I took a beginning jewelry (read: metalsmithing) class this past semester. It was my last semester of undergraduate studies (*sigh*), and it was that one thing I'd been wanting to take forever.
I got my pieces back, and there are actually a good amount of them that I will actually wear! And I had so much fun doing it, that I still want to continue my pursuit of jewelry-making. We shall see.
I'll go in chronological order, so you can see me go from being clueless to less clueless.
These were my first two assignments. A leaf, and a leaf bracelet. I used nice, soft copper on both. Impressively, the bracelet is already tarnishing. Wooo. I wouldn't wear copper, as it turns one's skin green; it's not my thing anyway. These make nice mementos, though.
Next, I had to do a chain project. Again, I used copper, as I didn't have to anneal the wire; it was already soft enough to manipulate into rings by hand. I got a C+ on this, by the way, even though I still think it looks pretty decent for being a boring bracelet. Probably won't ever wear this, either.
Next, I started to move on to more fun stuff! These are two ring bands made out of brass; the one on the right is my size, a petite 5 1/2. I was proud when it came out right. The one on the left is for a friend of mine, who joked that I should make him a ring. I did. It's a size 9, as his fingers aren't very large. I pressed some squares on his, while mine is perfectly smooth. You can't really tell from the photo, but my plain band is polished to a high shine to the point where it looks like a wedding band or something. I plan to wear it to work to hopefully deter creeps from hitting on me!
At this point in the semester, I invested in some silver so I could make some pieces out of the only metal I usually wear.
This was supposed to be a brooch rather than a pendant. I made my own pin back closure, and I was getting really proud of the thing... until I had a nice mishap on the buffing wheel that destroyed my closure. Pressed for time, it became a pendant. This is my first (and only) stone setting; this amethyst kicked my butt, as I had no idea bezel setting would be so... annoying. Oh well. I may yet put a pin back on the thing, as I'm more likely to wear it as a brooch than a pendant.
These earrings were the quickest, easiest, and less mishap-y of all the things I created! They, too, are silver, but aged a bit with liver of sulfur in order to give them a more pewter-y look. Like the ring above with the squares on it, these have circles imprinted on them.
A quick band I whipped up for the boy.
Now for my favorite piece, my casting project! It is so terribly awesome; but I'll tell you, lost wax casting was one of the scariest processes I've ever encounter. I looked around for a video on youtube, and none of them actually showed it being done. No fun!
This is the shape of the ring. Mostly square-ish, with beveled edges. I think I love it.
Now to wear it out tonight!