Multi-Strand Necklace with Enameled Copper Pendant and Swarovski Crystal
-- Designer --
Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®To learn more about Tammy Honaman, read her jewelry artist success story here
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Enameled components do not favor high impact, so they do not fare well when put through the stress of a cold connection, like riveting. The glass layer is likely to crack, so it is advisable to find an alternative way to set your enameled designs. Two suggestions are to fully prepare your design prior to enameling or create a setting that doesn't require impact.
The setting used in the pendant shown is designed to hold the enameled disc in a way where impact and force are not needed. Just a gentle bending and burnishing is all it takes. Use this concept to create designs in any shape and with any pattern or colors.
Using a center punch, place divots in the metal blank in a planned or random pattern.
Using the Foredom® flex shaft fitted with a 1-2mm drill bit, drill a hole at each divot.
Using progressively larger drill bits, enlarge the holes as your pattern calls for. Using files, remove any burs from the drill holes.
Note: If possible, dimming your studio lights will help with reading the color of the metal during heating.
Place the cooled and dried disc into the largest depression in the dapping block. Place the largest punch on top of the disc then strike the end of the punch with a rawhide mallet. Repeat to make sure you strike the disc evenly all around its surface. If you'd like, repeat in the next smaller depression to increase the curve.
Design tip: The curve of the pendant shown was kept shallow. If you desire a steeper curve, you will need to use a metal dapping block and punches as well as use a holding agent when enameling its surface.
Using scissors cut the pattern out. Glue the pattern using repositionable adhesive tape or a low-tack glue, then apply it to the surface of the metal sheet, positioned to create the least amount of waste. Using metal shears or a jeweler's saw, cut the setting from the metal sheet.
Using a torch or kiln, enamel a counter enamel layer onto the underside of the disc.
Using a torch or kiln, fire a top layer of enamel onto the top of the disc.
Repeat Step 10 until you reach the desired effect.
The pendant shown has 4 different layers of color applied--2 of the Daphne blue, a dusting of robin's egg blue and a dusting of butter yellow. The lines in the finished piece were applied using the line sifter; this layer was done last.
Place the cooled enameled disc into the setting. Gently curve the points toward the face of the enameled disc. Using the burnisher, burnish the edges and the points so they are flush with the surface of the enameled disc.
Using the wire-wrapping pliers, roll the tail of metal to form the size bail you would like.
Center, then wrap a headpin around a Swarovski disc component, working from the top then through the opening and back up to the top. Wrap the tail on the straight end under the ball tip to secure the bail.
Repeat for the second disc component.
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