Monday, February 7, 2011

Make a Valentine's Day Pendant from a Copper Washer & Scrap Silver

Before: Scrap silver
Valentine's Day is coming soon. My daughter and I decided that we would spend this week making different Valentine's Day themed and inspired jewelry... and it would not be NJAD unless we used found objects. Just to add to the challenge we decided to put a time limit on our projects: they need to be done in 30 minutes or less.

After: Pendant by
Today we took some scrap sterling silver and a copper washer to make a framed heart pendant.

18-gauge sterling silver sheet metal
copper washer
18-gauge sterling silver wire

Jewelry saw & blade
Wax candle
Half-round file
Wet/Dry sandpaper or 3M bristle discs and flex shaft
Charcoal block
Annealing pan
Pickle and pickle pot
Copper tongs
Soldering pick
Hard solder & flux
Round nose pliers
Wire cutter

Mark the silver
Step 1
Draw a heart on the scrap metal. Use a jewelry saw and blade to cut out the sterling silver heart. File the edges smooth.

Prepare metal
Step 2
Sand the sterling silver heart and the copper washer to remove tool marks and dirt. You can use sandpaper or 3M bristle disks and a flex shaft to speed the sanding process. Clean with soap and water. Dry.

Solder silver on copper
Step 3
Solder the sterling silver heart to the copper washer. Pickle to remove oxidation.

Step 4
Scrap wire
Locate scrap wire. Use round nose pliers to create the bail. Cut off excess wire, if any. File the ends smooth.

Add bail
Step 5
Remove the pedant from the pickle. Rinse with water. Dry.

Step 6
Attach bail.

Related Tutorials
Soldering Tips for Jewelry Makers
More Soldering Tips
Thoughts on Soldering Torches & Other Equipment

Further Reading
"Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition"; Tim McCreight; 2004.
"Step-by-Step Jewelry Workshop: Simple Techniques for Soldering, Wirework, and Metal Jewelry (Step By Step)"; Nicola Hurst; 2008.
"Soldering Made Simple: Easy techniques for the kitchen-table jeweler"; Joe Silvera; 2010.
"Hot Connections Jewelry: The Complete Sourcebook of Soldering Techniques"; Jennifer Chin; 2011.
Day 79.  Month 4. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: scrap silver, copper washer
New Jewelry a Day.

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