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"Explore Life" Stamped Silver Bracelet

Cyndi Douglas embellishes her silver bracelet with a precious metal clay heart and a stamped phrase.

Materials and Tools:

1-1/2" x 1/2" 18-gauge raw sterling silver flat plate
PMC kit (precious metal clay)
clay tools
PMC paste
paintbrush
olive oil
plastic cutting board or glass plate
rubber stamp heart design
Easy silver solder
eight 6mm silver jump rings
six 4mm or 5mm silver jump rings
4 silver crimp beads
silver toggle clasp
beads: two 6mm round, two 8mm round, two 10mm round, two 8mm teardrop shape
five 3mm Swarovski crystals
2 bead caps
six 1mm or 2mm silver round beads (for spacers)
49 strand beading wire
silver swirl charm
headpin
3 beads
jeweler’s saw
Oxy-acetylene gas tanks and small torch
small metal alphabet stamps
steel bench block
hammer
flux
pickle pot (heated acid in a crock pot)
drill press with tiny drill bit
320-, 400- and 600-super fine grit sandpaper
vise
solder pick
metal sanding files
rotary tool with buffing and sanding bits
bench grinder with buffing wheel
heat-resistant tweezers
copper tongs
bracelet mandrel for bending silver
anti-fire scale coating liquid
soldering tripod and soldering block
safety goggles and a face respirator
pliers

Steps:

1. Cut a 1-1/2" x 1/2" piece of silver plate with a jeweler’s saw.

2. Smooth all four sides of the silver with sandpaper.

3. Drill two holes one at each end of the silver plate using a drill press.

4. Sand each side of the plate until smooth with super-fine 600-grit sandpaper.

5. Stamp a special word with metal alphabet stamps and a hammer on a steel bench block into the plate such as "Explore Life." Leave a space for the PMC heart design.

6. Apply a light coat of olive oil to your hands and roll a small amount of PMC out flat with your fingers. Imprint a heart-shaped rubber stamp into the clay and cut it out using a clay knife.

7. Fill any cracks with PMC paste and a paintbrush.

8. Using a torch set on very low, dim the light so you can see the design changing and steadily hold the small flame at red color over the PMC heart for about 7-8 minutes. The clay burns off and the heart will shrink and the silver then bonds. Let cool.

9. Sand all the edges of the heart until smooth and ready to be soldered onto the plate.

10. Spray the silver with anti-fire scale and melt a piece of solder onto the heart and the silver word plate separately. Apply flux and solder to the separate pieces. Lay the heart on top of the silver plate and solder the two pieces together using the torch.

11. Place the plate into the pickle pot for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the pickle with copper tongs, rinse with water and dry.

12. Use a bracelet mandrel to slightly bend the silver plate to give a little curve for wrist comfort.

13. Wearing a respirator, buff the plate with a buffing wheel and rotary tool until shiny.

14. Attach one 6mm jump ring into each drilled hole on the plate. Bead the desired design on each side of the plate; add crimp beads at the ends and 4mm jump rings. Attach a toggle clasp to your Explore Life stamped silver bracelet.

Cyndi Douglas is a talented silver smith, jewelry designer and savvy business woman. She began dabbling in beadwork while living near a chic bead store in Santa Monica, Calif. Soon her interest grew and she expanded her craft by taking silver smith classes.

Website: www.chicandsweet.com

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