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How to mark sterling silver sheet?

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  • How to mark sterling silver sheet?

    I am making some sterling silver leaf earrings and I wanted to mark the leaf veins onto the earring. Has anyone got any ideas as to how to do this? I wasn't sure if you could get a punch mark with just a line on or whether to use a hammer with the flat edge? But i guess this wouldnt' be very acurate? Any help would be great,
    Heidi Crocker

  • #2
    No Idea how you would go about this,

    but am very intrigued to see the finished article though

    Am sure someone more helpful will come along and give you some useful advice other than their own self indulgent desires to see your finished work like me

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    * Rome wasn't built in a day - although that was the builders original estimate *


    • #3
      I use a rolling mill, but if you don't have access to one, you can anneal the sheet really well (three or four times to bring up a reticulation layer which will accept an imprint better), then make a sandwich of silver, skeleton leaf and copper sheet covered with a piece of paper and bash the bejesus out of it with a mallet. The impression of the leaf will transfer to the silver, and to a lesser extent to the copper as well. The copper protects the silver from being marred by the hamnmering.

      If you want to use a punch rather than chasing, you can easily grind a small screwdriver into a finer point and use that.


      • #4
        I attempted to hammer some veins into a leaf earrings i made and ended up splitting the copper.....Stupid really! I wish i had a rolling mill....Sigh....
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        • #5
          Thanks for all your replies, I will definitely give the copper sandwich idea a try! I wonder whether a scriber would mark enough to draw my own veins on it. Will post a piccie when I have finished the design!
          Heidi Crocker


          • #6
            Things I've done:
            MisGeorge's screwdriver and hammer trick. Brilliant, qiuick, versatile. I love bashing things with a hammer. Practise on scrap copper first. It's all about skill. Developing skill takes practise and going wrong a lot. It doesn't have to be a screw driver. It has to be hard metal of some sort - steel or iron. You can make your own puch tips, any shape and size you want buy filing other tools down (but it ain't half quicker if you buy a grinder!).

            Engraving lines. You need an engraving tool. (I'm talking pointy, sharp thing in a handle.) It takes hours of practise to get good. A lot of slipping, cursing and blood was involved. You can get electric ones now - but that's for woozies.

            Etching. Wow! I love this. But I did go to lessons and you haven't got to be afraid of dangerous stuff like acid. Oh, but it's beautiful. You draw through the wax with a scribe. It's arty and fluid, can be really intricate, yet can come up with accidental seemingly random surprises.

            We are talking here of the veins being indented into the metal. You may want them raised. In which case look up repouse/repousee. It's just the hammer bashing but from the back. (It isn't really. You have to tart it up on the front ask well.)

            Anyway - buy some plasters, then have fun.


            • #7
              The copper sandwich sounds great what sort of thickness of copper? Sorry to be dim, is it that thick foil stuff or thicker?