6 More Silver Jewelry-Making Tips from Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers

Enjoy these six bonus silversmithing tips from Elizabeth Bone's book Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers: A Handbook of Techniques and Surface Treatments, a must-have comprehensive silversmithing resource!

 
Create unique surface treatments in the texturing tutorial from Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers.

Hammering Tips

1. For best results and comfort, work at elbow height and hold the hammer at the end with the hammering action coming from your elbow, not your wrist–just like sawing.

2. Keep your hammer faces and stakes polished and in good condition. Remember that any marks on them will transfer to your silver as you hammer.  

Wirework Tips
3. Cut twisted wires on the diagonal rather than the straight to help prevent them coming untwisted. (Love this one!) To create a perfectly matched pair of ear wires, do each step on both pieces, one step at a time, instead of finishing one ear wire first and then making the other one.

4. When making ear wires, work-harden the wire (by planishing on a steel block) after forming the ear wire's shape to strengthen it.

 
Learn sand casting in Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers.

Soldering Tips
5. When you're making silver jewelry that has a lot of jump rings, solder as many as possible at once. Arrange your piece on the soldering block so the jump rings are all close to each other but not touching. Flux them all and place your snippet of solder at each one; then heat and solder each one. The heat from one will warm the next one, making the process go a little faster.

6. When soldering a small piece to a larger one, be sure that the smaller one doesn't get too hot. Keep the flame (and direct heat) away from the smaller piece; instead, concentrate the heat on the larger piece. That will heat the smaller pieces that are in contact with it.

 

There are plenty more silver jewelry-making tips where these came from! Get your copy of Elizabeth Bone's book Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers: A Handbook of Techniques and Surface Treatments, a must-have comprehensive silversmithing resource. Bone covers everything you need to know for silver jewelry making: hammering, pickling, annealing, sawing and cutting, filing, forging, hallmarks and stamping, cold connections, polishing, chasing, (inhale) oxidizing and texturing, soldering, etching and photo etching, press forming and embossing, chasing and repousse, engraving and reticulation.

Learn to make hinges and chain, clasps and catches, sand and cuttlefish castings, pierced metal fretwork and filigree–even how to marry metals, work with gemstones, create metal clay jewelry, and make various textures and surface treatments. Plus, there's a resource section with how-to information for selling your handmade jewelry. All in one great book!

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