I’m trying to get braver about the wire and metals I’m using. While copper is my mainstay, a few of my artist friends seem to be pulling me more into silver. I’m not easy to pull! In fact, if you asked them, I feel certain the word “stubborn” would be used to describe my lack of action. Lately, however, a few of the boutiques I serve have asked “can you do that in silver?” My quick response to the owners is usually, “I can try.” The silver has turned out to be a reasonably easy alternative for the designs and the pain of what I paid for the wire and sheet metal is eased when the silver jewelry sells relatively quickly.
I’ve tried to approach the use of silver as I learned to do in my Creative Problem Solving workshops by first stating a question. In what ways might I use sterling silver wire and sheet metal to create pleasing designs that are still affordable? There are a number of criteria inherent in that question including using as little material as possible while still producing a good design. The criteria create nice parameters within which to work. If I develop an idea that doesn’t fit the criteria, then I stop and revise it or throw it out. So far things are working reasonably well within this plan.
The pieces in the photos below show several new silver pieces that all required a little soldering. All of these were small enough that the cost was low and they stayed within the parameters for my problem solving. The earrings might have stayed in place without solder, but I wanted the waves in each direction to remain touching. They were bit tricky to solder.
Rings seemed an appropriate project since they don’t require much wire. The original ring with the heart was designed by my friend at Sherry’s Jewels http://Sherrys-Jewels.com. I made a variation that is adjustable and added a little solder to connect the loose end of the heart to the band.
The next ring design, shown with two variations is composed of four wires, each of which I soldered into a circle before placing them together. Each wire is about 1/2 inch shorter in length than the wire outside it. I then fitted each circle of wire inside the other and soldered in appropriate places. This one is adjustable as well. The one on the right is an overlapping version while both ends of the rings are meant to show on the left one.
I used some left over wire to make the wire ring for the leaf necklace. The ring was soldered and then shaped and textured. The leaf is made from the foldforming technique mentioned in a previous post.
I consider this type necklace a collage since the dangles are an eclectic collection or things. This one also features a copper wire dragonfly and hangs from leather.
I have found that silver wire handles a little differently than copper and due to its lower melting point I have to be more careful with the torch. Yet, I think practice will work these things out and soon I’ll be braver about the size and cost of what I’m making.
Speaking of silver . . . I regret to inform you that I found a tiny bit in my hair the other day. I’m fortunate to not yet have to color away any gray and found that little silver on the side snipped right away with the scissors. If you see me out and about one day and note a small bald spot on my head, you’ll understand what happened.