Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bent Nail Ring

I haven't done much of late mainly due to it being summer. For me, winter is the time to do crafty things.

I recently mended a bracelet for a friend's wife and that got me thinking about making some more items. I had an idea to make a ring from a bent nail, a quick search on the interweb found that various people make them so it's hardly original. Picasso apparently once said "all art is theft" so here's my stolen goods.

Sterling Silver, with 925 stamp on the head of the nail.

I used a piece of scrap wire to make the nail shank but it's not quite long enough, next time I'll use a longer piece and that will enable me to bend it easier too.

I think these could also double as earrings but with a Ø3mm shank you'd need a decent sized piercing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This is where I make stuff... sometimes it's not scrap!

Cheapy drop leaf table, my semi-portable home-built jeweller's workbench and tons of sunlight.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Ever since I started working with silver I've been meaning to buy a Thor rawhide/copper faced hammer but been put off by the price... today I saw one in the shop and thought what the hell.

I'm a self confessed tool junkie and Thor make the best soft faced mallets in the world. Quality tools will last a lifetime and even though it was an expensive hammer, I don't think I'll have to buy another one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Ring

Haven't posted for a while so I thought I better put something up.

I'm working on a how-to post but I haven't taken all of the photos yet so in the meantime, here's another ring.

5mm Half round polished then filed

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Sketches

I found some concept drawings in an old sketchbook and thought they should live here... Not sure about some of the ideas but hey, that's what sketches are for.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Ring to... that's all I know, I haven't seen the movie!

My soldering could be better, I've not had a lot of practice at it so I'm making some rings to improve my skills with the torch.

I wanted to say thank you to a friend for helping me move house and for braving a particular Swedish furniture store with me last holiday weekend (1 hour of queuing, thank god they have hot-dogs!) so I made this...

5mm x 1.2mm thick plain Sterling Silver band. It's not perfect but it's a start.

From start to finish it took just over an hour, it weighs about 3.5g so the material cost is about $3.15. That's the great thing about silver, with a bit of time, effort and skill, you can make something beautiful that doesn't cost a lot of money. I can't remember the last time a $3.15 present made someone smile so much :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to...

I thought I'd post some pics of how I made the bracelet in the previous entry.

This started off as Ø0.9mm Sterling Silver round wire which I wound around a 6mm mandrel (Knitting needles make great mandrels and you can get them very cheaply from charity shops).

The coil of wire is wrapped in tape and using a jeweller's saw then I start to cut through the coil to make rings.

Lots of rings!

As the rings are cut from a long coil, they are helical in shape so they need to be tweaked with pliers to make them flat, then squeezed to ensure they stay closed then twisted open so they can be joined - this is by far the longest part of the process... it's not the most interesting part either!

The weave for this bracelet starts off as a basic Chain Mail weave called 4-in-1. So called because there are 4 outer links joined by one central link. Then the outer 2 links are folded up into a 3 sided box shape and held together by a link on the top, making a folded box chain. This shortens the 4-in-1 chain by a factor of approximately 1/4 so if the 4-in-1 chain starts off at 100mm, the folded box chain will be 75mm long.

Chain was finished off with a lobster clasp attached with smaller double links which I neglected to take a picture of. The approximate size of the box chain with ID6mm links is 8mm square so it needs a sturdy wrist to look good.