I used to have this beautiful rose ring, with a large central rose and stems with leaves entwined around it. Sadly, one day the shank broke off and it wasn’t possible to re-solder it together. Today, in memory of that pretty little ring, I have made a Rose pendant in the same style – using a fired PMC rose with scraps of silver sheet and 1.5mm round silver wire.
Soldering fine/pure (.999%) silver to sterling is very difficult (or at least it is for me!) and so I treated the silver wire (depletion gilding) to give it a coat of fine silver, which would make it easier to solder.
With the sterling wire, I created the basic shape of my stem and then soldered the rose onto it. I cut smaller pieces of wire and soldered these on as off-shoots of the main stem. I curled the ends round to both look pretty and to give me something to hang my sparkles from.
The leaves I cut from scrap pieces of 0.5mm silver sheet. After a quick file to get rid of any sharp edges, I took my tiny jewellers screwdriver (with a flat head) and hammered a curved line down the middle of each one. This gave the leaves some shape and definition. I put the leaves in place and soldered them, all at the same time, with easy solder. Some of the leaves had a bit too much solder for the small area needing soldering; and excess solder leaked onto the surface of the leaves, masking the texture and shape that I had just added. Oh well, they still looked good, so I didn’t mind too much.
A quick dip in the pickle and a polish with the silicon wheels, brought up the silver nicely. I didn’t want a high shine on the stems and leaves – I wanted to have some contrast to the rose, which I would polish up more later on.
I’ve been using “Gilding Wax” for a while instead of Liver of Sulphur to give colour to the detailing in some of my pieces. The black is easy to apply and gives a dense coverage. After about an hour, I rub in some “Renaissance Wax” to seal the gilding wax in place; then wait a few minutes more and polish off the excess renaissance wax. This keeps the colour on the silver but any pieces with this finish can only be polished using a polishing cloth. Silver dip or liquid polish would ruin the colour or totally polish away the wax.
I wanted to use the marquise cut, clear (white) cubic zirconium (CZ) again; so I found in my scrap box an old “cinch” bezel type finding. It’s a thin piece of flat wire which has been curled inwards so it’s more of a c-shape in cross-section. It’s most usually seen as a complete item, with a loop at the top and a place just under the loop to squeeze shut with pliers (after the gem is set). This tightens the wire around the gem so it can’t fall out. Anyway, I had re-cycled some gems that were mounted this way and I had kept the cinch bezel pieces for a rainy day. I cut the wire to size and shaped it around the CZ gem. As it was only a small gem, and one I had heated successfully before, I soldered the wire ends together with the gem mounted inside.
Remember to not quench any stone/gem/crystal that you heat – it will cool way too quickly and will crack or break. Some CZ’s and crystals will change colour after heating and I wouldn’t suggest it with a stone over 5mm (round). If you are going to heat a stone, either have a spare in case of disaster or check the place you purchased it from – most sites have information of this sort freely available.
The rose pendant is back in the pickle pot as I type this. I wasn’t happy with one of the soldered joints and so I’ve re-soldered it and now am waiting to be able to polish it. So, I’m going to post this and then add the photo tomorrow (or later tonight, if I’m still up). Sorry for not persevering now but the head-cold is still making me feel rough and I need a bit of a rest.
Apologies for the awful photo – 12:30am isn’t the best time for me to be taking photos but this is the first time I’ve had all day to do it. Anyway, I hope it gives you an idea of what the rose pendant looks like!