Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Silver jewellery class week 3

Week 3 was a bit more interesting. First Ian went through all the tools we might need, most of it, I had already used, but there were a few I hadn't seen, he also explained uses for some that I hadn't realised you could do.
He then showed us how to make wire narrower and into square wire , triangular and basically any shape you wanted. Copper wire was annealed, to make it soft, then it was pulled through shaped plates. It was time consuming, as it had to go through several times and had to be filed each time to make the forward end, small enough to go through a smaller hole. I did think it would be more efficient to buy square or half circle wire etc, but I suppose its good to know how to do it, and until I start making jewellery a lot I wont know if I need to use this technique or not.

He also showed us how to twist wire together and to twist a single piece for a nice square patterned effect.
Then he showed us how to make very neat squares from bending wire. I have bent wire before but just bending it with pliers gives you a rounded inside edge. To get over this then you cut into the wire to leave a gap for the wire to fold into. You have to be quite brave as you could easily cut right through the wire, you would also need to solder the corners for strength at the end, as it leave them quite weak. The picture is of my practice , not measured just done by eye. I was quite please and can definitely see the difference it made to the neatness of the corners. I added a jump ring that I also made.

Even though we have thought for the last 2 weeks we would start to make our rings then the last part of the session was starting to prepare for making them. I was going to do the swan ring on my previous page, but decided with a little bit of encouragement to do this ring, it will be in silver and copper and with be raised up on the top in an unusual manner, I am quite excited about starting it now.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be able to show you its progress.


  1. Oo, super, it'll get really interesting now! I've never, ever had to draw down wire (other than when I was taught how to). I just plan well enough to be able to buy it ready sized and in the correct section. It's a useful thing to know though ...

  2. is that what its called drawn down, I had trouble describing it, x

  3. I like drawing wire! I love feeling it grow in length! Is VERY time consuming though but can be useful if you can't afford to buy every thickness available. I want to get draw plates in every shape (I only have round and square atm) A round draw palte can also be used to round the corners of square wire- much easier than sanding/filing the edges.
    Looking forward to seeing your ring progressing