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My infatuation with filigree proceeds apace. :) I'm starting to… - Metals Geekery

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My artisan metalsmithing site
My original Celtic designs in various media, including jewelry
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December 4th, 2006


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06:25 pm
My infatuation with filigree proceeds apace. :) I'm starting to contemplate very different uses for the stuff now, either alone or combined with plique, so if anyone has any ideas they want to toss into the compost heap that is my brain, please do so. :) I've got a couple of things that are the mental equivalent of on the tip of my tongue; I'm sure I'll start madly sketching some day soon, but so far they're not at the point of sketching or bending metal, so it's slightly frustrating.

I did have fun in the studio, though. I got the final solders done on the filigree earrings, and tossed them and the star into the tumbler. It worked wonders! I am very fond of the tumbler anyway, but it's fabulous for filigree. It not only polished everything beautifully, it actually hardened it! In theory it hardens everything, but when working with reasonable amounts of metal, it really only hardens the surface. In this, it hardened the whole thing (which, I might add, really needed it...).

I also made headpins and earwires for the earrings, and they're in the pickle now- so the earrings aren't entirely finished yet. The pearls I'd chosen were way too big; I must have gotten the scale wrong because all the filigree is being done using an optivisor, so it looks bigger than it is. I do have 3mm round beads in both onyx and garnet, and I'll use one or the other of them. I love garnet, but I'm rather thinking the black onyx would be a nice contrast here...

I got the copper twist rolled out, cut, bent, and the inner parts soldered together for my filigree star tree topper. It turned out that 18 ga. (1mm) wire was an excellent choice for the raw material- when I rolled it, it was 1 mm thick and 2 mm wide, so it kept the proportions of the 24 ga. stuff but doubled. Since I'd wanted to simply double the dimensions, this worked out perfectly. The larger stuff is a bit more obnoxious to work with; the twist in the wire adds a bit of warping every time one does any shaping, but it's not horrible. I did give it an extra anneal, though.

I also rolled out my mokume billets again. My poor rolling mill! It is not best pleased with me these days. J took it apart yesterday, oiled it, and reassured me that it wasn't about to explode, so I'm pushing it again. I think it'll be happier with me once I get these damn billets down to 2 mm or so! Right now one's at about 4mm, and one's about 4.3, I think. Taking them down is a slow, slow process...

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