Reticulation is holding your tourch over the metal just to the melting point, then taking the torch away for a few seconds so the metal can cool slightly. Repeating this process over and over creates an interesting and beautiful design. The metal pulls, sinks and makes unusual texture. Each piece of jewelry created using this method will be unique.
I made a Greek Cross, which consists of one single horizontal piece and one vertical piece that are the same length, and used reticulation for texture. I loved it and so did my friend Marsha! She is now the proud owner of my original and it looks fabulous on her, So much so, that I am making more and will post a picture when I have it finished. By the way, she is wearing the matching earrings too!
The idea of creating new items gets me going and I can’t wait to get started. Then, once I’m started I want to see the finished product. You see, it’s not finished until the final polishing and there is a lot of work between the start and the finish.
Polishing is like the icing on the cake. Until that takes place, it’s just blah. There may be rough edges to sand and scratches to polish out. But, once it’s all finished, it’s seeing it for the first time…trying it on…and then admiring a new creation that up to this point was a sketch on paper.
Most of the time ideas just come. It can be a spin off from a previous design, architecture, or a current trend. It can be from anything. That’s why I keep a sketch pad around. Or at least scrap paper in my purse!
Using my stature as a guide I draw the item to scale. I try to keep a variety of sizes so I will have something for everyone. The metal I use most is Argentium because it is tarnish resistant.
The necklace to the righ is a favorite design and a good representation of the work that goes into finishing a piece. Once drawn to scale, on the left, the wire was cut and laid on the drawing. Then I placed all the cut wire on a solder brick and started soldering. Love this piece!
Solder holds it all together, like the glue used to build a plastic model. Rivets are a favorite too! Rivets are put through the metal and hammered on the top and bottom. This holds the metal together without solder.
Yup, I fell in love with sterling silver jewelry because it was not only beautiful, but affordable too. I started purchasing it for work and play. And then I started working for a direct sales company and sterling silver really hit me then! I could wear all my samples and they were all my favorite!
Listening to customer complaints about tarnish and cleaning sterling silver made me decide to take classes in metals/jewelry. I discovered Argentium silver, which is tarnish resistant. So, what did I have to lose?
I loved the creation process and seeing the finished product was unbelievable. So, I decided to learn, handmake and sell.
Lets start at the beginning…
Ahhh! A beautiful piece of jewelry catches your eye and you have to have it!
You don’t think about how it was made. Just try it on for size and admire how it looks on you.
Necklaces frame your face and are usually the first piece of jewelry that is noticed. Watch those hair products! Always put your adornment on last.
Earrings are noticed second unless you have very short hair and wear long dangle shiney earrings, then they may push your necklace out of the way!
Bracelets and Rings are tied for last noticed. Unless ofcourse you talk with your hands! I think I do that sometimes!
Jewelry is adornment that says something about you. You are unique, make your statement!