North Brisbane Lapidary club have instructors on duty at each work session to help the new members with beginner silversmithing projects. The following projects have been designed to teach the basic skills needed before branching out on your own designs.
It is recommended that a minimum of one chain and one ring are completed to ensure satisfaction rather than frustration when starting on your own work.
- measuring and precision
Figure of 8 Bracelet
Skills acquired: Annealing, making jump rings, sawing, soldering, use of various pliers, twisting wire and polishing.
Additional skills acquired: Use of the rolling mill and practice of essential skills to hone your soldering skills.
Just introduced to the program the classic cable or curb chain.
There are a selection of designs to choose from when learning the basics of making a ring.
- Construction of a basic ring shank
- Soldering larger pieces
- Precision and measuring
- Sawing/piercing/filing used as a design element
- Stamping (Sterling Silver 925)
Bezel Set Cabochon
Another project is to learn how to set a cabochon in a bezel setting. The cabochon can be one you have acquired or you can make your own. If this is a new skill we have a cabochon instructor for this too. The below are examples of the pieces I made as I was learning.
- Learn to measure the stone to be set
- Making a bezel and resizing as necessary
- Soldering a bezel to a back plate
- Making a bail
- Setting the stone – (pusher fitting or setting ball method)
Sweat soldering is used to join flat surfaces together, especially when using different metals and you do not want the solder to show. It is also called applique or flush soldering.
There are many other techniques your instruction may be able to help you with and lots of resources such as the library or online.
If once the beginner silversmithing projects are complete and you are feeling you need some guidance on what to do next, we have a comprehensive library full of ideas. Try something from one of the books there to test out what you have learnt and remembered.