A passion for silversmithing

STERLING SILVER : Noun, meaning silver of 92 and a quarter percent purity.....

Friday, 25 April 2014

Amy and Lily's earrings

For my friend Catherine's two daughters Amy and Lily, bespoke earrings in mixed gold.

I confess up front the overall designs are not mine, Amy showed me photos of earrings she liked, but I have added my own touches.

Amy and Lily are beautiful young ladies who now live in Australia. My youngest Bryony is a similar age so I took some guidance from her. I haven't done much in solid gold so was a little nervous about these...

So some rose gold sheet, 0.50mm, 1mm yellow gold round wire, yellow gold chain, earhooks and jump rings....

I cut the gold sheet into 4 triangles with my jeweller's saw (very carefully!!) 

then spent some time sanding the edges smooth and the corners rounded - could be dangerous otherwise!

I deliberated long and hard about what finish to give them. They needed some texture but I couldn't imagine them hammered, so I decided in the end to reticulate them. This means heating them with the solder torch till the surface bubbles and the gold almost melts. When you remove the heat it leaves a lovely unique rustic organic texture. It was a bit scary though as I wasn't sure how the gold would react - I have reticulated silver many times and it is fairly predictable. The gold sheet was quite thin and I felt that just one second too long and the whole triangle would shrink into a blob. 

Next step was to make holes for hanging. Just bought a Eurotool metal punch that makes both 1.6mm and 2.3mm clean and tidy holes so easily. What a time saver.

 Then for Amy's I used gold wire to makes loops to hang from the earwires.

Joined them to the triangles with gold jump rings - lucky I had spares as they melted to nothing VERY easily!

I normally make my own earwires but these needed to close securely so I bought ready made from Cooksongold (where I buy the majority of my bullion - fantastic service, competitive prices and a great range of products).

Lily's were finished with gold chain instead of wire. I had problems reticulating the second pair, it didn't seem to matter how long I heated them the gold wouldn't bubble how I wanted it to, then again I wanted them to be different from Amy's and so they have a flatter but rougher finish.

1 comment:

  1. I've not used gold at all yet and would be very nervous too. Sometimes it takes me several attempts to even start a process I've not done before and many cups of tea... :) beautiful results though. You must have been very pleased with them.