the process includes cutting, forming, soldering and polishing. it takes a long time! each piece is made by hand and though some pieces have the same design, each is unique–slightly different size, shape, and texture.
the a flat disc can be forged into a bowl shapes, ripples can be added, and rings are hammered to be perfectly round.
a dapping set provides a bowl and punch to form curved shapes, often used in my pendants.
small hammers with flat and rounded heads are used to created different hammered textures.
Any time two pieces are joined or a ring is closed, they need to be soldered. the bit of solder is about the size of a piece of pepper–tiny! The two pieces of metal that need to be joined are held with tweezers, the solder placed on the joint, and the heat of the torch is used to warm all the pieces. when hot enough, the solder melts and fills the gap between the two pieces.
like sanding wood, you start with the roughest grit and work towards the finest. with all the hammering I do to shape the metal, I need to use a grinder to remove deep dents or scratches. sometimes I use a hand file to remove ridges and bumps. when relatively smooth, I use softer grits to leave a dull, brushed look to the silver. most commercial jewelry has a shiny, smooth finish.