Its been 6 weeks since my first metal smithiing course, and I have been practicing my sawing tehcnique, using aluminum sheet and copper sheet, by making geometric shapes for studs and bead caps.
Following my metal smithing session my plan was to practice my newly learnt skills by practicing my sawing, filing, texturing and doming tecniques, with initially aluminum and then copper sheet metal, to create a collection of bead caps and studs.
For some unknown reason, I have fallen in love with geometic shapes, especially hexagonals and pentagonals.
I think it's because I am so used to seeing circles and squares all over the place, in jewellery design, and these shapes will give a bit extra to my designs.
As aluminum is a softer metal, compared to copper, I have created a whole set of these beads already to turn into studs following my secong metal smithing wokhop, where I will be covering gemstone setting and soldering.
I turn up, both excited and nervous about the skills I am about to learn, but find that aluminium has a lower melting point than the silver solder, and so it is not possible to create said studs by soldering, or to combine other metals to aluminum.
The only way to achieve this is by super glue, which is a bit of a no no for me, or by cold connections, i.e. using rings or by riveting.
And even riveting has it's limits as I will have to use aluminium wire, rather than copper wire, as its the softest of the two metals to be joined.
Here's the final result:
Handmade Copper and Aluminium Geometric Riveted Earrings, with sterling silver ear wires
What do you think?
There are a few pros using aluminium in jewellery making, but because of its' limitations, I cannot see it being an addition to my jewellery designs.
Watch this space to see how my metal smithing journey progresses