Thursday, October 23, 2008

Part 1 of this story can be found here.

As you read in my last post, I wanted to learn to make domed discs and incorporate them in my jewelry designs.

Starting with copper, which is obviously WAY LESS expensive than sterling, I learned by trial and error to make discs. The sheets of copper fit easily in the slit on the side of the disc cutter. (See right.) I found that one sharp blow with a heavy hammer was best - it resulted in the discs having sharp distinct edges. Only minor filing was required to make the edges smooth and ready for the next step, doming the discs to create softly concaved shapes.

To make concave discs, I started with the largest depression in the dapping block and used the largest punch. ( If I didn't start with the largest depression, I ended up with folds in the disc. An interesting look, but not one that I wanted. Trial and error - AGAIN!)

Then I progressively moved to smaller depressions until I got the shape I wanted.

After getting comfortable with the copper, I made a few discs in silver and domed them with the dapping block.

In the photo on the right, you can see three different discs.

On the upper right is a small non textured disc. The lower 2 discs have been texturized. They've been hammered with punches to get a texture that I liked. The one in the middle has also been oxidized and polished to bring out highlights.

I liked the earthy feel of the oxidized and textured discs. I could easily make them into jewelry, but I felt that they needed something else. I went through my boxes and boxes of beads and findings. I tried combining all kinds of beads with the sterling discs but finally settled on some coin pearls which I felt could stand up to the heft and the texture of the silver, and contrast it nicely.

On the left you see the final result. Sterling silver domed discs and coin pearls. I call them my Moonlit earrings.

(Modesty aside, isn't the photo great! Seriously, this is one of my favorites. Other than cropping it, nothing else has been done to enhance this photo.)

I really like the textures of the sterling against the iridescence of the pearls. I even made a pair of these earrings for myself- but I sold them off my ears from someone at work - and made a custom matching pendant.

Unfortunately, this is all I've been able to accomplish with my new tools recently. My full time job has been keeping me so busy that this jewlery sideline of mine - the artistic part of me at this point in my life- has languished. New designs have been really sparse. It's all I've been able to do to keep up with my Etsy Shop.

I've got lots of ideas drafted on paper. I only hope I can get them visualized.

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  1. Connie said...
    wow gorgeous. i wish i knew how to work with metal.
    beadsnbangles said...
    Love the earrings. I love using my disc cutter and dapping block. They are really fun tools.
    High Desert Diva said...
    They're gorgeous
    Andrea said...
    I'm impressed. Those earrings are fabulous!
    Infinite Cosmos said...
    Those are darling! i love how they turned out! And that disc cutter looks like fun to use too!
    Unknown said...
    lovely... thanks for sharing your adventures, and here's to finding a moment here and there for more designs :)
    CarolynArtist said...
    You make me want to dome!!! Seriously, I love my doming tools, I'm looking at them now, with drool! ...but I don't have a disc cutter, I rely on an outside studio once a week for that :-/ Maybe if I sell more on Etsy I can afford one! *wink*
    miznyc said...
    lol. you sound like me. It took me forever to finally buy the doming block and punch set and STILL have yet to use it. I totally want to get a disc cutter like yesterday. You give me hope. :D
    DarkAngelMetalWorks said...
    Very nice! *adds new things to his shopping list*

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