Topography Inspired Necklace

Chart a course to unique style with a silver chain that mimics the lines found on a topographical map.


Jewelry designer Melissa Borrell of Houston demonstrates how to create a necklace inspired by the topographic lines of a map.

Materials and Tools:

silver box chain
soldering pad
soldering pick
pickle solution in heated slow cooker
liver of sulfur
dark safety glasses
round-nose pliers


  1. Starting with the silver chain, lay out a random topographic pattern on the soldering pad with loops and turns so that the chain is touching other pieces of the chain.
  2. Dab flux on the points where the chain touches other pieces.
  3. Cut up small pieces of solder.
  4. Wear dark safety glasses. Place pieces of solder on the chain with a soldering pick. Using the torch, heat up the solder on the chain so that it flows and joins the chain together.
  5. Continue to assemble the topography design and repeat the soldering process until the necklace is finished.
  6. When the soldering is complete, put the necklace in the pickle to clean off the flux and oxidation. Remove it from the pickle solution and rinse with water.
  7. Make the clasp by forming a loop from box chain using round-nose pliers. For the other half of the clasp, form a hook from the box chain.
  8. Solder the two clasps onto each end of the necklace.
  9. Place a piece of liver of sulfur in heated water to oxidize the necklace. Drop the whole necklace in the liver of sulfur solution to blacken.
  10. Rinse the necklace in water and dry with a towel.
  11. Place the topography necklace in the tumbler for a few hours to burnish.
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