I absolutely love these earrings, they are one of my favourite pieces that I have made to date. Although I’ve made similar ones before, these ones just seemed to come together perfectly. I was really pleased with the shape, the size, and most importantly the enamel. Enamelling is always a slightly tense time as the piece has to be made completely first and the enamel is the very last thing to happen. So hours in the workshop can be ruined by enamel that chooses to misbehave!!
But when it doesn’t misbehave, it is magical and transforms that piece of silver into a gorgeous piece of jewellery!
So……..how did I make them?
This is how they started. A piece of sterling sheet silver and some sterling silver wire.
I made the wire shapes using my pliers (and a few annoyed words!) but they turned out pretty nice!
I like to use traditional techniques so I still use a borax cone to solder pallians of enamelling solder onto the piece.
Here are the tiny pieces of solder ready to go on the main piece of silver.
The pallians ready for soldering. I decided to use my tripod so that I could apply the heat from underneath to avoid melting the thinner silver of the wire.
The solder was being super hard and took ages to melt!! I had to move it to my charcoal blocks to get it hot enough.
Eventually I got the solder to run! Then I cut the pieces out using my piercing saw.
I cleaned them up with my files and then put them in a pickling solution.
Meanwhile I prepared the vitreous enamel by washing in distilled water until the water ran clear.
The prepared enamels. For this piece I used colours LJET217 and LJET330.
Then I wet pack the enamels onto the pieces and let them dry slowly on top of the kiln.
I fired them at 790 degrees Celsius for 2 mins. Here they are when they first came out of the kiln and I was waiting for the colours to develop.
I was really happy with the colours and so just did the one firing. Next they had to go back in the pickle solution before being ready to finish off.
After polishing (for what seemed like forever through the various grits of paper and compounds) they were looking pretty good. However this was artificial light.
So I had to be patient and wait for the morning to capture their true beauty.
I absolutely love these and how they came out. These are already sold and on their way to their new owner. But I will be making more………. watch this space!!!