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Posts Tagged ‘linkage’

The Easter break is over and it’s back to my jewellery making and silver smithing course. Before the holiday I created three elements for a linked pendant – three hammered teardrops of brass, gilding metal and copper.

Linked hammered pendant 1

Last night I finished it.

Linked hammered pendant 2

I used a hacksaw to cut slots between the holes I’d drilled and bent the tips of the two larger teardrops through the holes to link them.

Linked hammered pendant 3

After a great deal of bad language and only after being introduced to a tool I wish I’d been told about in the first place, I successfully soldered a brass bale onto the back of the largest teardrop…

Bale close up

… and polished the whole thing.

Linked hammered pendant 4

I am inordinately proud of it, despite the wonkiness of the slots and therefore the slightly crooked way it hangs, the fact the bale is slightly off centre and the smallest teardrop is not as symmetrical as the others.

But as a design, a technical response to our challenge to create a piece of jewellery utilising a linkage system, I’m very pleased. It came together pretty much as I’d envisaged it and that’s a rare and precious thing!

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This is my third ring.  I wanted to make a punched design which actually worked this time and found a stylised fan shaped punch which impressed beautifully.

Fan punch ring 1

This time I had to cut the rectangle of gilding metal myself and therein lie some lessons. The piece I cut was not quite even, so when I came to bend it round to meet, I had a lot of filing to do, as you can see on the right.

Fan punch ring 2

 Also, the metal itself wasn’t quite as thin as the metal I’d been provided with for the other two rings, so in hindsight I should have rolled it, which might have made it easier to get the ends to join. The soldering was fine, but the join, as you can see, is not!

Fan punch ring 3

But it’s all learning, and these are mistakes I won’t be making again – hopefully!

I’m going to work on my silk stitched reticulated bracelet at home over the Easter break as most of the next part of the process involves drilling lots of holes. Now I have my own bow drill and some more drill bits (I managed to break both the first two I’d bought in one evening…) it’s something I can do outside of the workshop, thereby maximising my chance to use tools and techniques in the workshop that I can’t at home.

So I decided to make an articulated pendant as part of the linkage system idea. Each of the rolled (I’d learned that lesson!), hand cut and hammered shapes is made from a different metal – from left to right – brass, gilding metal and copper.

Hammered linked pendant 1

The two smaller elements have two holes drilled in the top edge.

Hammered linked pendant 2

My next step when we return after Easter is to use a piercing saw to cut a slot between the holes. Then the pointed tip of the previous element will go through the slot and be folded back on itself behind to make a link. The finished pendant will look something like this:

Hammered linked pendant 3

I haven’t given up on the sewing/embroidery and hopefully will have some more rusting stitching to show soon.

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Our first project is to create a piece of jewellery which uses some sort of linkage system, but something a bit more innovative than jump rings. I had several thoughts in my sketchbook but I really liked the idea of using bookbinding stitches and silk to join the metal and my tentative thoughts became this design for a bracelet.

Plaques of reticulated brass, pierced with holes and embroidered with feather stitch in silk and then joined using french link stitch.

Linkage system 1

I cut some pieces of card, painted them gold-ish and made some paper templates to pierce them so I could experiment with some mock ups. Different weights of silk.

Linkage system 2

Linkage system 3

And the french link stitch, which worked really well.

Linkage system 4

Then I tried the feather stitch and the french link stitch out on three pieces of golden card to get a feel for how the whole thing would look. Different thread for the feather stitch – rayon cord this time.

Linkage system 5

I was determined to get the hang of reticulation and with five pieces to reticulate I prepared for an evening at the hearth. It took a bit of doing, but I’m stubborn and I learn quickly and I cracked it!  Each piece was slightly better and quicker than the last.

Linkage system 5

Linkage system 6

Linkage system 7

Linkage system 8

Linkage system 9

Linkage system 10

You can tell that the last one was the first piece that I did!

I also had set my heart on having a piece of brass with a melted hole in it. Several other people had ended up melting holes in their brass instead of reticulating it and I really wanted to combine a hole with textured embroidery.

But could I get my brass to hole? Could I hell as like! It took me 45 minutes of heating, quenching, pickling and scrubbing, trying out different sized blowtorches and sweating and swearing in the heat before the edge suddenly vanished and I was able to run the torch up the metal to get this:

Melted hole in brass

Not quite the smooth, molten hole that other people had managed, but I can definitely do something with this. 😮

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