You might want to consider making silverware jewelry if you have some extra mismatched pieces of silverware and a yen to create something beautiful. You can make earrings to bracelets to necklaces starting with just a few garage tools.
Making Silverware Jewelry
The key to making jewelry out of silverware is having the right tools so that your jewelry ends with a professional appearance. However, first and foremost, look after your own safety. Always work on a heat resistant surface such as cement, cement board or metal; you don't want to set your garage or work room on fire. Wear protective safety glasses and work gloves. Remember that you are working with metal and that metal can get extremely hot; be patient before touching anything after you use your blowtorch.
You may need to cut the handle off of a spoon or fork. In order to do this, you will need a vise to hold the piece in place and a rotary tool with a metal cutting wheel or a hacksaw in order to cut the silverware.
If you are going to bend your silverware, place the piece on a heat resistant surface and wave your blow torch about two inches over the silverware until the piece turns a bright red. This will help make your silverware easier to bend. Don't force the cooling process. Let the silverware cool at a natural rate.
To bend your silverware, place it back into the vise. Wrap some tape around the teeth of a tongue-and-groove pliers. This will help protect your silver. Gradually bend your piece to the desired shape. If you are bending the tines of a fork, you can use your pliers on each individual tine.
You may also need to have a power drill to drill holes for clasps.
You don't have to be dependent on your own kitchen to find silverware. You can find silverware at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets.
Sterling Silver versus Silverplate
You will find that sterling silver is more expensive than silverplate. Sterling is 92.5% silver. The remaining metal is added to give the silver strength. A piece of flatware will probably be marked "sterling" or "925" if it is made of sterling silver.
Silverplated flatware has a thin coating of silver over a base metal. Most silverplated flatware will be stamped indicating that the flatware is plated.
You may want to start with silverplated flatware in the beginning. Some consider it to be easier to work than sterling. And, as a beginner, you will be able to afford to make mistakes when using silverplate.
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