Colorful Flower Pendant
Johanna Fisher of Providence, R.I., explains this "flower power" project.
Materials and Tools:
2mm silver sheet
heavy-duty flexible-shaft drilling tool like a Dremel
barrette, equaling, three square, round, and half round #2 needle files
colored two-part epoxy enamel *
clear two-part epoxy
* The enamel is composed of a two-part epoxy. This enamel cures at room temperature overnight. The enamel can be custom-made to any color. The enamel finish can be translucent, opaque, or pearl. Glitter can be added to the enamel.
- To develop the flower design: Start out by drawing different flower shapes in a sketchbook. Johanna even makes a few mockups of the flower shapes in brightly colored felt and embellishes them with sequins and beads. After she has several shapes that she likes, she chooses one that can be translated into metal jewelry.
- After the flower design is chosen, make a template to use as a pattern. This is done by creating a simple line drawing of the design and then reducing or enlarging it as needed on a copy machine.
- Using rubber cement, glue the paper template to a piece of sterling silver that is 2mm thick. Make a hole through the silver by piercing it with a small drill bit that is powered by a flexible shaft, like a heavy-duty Dremel tool. Use a jeweler’s saw to thread the blade through the hole and saw along the inside of the pattern. Then saw along the outside of the flower. This will create the completed flower outline.
- Using barrette, equaling, three square, round, and half round #2 needle files, file away any extra rough spots along the inside and outside edge of the flower outline. Sand the edges smooth with a sanding mandrel.
- Cut small pieces of silver rod with a jeweler’s saw. These pieces will be soldered to the inside of the flower to create stone seats for colorful and sparkly rhinestones. File and sand the small bits of rod until flat smooth and uniform.
- Solder the flower outline to a rectangle of sterling silver 2mm thick that is slightly larger than the flower outline. Solder the silver rods to the center of the flower. Put the soldered piece in "pickle" (an acid that removes the soldering flux from the soldered piece) for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Saw away the excess metal around the flower outline. At the top of the flower, cut away a loop with the jeweler’s saw that will be used to attach the pendant to the string of beads.
- Using stone-setting burs, drill in the center of the silver rods, thus creating the stone seats for the rhinestones in the center of the flower.
- Use files to file away the rough edges around the flower and then sand the edges smooth with a sanding mandrel. Polish the flower shape with Scotch-Brite pads.
- Mix one part A to two parts B epoxy in a mixing cup. Pour enamel into a squeeze bottle. Squeeze into the flower design. It is best to outline the piece first and then fill in. Let the enamel cure overnight.
- Glue the rhinestones inside of the stone seat with a clear two-part epoxy. Allow the epoxy to cure 12 hours.
- Attach the flower to a pinback or necklace chain/cord of choice.