Thursday, November 09, 2006
Can't Judge a Book by it's Cover
A few years back I decided to give all my book club friends a handmade bookmark at our December holiday gathering. If my memory serves me correctly, that first year I made embossed cards using red and green paper, rubber stamps and embossing powder. I remember Elaine saying, "I can't believe you MADE these." Little did they all know then how much much time I spend "making things."
This year I decided to create sterling silver bookmarks with pretty little beads and charms dangling from the top. I added a rectangular piece of silver on which I stamped each of their names.
I'll give the instructions here in case anyone would like to make some for their friends. Basic metalsmithing tools are required.
1. Cut 10 gauge round sterling silver wire into approximately 4 or 5 inch pieces. Gently
shape into a long, stretched out "S" shape.
2. Roll each piece through a rolling mill until desired flatness is reached. Lightly file the
top and bottom to remove rough edges.
3. With a chasing hammer (round end), pound on each side of the wire, making chasing marks. (Don't forget to stamp your bookmark with a "sterling" stamp.
4. Drill a hole through the top.
5. Add a good sized jump ring and solder it closed (soldering is optional, but recommended).
6. Put them in the tumber and tumble to make shiny (about 30 minutes or more).
7. Add your beads.
8. To make name tags, simply stamp the names into 24 gauge silver and cut out with
Joyce Chen scissors or use a jeweler's saw. Flatten tag on steel block if it's warped at all. Drill a hole at top. File the edges to remove sharpness. If there are scratches in the silver, sand them out with sandpaper (First 220, then 320, then 400 and last 600 grit - coarse to fine). Tumble in tumbler about 30 minutes. Attach to bookmark with a jump ring.
I hope the girls like them. :)