For the club competition we can either make a necklace or a bracelet. In the past we have shown you the beautiful necklaces made by Mary Lancaster. I look at them and see the beauty and work and certainly appreciate them but they are not my style.
They might not represent your style either so I wasted some time on your behalf and looked for alternate styles:
For the purpose of the competition the piece has to be made of silver or gold with no more than 25% copper for accent purposes allowed (that is optional). And no stones either this year.
Necklace length definitions:
1. Collar – Collar necklaces sit flush against the skin and rest directly above the collarbone. Contemporary collar necklaces are thick and look similar to a collar on a shirt, measuring anywhere from 12 to 16-inches (30 to 40cm).
Figure 1 – Sterling Silver Collar
2. Choker – The choker necklace can either sit very high on the neck or just below the collarbone. The later style dangles more freely and is slightly longer in length. (16 inches/40cm)
Figure 2- Sterling Silver Choker
Figure 3 – Starburst Choker
3. Princess – defined either by their length or style. The length is longer than a choker but shorter than a matinee necklace. The 18-inch (45cm) length is thought to be the most universal and flattering length. Any pendant or focal piece will usually rest right below the collar bones.
4. Matinee – Matinee necklaces are great for jewellery layering because they are longer than princess length and shorter than opera length. These necklaces will fall somewhere between the collarbone and the centre of the bust. (22 inches/ 55 cm)
5. Opera – long and versatile. When they are worn as a single strand, the necklace should fall below the bust line. Some longer opera length necklaces may even reach the bellybutton. (30 inches/ 76cm)
6. Lariat – also known as a rope or Y-necklace. In terms of length, this necklace is longer than opera length; doesn’t have a clasp. The chain or beads form a long rope that is either tied or pulled through a circular finding like the one pictured here. (Ave. length: 34 inches / 86cm)
Figure 4 – Lariat Necklace
Necklace style definitions:
1.Bib – usually collar or princess length. They consist of a wide front portion that rests just below the neck. Pearls, beads, or gemstones are often sewn or set into the bib, creating fanciful designs along the circular or triangular frame.
Figure 5 – Bib Necklace
2. Lavaliere – a feminine pendant necklace that connects a dainty chain to a larger focal piece. That main pendant also has smaller embellishments dangling from it. This necklace style was popular during the Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Art Deco jewellery eras. These delicate pendants look best with light, feminine, and even bohemian fashions. They are usually princess length and will sit right below the collarbone, so any neckline will work well.
Figure 6 – Lavaliere Necklace
Figure 7 – Locket
3. Locket – a small compartment pendant that can hold a small picture or memento. These pendants are personal, sentimental, and are often passed down for generations. Lockets were popular during the Victorian era and were often engraved and filled with a loved one’s hair. Lockets look best with opera length chains but usually come standard with an 18″ princess chain. Pair a longer locket with a minimal necklace that is choker length.
Figure 8 – Pendant
4. Pendant – can come in many shapes and styles. Pendants are focal points that dangle off a chain of any length. Popular pendant styles include lockets and lavalieres. Pendants are easily personalized. Initial pendants make great gifts and are often worn close to the heart.
There are more styles but I have left them off as they are defined by the use of stones and pearls and so not suitable for our competition.
- Figure 1 – Sterling Silver Collar by Artie Yellowhorse
- Figure 2 – Liquid Chain Choker – by Louise Olsen
- Figure 3 – Starburst Choker
- Figure 4 – Lariat Necklace
- Figure 5 – Bib Necklace
- Figure 6 – Lavaliere Necklace – by Kristin Ash. Why not replace the spinner with a wire sculpture
- Figure 7 – Locket – you would have to make the locket too.
- Figure 8 – Pendant
We hope this will give you some ideas and inspiration to participate in the competition. If you are not sure if your idea will work, why not contact one of our instructors or talk to any of us to discuss. And remember, you still have plenty of time.
Always good to see members trying their hand at a new skill with great results. We recently had a Friday night work session with Thierry instructing some members new to cabbing.
Encouraging all enamellists
Katarina and I have been busy adding a little colour to the kiln corner, had any of you noticed?
We have made samples of all the opaque colours available in our stock, and will be working on the transparent range over the next few weeks.
by Carol Money
A little inspiration for any budding enamellists out there.
Some summery earrings I made to practise my piercing skills, that then just begged to be enamelled.
I used a clear flux enamel and then torched fired them, holding the heat on them after the enamel had melted to achieve the colour.
by Mary Lancaster
- 1 mm round silver wire
- 4 round jump rings (8.5 mm mandrel)
- 4 square, rectangle and triangle shapes (formed free-hand with flat-nosed pliers)
- 15 joining jump rings (3.0 mm mandrel)
- 1 clasp
- Make jump rings, squares, rectangles and triangles – solder, clean and polish
- Join each shapes with joining links – solder, clean and polish
- Add clasp
- Give final clean and polish with emery paper and brass brush
I made this Figaro Necklace (5:1 links) for my daughter for 2019 Christmas. I had previously made one in silver and one in gold wire using round wire (Alternate Pattern 2). My current project is Alternate Pattern 1, using 3:1 links (round jump rings and twisted long links). The mandrels used are what I have available at home, these can be replaced with more consistent sizes at the Club if others want to create their own necklaces.
- Round links x 85 using 1.0 mm square silver wire (twisted) and a 2.9 mm mandrel
- Elongated links x 18 using 1.0 mm round silver wire and a 8.4 mm mandrel
- 1 x Clasp
- Finished length: 56 cm
- Twist square wire. Anneal. Using 2.9 mm mandrel make 85 jump rings.
- Anneal round wire. Using 8.4 mm mandrel make 18 jump rings.
- Solder 8.4 mm jump rings and clean joins. Pull into long/elongated links.
- Start to assemble necklace soldering 5 twisted jump rings, then 1 long link, alternately.
- Clean joins.
- Attach clasp.
- Clean and polish necklace.
Alternate Pattern 1 (3:1 links)
- Round links x 78 using 1.0 mm round silver wire and a 2.9 mm mandrel
- Elongated links x 25 using 1.0 mm square silver wire (twisted) and a 8.4 mm mandrel
- 1 x Clasp
- Twist square wire. Anneal. Using 8.4 mm mandrel make 25 jump rings.
- Solder twisted jump rings and clean joins. Pull into long links.
- Anneal round wire. Using 2.9 mm mandrel make 78 jump rings.
- Start to assemble necklace soldering 3 round jump rings, then 1 long link, alternately.
- Clean joins.
- Attach clasp.
- Clean and polish necklace.
Alternate Pattern 2 (3:1 links)
Using 1.00mm or 0.8mm round silver or gold round wire
□ Allow 1 m of round and square silver wire to make the necklace
by (Woodworm) Christoph
Here are some things about petrified wood which get me excited..... well, not just wood, all permineralised plant material.
It all started in Germany where I was born in the town of Chemnitz, world famous for its Permian petrified forest and the local museum specialising in petrified wood from around the world and particularly in Permian flora.
As a child I always loved going into the Museum für Naturkunde Chemnitz. I was amazed by the fine detail of preservation right down into the cell structure. An ancient plant turned into rock. As I grew up I met a few collectors, called wood worms, and I was hooked even more. We went on field trips all over Europe and I still have a large collection over in Germany at my parents place.
Now how does petrified wood form?
Most importantly is that the wood is covered and locked away from oxygen, so it can't rot away. In many cases petrified forests are links to volcanic activity. If things go right there is an eruption, which produces mostly ash and this ash will bury the forest. Over millions of years, minerals, predominantly quartz with other trace elements and metals will slowly impregnate the cell structure turning the wood into stone. This process is still not fully resolved.
The other way is wood gets buried by sediments such as sand. The process is the same, key is the presence of enough minerals to impregnate the wood. There have been cases that animal traces such as toredo borers (known as the famous peanut wood from the Kennedy ranges) or termites with their excrements (coprolites) have left their traces.
I'm more interested from a scientific angle of what species grew at which time, and how they have evolved through the evolution.
Petrified wood can actually be found on every continent. Yes, even Antarctica which was part of the super continent Gondwana.
There are some very famous petrified forests in the world such as the one in Arizona with its beautiful red petrified wood.
Or most exciting Araucaria cones from Argentina.
There is so much unknown still and only recently I have found a species of fern? which I haven't found in the literature yet.
Australia has got a good diversity to offer from the Permian deposits in the Bowen basin to the well sought after Jurassic woods, Donpoxylon and ferns from central Queensland around Miles and Chinchilla and Lune River in Tasmania. Cretaceous peanut wood from WA and more recent tertiary opalisiert woods from Springsure. There are many more places to find it.
A good tip is the display in the Miles historical village. It houses the collection of former Norman Donpon, a mad collector which I was privileged to meet a few years ago.
Now I could go on and on about it .....
Below are a few more pieces from my collection.
Now that you are planning in participating in the jewellery competition you are probably wondering how to close your necklace or bracelet – because yes, you have to make your own clasps.
Of course you could make your own lobster claw, box clasp or other fancy methods of keeping that necklace around your neck but unless you are a pro it will take as much time as it does to actually make the show piece.
But do not despair, help is at hand. There are some easier solutions: the S-Hook and the Toggle
A S-Hook is exactly that: wire bent into the shape of an “S” that will hook into a jump ring.
It is easy to make and fairly secure. And you can embellish it as much or as little as you wish: hammer it, texturing, wrapping, flattening.
The other side can be a simple jump ring or another S-hook, this time with the ends closed.
Here are a couple of videos showing how to make a simple S-Hook:
- S-Hook clasp with looped ends by Art Jewelry Magazine
- S-Hook clasp with hammered ends by Art Jewelry Magazine
For a variety of s-hook samples – remember you have to make it – check this website Artbeads.com
A variation of the S-Hook is the simple hook and eye clasp. In essence it is half a s-hook with a jump ring.
For a range of these, check out this website Rings & Things.com
And remember, if you like the design of one type you should be able to adept it to the other style.
The next type of clasp that you can make yourself is the toggle.
A toggle is a bar that can be threaded through a jump ring without falling out and therefore securing the necklace, and in fact bracelet securely. I like toggles because they are easier to use when closing a necklace. Less fumbly so to speak.
For a tutorial, check out this video:
- Toggle clasp by Online Jewelry Acadamy
The following gets you to one of my favourite websites with loads of good tutorials, this one for a toggle:
- Jewelry Tutorials by Hans Meevis
And here is another favorite of mine:
And if all fails, ask one of your friendly silversmiths at the next table.
And I am sorry to say, at the moment you cannot access the library.
by Carol Money
Project 22 from Alan Reveres "Professional Jewelry Making
The Torque is made from 0.4 mm thickness copper sheet. The process involved first making a couple of wooden stakes to form the copper sheet, and then being very gentle with the hammering as the annealed copper was very soft. Soldering the long joint and forming the final shape using only your fingers was very satisfying.
Lastly I decided to colour it using the heat from the flame, this was lots of fun.
The design is not the best for either putting on and taking off or wearing, as the ends although rounded, still scrape my neck, and then it hangs a bit low, something to think about. It was however another great learning project.
For the last couple of Friday nights work sessions, a couple of members have been learning to do a bezel setting.
The stones were fairly small, so fine silver bezel wire was used, with a bezel pusher to secure the stone and a burnishing tool to finish.
Sharon chose to add hers to a ring.
Lois chose to add a decorative band of silver ball wire and then make hers into a pendant, adding a bail.