Thursday, 25 July 2013
I said earlier this week that I was working on a piece of silver. This is rare for me (although I consider silver is money for jam -it's a lovely metal to work on). This started with the silver clock hand above, which |I made for Ann in 1978. She'd seen several clock hands I'd made in iron, and said they'd make a nice pendant; so I bought a piece of sheet silver and made the above pendant. A few years later when Ann had become a Ward Sister, she expressed a wish for a nurse's belt-buckle in silver, so I made the silver buckle above the pendant. Since then I've made three more clock hand pendants, all of different designs, for family members. Then, earlier this year a good friend of ours, who has always admired Ann's pendant, told us that her grand daughter was coming of age in October, and could I make a key in sheet silver? The answer, of course, was "I don't know, I've never tried."
Well, I've tried now, and it turns out that I can.
These next few pictures show the various stages of making said key. As above, obtain a piece of sheet silver of the required thickness (having a brother-in-law who is a silversmith helps here).
Next stage (as above) draw out the pattern of the key on tracing paper, then glue the paper onto the sheet of silver. Then drill through the silver sheet into all the places which are to be sawn out (in this case fourteen - well count them) and start cutting using a jeweller's piercing saw. Then saw round the outer shape of the key. Then file up (tiny needle files required for some of this). Then do any slight engraving that needs doing to accentuate some points.
Above and below picture show the key almost complete. At this point I should make clear that I've included a pound coin in the picture to give some idea of the size of the key. I must stress that it is the same pound coin in all the pictures in case you think your blogger is made of money!!!!
Below is the key complete. The little doofah at the right hand end of the picture is for the recipient to put a silver chain through (which the recipient's Grand Mama is also supplying for her). I used rather thinner silver to make this part, which in a slightly earlier incarnation was part of a damaged Victorian silver mustard pot. The motto of this part of the blog entry is - never chuck out Victorian silver mustard pots, however damaged - they may come in useful next time your're asked to make a silver key for a friend's grand daughter's coming of age.
Good Night All.