Sterling Figurine Pin
See how to craft a sterling silver figurine pin with these easy instructions.
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Project by Deirdre Oringer from Brewster, Mass.
Deirdre Oringer was inspired to start making her own jewelry after seeing a craftsman hard at work in New Mexico. Deirdre makes a sterling figurine pin that she calls "Francine."
Materials and Tools:
20-gauge sterling silver sheet metal
Scotch Brite scrubbers
jeweler's hand saw
soldering iron and solder
1. Begin with a sheet of 20-gauge sterling. Scratch the surface with a piece of Scotch Brite to dull the finish so you can see pencil marks on it.
2. Trace your design from a paper template.
3. Cut out the design with a jeweler's hand saw .
5. Stamp the design with steel stamps, a hammer and a steel block. When finished, turn the design side down and hit it on the block with a rawhide hammer to flatten it out (it bows with stamping).
6. File the edges. Take the piece to the buffing wheel to buff off sharp edges.
7. Solder the pin component parts on the back. Drop the piece in an acid (cleaning) bath for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Blacken the whole piece with oxidizer; then buff all the black off (it stays in the grooves of the design that was stamped), grinding off the "firescale" at the same time. Firescale is the alloy (copper/brass) that comes to the surface while soldering; it discolors the sterling.
9. Finish the back by grinding off the rest of the firescale with a hand tool called a flexible shaft, because the high-speed buffing wheel is too big to get in around the component parts. Buff the piece with a high-speed Scotch Brite wheel.