Inspiration Found at The Night Circus pt. 1

For quite a while I’ve been playing an on-line card and story based game called Echo Bazaar by Failbetter Games.  I’ll probably do another, more detailed post about Echo Bazaar later – because that also is an inspiration – but for now, I want to show you my latest efforts that have been inspired by their latest efforts “ The Night Circus ” based upon a book of the same name by Erin Morgenstern.

The amazing illustrations are so beautiful and one or two gave me ideas for delicate and ethereal jewellery.  

The first design is the branch with a droplet of water falling from a leaf. To the left is the original design (© Failbetter Games) and on the right is my interpretation:

The leaves were rough cut from textured sheet silver by handsaw and then filed to shape by hand.  The large leaves were shaped by repoussé.

I don’t have a pitch bowl and special tools to do the repoussé with.  I used a block of wood in my vice (with the end grain uppermost) instead and I shaped a piece of memory wire (with pliers that I don’t use for silver work – remember, no cross-contamination!) for line down the middle of the leaf.  Then I placed the leaf shape on the wood with the wire (memory wire because it was the hardest wire I had) on top.  I then improvised with a small metal cylinder with flat ends (actually one of my bits for my rotary tool) instead of a lining punch, and hammered the wire into the silver leaf.  This gave the leaf it’s lifelike shape and curves as well as defining the central line.  I also drilled by hand the tiniest hole possible in the end of the large leaves so I could add a gem (like the drop of water on the illustration) later.

I was so worried about melting the delicate wires (0.8mm) but all my soldering practice paid off and everything worked first-time; nothing melted, or dropped off when quenched.  Hooray!

After polishing and tumbling, I added the cubic zirconia gems and made the ear-wires.  The finished earrings are extremely light and very sparkly.  Perfect for any female réveur at the Night Circus – see you there!

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