Scrap-Happy May 2019

I usually schedule my #ScrapHappy posts. Not this month. I got distracted by spring, elections and orders!

Still. better late than never and all that.

One of the joys of my job is I often get asked to repair or replace a damaged / missing item. Most often it’s earrings. I think I’ve said before that there are some people who never lose an earring, and others who seem to have them forcibly rejected by their piercings.

I was asked, in April to make a matching (or similar) earring to this forlorn orphan (photos at the end. hover / click for descriptions). My pal didn’t know if I’d be able to, so told me all the bits she loved about it in case I couldn’t and simply had to make something similar.

This post is about my process in making the replacement pair. I added a simple jumpring bail to the original, so she could wear it as a pendant if she wished

First, I drew round the flat piece of silver that formed the base, and hunted through my scrap box for some sheet that was the right size and thickness. I didn’t have any, but the piece is only small, so I thinned and stretched some other pieces til they had sufficient surface area and became the same thickness – thanks Morris-The-Mill πŸ™‚

Stuck them together with double sided tape (did I mention already I bought this about 35 years ago in a village jumble sale? It’s clearly not in the least biodegradable, but at least I’m using it*) and sawed out the basic shape.

Next up was to solder on the wire accents. I ferkled some more, and retrieved some of the off-cuts of wire that occur when I’m coiling jumprings – there’s always an incomplete ring at one end, and a tail at the other, so I keep those for just this kind of occasion. A bit of snipping, filing and melting to create a ball on one end, and then I sweat soldered them to the base plates. I drilled the holes, filing with my super fine file. I made the curly dangle using fresh (ie new to me, recycled silver wire) that I balled at either end, and then tumbled them all in Betty.

I had some seed pearls and turquoise beads left over from other projects – whenever I buy gem beads there are always some that are either damaged, or have holes too fine to accommodate my favourite 0.8mm wire, so I used those for this pair – because the tiny bit of wire isn’t taking any weight or much movement, very fine wire will be fine as the wear will be minimal.

My chum was properly delighted with her replacements, and I had great fun making them. Everyone’s a winner, as I like to say!

*this tape gets either burnt off when I heat the silver, or peeled off, rolled in a ball with any silver dust from the sawing, and goes into my ‘sweeps’ pot. That will then be returned to a bullion refiner along with all the old emery paper, sawblades and the like . They then reclaim all the precious metal. I have a separate pot for the lemel – ie the silver sawdust, bits with any solder on etc, and another for any gold. This also will be sent off to the bullion dealer – once I reach the minimum requirement of 500grams.

The rest of the #ScrapHappy gang (led by Kate and Gun) can be found here:

Kate , Gun, Titti, HelΓ©ne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, ME πŸ™‚, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?!
This entry was posted in friends, processes, ScrapHappy, silver, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Scrap-Happy May 2019

  1. KerryCan says:

    This must’ve made your friend so happy! And it’s a great Scrap Happy project!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    I really love reading all the mysterious new silversmithing terminology, and I’m dead impressed by the matching earring! I’m an earring loser myself, but I know exactly what to blame: my motorbike helmet! You’d think I’d have learned by now that it’s better not to wear any, but I feel naked without a lobe-dangle of some sort. Still, I know where to come now…. Great ScrapHappy make, and good to see silver recovery in progress πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. acflory says:

    I can’t see any difference between the original and the pair you made. Bravo! And thanks for explaining the process. Btw I had no idea that all those tiny scraps could be recycled. Makes sense of course, once you know. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne S says:

    Awesome match job! I was thinking of you the other day when I came upon a collection of college days scrap silver pieces. I turned them in to a local children’s hospital thrift store that has a craft department. Hoping someone will use them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I bet they will. I have stuff from decades ago that occasionally gets repurposed, and it’s great to have some real silver donated – they’ll be able to practise tonnes of techniques if they can’t actually reuse/repurpose any of the pieces. I bet they were very grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

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