Charles Norman Pinckney cuts and shapes metal to create his "birthrite" brooch.
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Materials and Tools:
sterling silver, titanium, copper and bronze metal sheets
16-gauge square sterling silver wire
jeweler's saw, metal scribe and files
2" circle template
black fine tip marker
ball peen hammer and tack hammer
pencil, tweezers, duct tape
5/16" round mandrel
pickle solution in crock-pot
container of water for quenching
torch, flux and solder
sandpaper, soft cloth, small artist brush
polishing wheel machine
rivets including a star-shaped rivet
annealing pan with flame block and stone
hinge and clasp
texturizing sheet, rolling mill
1. Draw a 2-inch circle onto the surface of a flat titanium sheet with a metal scribe and a circle template.
2. Draw a 1-inch circle centered within the 2-inch circle.
3. Cut around the outside edge of the largest circle with a jeweler's saw.
4. Drill a 1/16-inch hole within the 1-inch circle as close to the scribed line without touching the line.
5. Insert a saw blade through the drilled hole. Put the blade in the saw frame and cut along the INSIDE edge of the 1 inch circle.
6. Smooth all rough edges with files.
7. You should now have a very flat donut-shaped piece of titanium. Place this in a concave-shaped forming block and hammer it into a dome shape. For the moment, work on the titanium is halted.
8. Place the dome, curved side up, onto a sheet of sterling silver and hold it firmly in place.
9. Scribe around the outside of the dome. Scribe around the center hole of the dome as well. It is very important that the dome is not moved while these lines are being drawn.
10. Mark four equidistant points around the circumference of the largest circle.
11. At each mark, draw a tab that is 1/4 inch wide and extends 3/8 inch away from the circle. The circle should now have four tabs extending from it.
12. Cut a 6-inch length of 16-gauge square wire and bend it around a 15/16th inch round mandrel. Mark the point where the ends would meet and form a circle. Cut it at this point.
13. Apply flux to the ends and solder the ends together using a torch.
14. Place the wire circle in a pickle and clean the solder joint. Place it on the mandrel to true up the circle. Polish the ring while it is on the mandrel.
15. Place the ring in the center of the inner circle of the sterling piece with the tabs. Flux then solder the ring to the sterling using medium solder.
16. Pickle, clean and polish the soldered pieces.
17. Cut along the outside edges of each tab. Stop cutting when you reach the outer edge of the large circle. Repeat this at each tab location.
18. Cut along the outside of the large circle with a jeweler's saw until you have a disk with four tabs.
19. Place dome on the disk and bend the tabs up 90 degrees.
20. Clean up any rough edges using files on the sterling and polish.
21. Cut a heart shape from copper sheet to fit inside the inner circle using a jeweler's saw. Texture the heart by running it through a rolling mill with a texturizing sheet or by placing the texturizing sheet over the heart and hammering it.
22. Drill a hole in the center of the heart and the center of the circle with a drill press. Rivet the heart into place using a star-shaped rivet through the drilled holes.
23. Place the titanium dome in an annealing pan and heat with the torch until the desired color is achieved.
24. Place the titanium dome on the sterling. Secure the dome by bending the tabs over onto the dome. Opposite tabs should be simultaneously bent to prevent warping the form. This also produces a tighter grip on the titanium.
25. Solder the brooch findings to the back of the piece.
26. Check again for rough areas and polish the "birthrite" brooch.
Charles Pinckney started as a radio DJ, but got tired of moving around the country for jobs. He decided to become an artist instead, setting up shop in his home state of Georgia. Originally he was a scrimshaw artist, etching images into bone and ivory. But when he took a metal class, bone and ivory quickly fell by the wayside.
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