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 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!