several hours to work harden the metal and strengthen it.
21. Remove pendant from tumbler and wash in clean water.
22. Scrub pendant with brass brush to clean of residual fine silver, which won’t accept patina/oxidization.
23. Fill glass jar with hot water, drop in pea sized piece of liver of sulphur. Don’t breathe the fumes as they are “dangerous.”
24. Fill second glass jar with hot water.
25. Place pendant on copper scrap wire and dip in the hot water.
26. Dip pendant in LOS solution, and back into hot water, and so forth until desired darkness is reached.
27. Find rubber gloves, fine steel wool, and a large plastic bowl. If you don’t wear the rubber gloves you’ll end up with some wicked steel splinters that will hurt like hell.
28. Brush pendant with steel wool using whatever pattern of motion leaves patterns you like. Remove as much patina as necessary to achieve the level of shine you find appealing.
29. Congratulations. You are now finished.
30. Unless you want to actually wear your pendant, in which case I would suggest a simple, strong silver chain that won’t distract from all of your hard work on the pendant.
31. Good luck trying to photograph metal... It's not very accurate.


  1. I would like to buy a piece? Is that possible? I go to redeemer and have been following your blog. You have really inspired me. I have been meaning to get your address from Hunter and send you a note. I would love a piece of jewelry. Kari Ingram

  2. Thank you Mom.
    Thank you Kari-and yes, you can buy a piece. I'm trying to figure out a way to sell stuff that is efficient and do-able for me and people who are interested.... I've thought about a couple different things but haven't settled on anything yet. If you go to my "recent artwork site" you can find my email address, which I don't want on this blog, and we can talk : )

  3. Hi Martha,

    Good to catch up on your blog! Your friend OwenKitty72 here. I am so impressed, as always, with your faith and spirituality. I'm really glad you have your art to keep you sane and give you joy.

    In my little world, I had to have my gall bladder taken out on Tuesday. I couldn't believe it after just having had my appendix in January. I am doing OK, except for being a Class I Whiner.

    I hope you're able to keep your pain under control and your quality of life is good. Glad to hear you're teaching. Kids that age are so cute!


  4. Those are amazing! I love them!

  5. Hey Martha. Karen Foust here... I rarely comment, but I do check in on you ~ often ~ and I pray for you ~ daily. I don't pray for anything in particular; just that you're okay, and in a good place in your heart/mind/soul. I love, love, love all your artwork; you're such an amazingly creative and talented soul. I find myself saddened that you won't be with us as long as I would like, teaching all those kids how to reach inside and find their artistic beings... selfish of me, I know, but art is life and yours is a true gift. I love your new tattoo, also. I'm not a tattoo kind of girl, but that would totally be the one for me if I were... So, just wanted to say hello, tell you that your most recent works of art are awesome, and that you stay with me, in my prayers and in my thoughts ~ always. Hugs.

  6. Your silver pieces are so creative...a bit of God's creativity within us. A thirst for beauty within us. Given to us by our Creator and Lord.

  7. very awesome, they are very sweet.

  8. Sick! also impressed w/ the descriptive how too. #4 uh, how many of those do you have? :) love you