Favorite Project of the Week: Saw Pierced Fern Leaf Cuff

When you take a nice relaxing stroll through the woods or by a river, did you ever stop to contemplate the ferns you just stepped on? Did you know that some types of ferns are the oldest plants on Earth? Dinosaurs stepped on exactly those same fern types. Cool, huh? And in addition to their long history and lineage, ferns can be very beautiful. You might not think about using ferns in your jewelry designs. The first plants you think of for jewelry might be pretty, delicate flowers. But believe me, ferns can be awesome, too.

Saw Pierced Fern Leaf Cuff by Betsy Lehndorff

Photo: Jim Lawson

Betsy Lehndorff’s Saw Pierced Fern Leaf Cuff from the November 2015 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist uses a traced fern leaf to create a simple, elegant design of sterling silver sheet. And it’s a great way to learn and practice the proper use of a jeweler’s saw.

  • It’s a great way to bring nature into your jewelry designs.
  • The silver gives it a polished look while the fern leaf makes it “rugged.”
  • You can make the design your own by gathering fern leaves on your next nature walk.
  • Use different types of ferns to vary the design — make several versions with their own unique looks.

Go natural!

Project Details

Required Materials:

  • 16 gauge sterling silver sheet about 3″x6″
  • Ferns

Required Tools:

  • copier paper
  • scissors
  • black marking pen
  • general purpose mounting spray adhesive
  • visor or safety glasses
  • cartridge/filter respiratory protection face mask
  • bench pin
  • jeweler’s saw frame
  • saw lube
  • jeweler’s drill bits
  • two dozen No. 6/0 jewelers saw blades
  • spring-loaded center punch
  • flexible shaft and hand piece
  • sheet metal vise and extra clamp
  • ring file
  • needle files
  • non-marring mallet
  • bracelet mandrel
  • clean soldering surface
  • good ventilation
  • large torch
  • copper tongs
  • quench
  • bench polisher or polishing mandrel and buffs
  • Tripoli polishing compound
  • toothbrush and hot, soapy water
  • one box each of Moore’s ¾-inch snap-on abrasive disks in medium, fine, X-fine, and XX-fine
  • mandrel
  • masking tape
  • knife-edged silicone wheels with mandrel

Required skills: Basic metalsmithing