This is how I spent this chilly winter morning, making a pair of earrings for one of my fabulous customers.
"Rosie" pattern on Shibuichi metal sheet. Shibuichi is a Japanese alloy of copper and sterling silver. It was used by Samurai warriors to accent their weaponry. This is what it looks like in its natural state, similar to rose gold.
I traced the pattern twice on the metal sheet with a sharpie marker.
With a fine saw blade I carefully cut out each piece.
This is my grinding/polishing station where I sand the edges of the metal pieces and polish the fronts and back to give them a matt finish.
After the initial polishing the pieces go into my rolling mill in between two brass texture plates. This embosses texture onto the petals.
Here is where I hammer the metal petals into a bent natural shape.
After polishing once again I add a micro-crystalline wax polish to seal the surface of the Shibuichi and prevent it from tarnishing.
I put two pieces of sterling silver wire through the rolling mill to texture it for the accent pieces that will dangle in front of the petals.
The blow torch is out to ball up the ends of the sterling silver 'stamen' accents. This takes about two seconds, if that, in the flame for the silver to create a little ball on the end of the textured wire pieces.
My husband Tommy took these photos, I kind of had my hands full!
After the wires were polished and cut to size I hammered the ends and drilled a hole in the end of each 'stamen'. I like to make each piece a little different to look more like natural botanical elements.
Each French ear wire is handmade in sterling silver and I use this high tech way of curving the wires into shape.
The final shaping of the wires before assembling all the parts into the finished earrings.
VOILA! A finished pair of "Rosie Earrings" made by hand for my friend Sandi!