Make your own ring, bangle, pendant or earrings. Learn basic filigree, casting or embossing techniques in sterling silver. Gold plating your pieces is also an option!
Filigree techniques are most popular for small and light two-dimensional jewellery. Fashioned from finely textured wire, carefully soldered together, the finished work has the airiness of a dream-catcher! The bending process requires a sense of rhythm and sincere practice to get smooth reproducible curves – sort of like calligraphy.
Casting techniques allow for heavier, larger three-dimensional pieces which are first made in a hard wax that can be filed, engraved and gouged similar to working with wood or soapstone. A lot of silver jewellery on the market is cast as the process lends itself to mass production. Of course a handmade item will always be more precious – especially if you made it yourself!
Embossing or Repoussé is a great technique for functional objects such as scabbards, smartphone cases and book covers. Much traditional Indian jewellery is made with this method from small earrings to heavy bangles. Starting with sheet silver a small hammer is used on both sides with chasing tools to create a low relief design. This embossed sheet silver can then be fashioned into final object by bending, soldering, and even embedding semi-precious stones. The same embossing tools and techniques can be used for any malleable metal such as copper, zinc and even aluminium.