Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to turn plain old silver bangles into a pair of designer bangles

Well here’s how !  For the longest time I have been crazy about silver jewellery, way before I even thought of making  jewellery by hand. So about eight or so years ago, I was on vacation in Baroda  and was told it was the place to pick up silver jewellery. I couldn't find anything special but found these thin silver bangles that looked great worn in a bunch so I bought ten of them . I did wear them for a while but for the past few years or so they simply sat in my jewellery box not doing anything, and after all these years my hand had changed in the sense it was stiffer and I could not wear the bangles. So here is what I came up with – combine the bangles into a larger piece .
Silver bangles
 The original 10 Silver bangles
I cut these up and straightened them resulting in ten pieces of 7 inches long very nicely drawn half round wires in 18 ga. I was initially skeptical and thought maybe the bangles were of a base metal with fine silver plating on them, but to my relief the cut portion revealed the bangles to be entirely fine silver.
Bangles cut and straightened
Bangles cut and straightened
Next came the design, I knew I wanted something simple that could be worn everyday and would not snag on clothing or anything else. I had initially thought of using granulation but then I realized my meagre silversmithing skills and the added disadvantage of having the pieces snag or catch on clothes or other day to day friction meant I had best keep things simple.
Wires twisted into gentle curves
Wires twisted into gentle curves
I used my chain nosed pliers and gave each wire a gentle curve warying the angle slightly each time. Next I placed the wires curved side down slightly overlapping each other and used medium silver solder pallions to solder them together. I took care to vary the position of the wires as I had to lengthen the total size by a half inch.
Soldered wires
Soldered wires
Having worked with copper for such a long time I never realized how much heat copper can take, the silver wires gave me a few moments of anxiety attacks when they reticulated and nearly melted a few times ! :( After all the wires ( I use four on each bangle) were soldered I formed the bangle and soldered the ends together.
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Finished bangle
I still have to throw them in the tumbler but here is what they look like , I am really happy with the results although I know my silver soldering skills need a lot of work! A very fun gift for myself this Diwali and speaking of which wishing all of your a very Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year from Nayna Studios ! :)
P.S : I still have two wires left over having used only four per bangle ( will add a picture of both soon) I hope to  use the remaining two wires to gift myself a pair of matching earrings. Post coming up soon :)