s t e p - b y - s t e p ➳ Hand Stamped Zodiac Necklace

I am not a blogger, by any means - I thought I would start with that fact. This is not a blog. But instead, somewhere to share that extra little bit with you all about life, my dogs, jewellery/spoon making of course, my beloved little small business and then all the bits in between.


My website provider gives the option to add a "blog" to your page & i won't lie - I have had the blog tab ready & waiting on my page for years and years.... and done absolutely sweet nothing with it! I just kept thinking - well what do I have to share? Who is even interested & why? What is the point?


So today, I renamed it "journal". Journal feels so much more personal & just much more me. As someone who has kept journals most of their teenage & early adult years, a journal is right up my street. So here we are...


One thing I often get asked about is the process of making jewellery and how you eventually end up with the final piece. Some pieces look quite simple, but there is often a lot in the way of steps to arrive at that final product. I am self taught, born out of curiosity & wanting to create. I first learned simple skills from Youtube tutorials, trial/error & then an evening Silversmithing college course to attempt to then fine tune and build on what I had already learned. So I always start with "Well this is the way that I have learned to do it..." so but ya know - whatever works for you! Everyone finds their own groove...


So the plan this year - was that I had wanted to share my love for creating & making with others. I had planned to jump out of my comfort zone and start doing my own jewellery tutorials on Youtube {I know, I am dying of anxiety even at the thought of it!!!} and maybe, just maybe {get the balls} to start doing little local workshops with basic jewellery making projects. I had visions of fun times with tea, biscuits, hammers & fire. How lovely! I wanted to start building up little "workshop kits" so I had enough tools for everyone to work on their necklace, ring or whatever the piece was & just enjoy themselves with other creative minds. But as we all know this year hasn't really gone to plan!


So, instead - for now, I thought I would kick start that journey of "sharing" more {& which is likely to be the nature of most of my posts} by sharing a step-by-step on a necklace I have made several times in the past week & also one of my favourites in the shop - the Zodiac Necklace. So for anyone who wants that little sneak peak into the process - here we go...



The Zodiac Necklace is one of my popular sellers and I think people like it because it is a bit personal, quite subtle and best of all - suitable for everyday wear.


The process for this necklace, isn't extensive or complicated but has a fair few steps - starting with punching a piece of Sterling Silver sheet, using a disc cutter to create the round disc. I usually cut my own discs because I can cut any size I like, as and when I need them & the effort to tidy them up is pretty minimal.


To cut the disc, all you have to do is slide the sheet into place, find the corresponding punch/cutter and hammer it through the correct size hole.


You will then end up with something like this...



After we have our disc ready, the Zodiac sign is then hand stamped using a traditional method - steel punches to impress the design into the metal... I also drill the tiny little hole so we can attach it to our chain later on.



Sterling Silver is relatively soft metal, so we don't have to give the stamp too much of a whack with the hammer - but enough so we have a nice even and visible impression. This can also later be filled in with a non toxic, waterproof enamel ink if the customer wants a bolder look, but for this little Taurus, we left him as he was.


The disc is then popped into doming die block and using the dapping punches, gently hammered in shape. This process is what creates the lovely curved dome effect / finish.



After that, We then just need to tidy up the edges/surfaces so they are nice and smooth... For this, I use simple needle files & different grade sandpaper until the rough edges are gone and the piece is nearly ready for polishing.



Then we finally have our little disc ready...



It is then popped in a tumbler with steel shot, burnishing compound and water and left to spin around for roughly between 30 minutes to an hour which helps give it a really lovely shine & polish.



Once we have removed the piece from the tumbler and dried it off, we can then add to our chain with a jump ring. We then end up with something like this ➳


Our finished piece...



This little guy was then popped in his gift box and sent on his travels, as a birthday gift to his new home. What a lovely feeling knowing that someone, somewhere in the world will receive this from a friend and it will hopefully bring a smile to their face and they can love it forever. Quite a charming little thought really when you think about it and the best bit about making and creating. You aren't just creating jewellery, but creating feelings and memories. Cheeeeeese. But also still true...!


Okay, think I will wrap this up for now but I hope this little snippet was in some way interesting. & honestly T HA N K Y OU for taking the time out to pop over & have a look at what I have been up to.


C a r l y ♡


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