How to Make a Silver Necklace With Coral Beads

Make a delicate, reticulated silver necklace strung with three rows of stone beads.

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Materials and Tools:

14- or 16-gauge 2" x 1" sterling silver sheet
9 coral beads or any stone beads
12" of 20-gauge sterling silver wire
2, 8" pieces of small link silver chain
kiln
clasp
acetylene torch
sparker
safety glasses
acid pickling solution in crock-pot
bowl of water
polishing machine and matte wheel
metal straight edge
permanent marker
cookie sheet
220-grit sandpaper
drill with 1mm drill bit
wire cutters
needle nose pliers
ceramic honeycomb pads (for soldering)
flexible shaft
assorted attachments for cleaning including drill bit #60
brass brush
handsaw
saw blades
mini files
chain nose pliers
mini ruler

Steps:

  1. Prepare the sterling silver by heating to approximately 1200 degrees (annealing) in a kiln. Quench in water five to 10 times so that the fine silver comes to the surface and the copper is pulled to the core.
  2. Heat the sterling silver to the reticulation point with a torch so the fine silver surface melts and wrinkles to create the desired texture.
  3. Clean the reticulated silver to remove all discoloration from the heating process using flex shaft attachments and a brass brush.
  4. Cut the silver into two 1/4" x 1-1/2" pieces for the necklace using a handsaw. File and sand all edges smooth.
  5. Using the flex shaft, drill four evenly spaced 1mm holes in each piece of the reticulated silver.
  6. Cut four 1-1/4-inch pieces of 20-gauge silver wire and heat one end of each to a ball. Do the same to two pieces of one-inch 20-gauge wire. Clean all pieces.
  7. To assemble the silver with the stones, thread the four longer pieces of 20-gauge silver wire through the drilled hole in one piece of silver so the balls rest against the outside of the piece. String three coral beads on each wire.
  8. Place the other piece of drilled reticulated silver over the wires so the wires go through the holes. Heat the other end of each wire piece to create a ball to hold the piece together. Clean the ends.
  9. To assemble the final pieces, combine the two shorter pieces of 20-gauge wire with the two 8-inch pieces of chain. Heat the ends of each wire to create a ball large enough to secure the chain and clean any discoloration.
  10. Bend the wire slightly to make sure the necklace adjusts correctly. Attach a clasp.

Ruth Avra, Hollywood, Fla.
Website: ruthavra.com

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