My first sterling silver project: Part 3

The last time I posted about progress with my sterling silver projects for the jewellery making class, this is where I got to:

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I had started a section of etching on the cuff, but due to time constraints I wasn’t able to finish it because I spent most of my time trying to patch up the ground that was flaking off from the earring pieces. I thought I’d start small, but it turned out encountered more problems with them because of the detail being applied to small pieces of silver, and the fact that the ground was too thick it seemed.

I ended up missing my Combat class last night which was highly disappointing (traffic sucks when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere on time), but it meant I was able to work on the cuff. The time was well spent, even if I wasn’t putting my energy into another more active purpose, I did expend quite a lot of effort and concentration on making sure the detail was done right.

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The etching on the cuff finished

The only thing left to do was to cover up the remaining earring piece I had to try and salvage with nail polish (apparently this sometimes works better than ground…) and try and etch the design on it again.

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Tools you need to etch at home: your sterling silver pieces, nail polish, scribe, masking tape and your stencil

One earring piece was fine after etching it in class, I had some small sections I needed to cover up with nail polish, to ensure the lines weren’t too thick affecting the design itself, but I had to cover up big sections of the other piece and start with a new stencil to start the etching from the beginning.

Although it’s not perfect, I was able to re-etch some of the lines I made earlier in the week in class and because the nail polish appears to be more viscous than the ground, it was in some ways easier to work with. In others, while the consistency seemed to be similar to that of the ground, the only problem was it was slightly thicker and took a bit more effort in keeping lumped polish from distorting the lines I just etched with the scribe. I think it’s clear enough now to kind of give the general idea of what I was going for with the earrings and the cuff:

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The etching finished on the cuff as well as the earring pieces

Next steps on the path to finishing my sterling silver projects: in the etch tank it goes! It should be done by the first half of the class, so the second half would be spent cleaning off the polish and ground, maybe oxidising the etched design and if I’ve got time, shaping the cuff with a bracelet mandrel and drilling holes to the top of my earrings, so I can attach them to the sterling silver ear wire hooks I just got in the mail yesterday from Cookson Gold.

What do you think of my project so far?

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