You’ve gotten to know our head silversmith, Nyoman. But do you know anything about silversmithing?
...neither did Erika, so she took a silver jewelry-making class while she was in Bali! And she quickly realized that handcrafting silver jewelry is a long process. Her class was three hours long, and she was able to make two very simple rings in that time. Want to learn more? Read on for photos and a Cliffnotes version of process...
STEP ONE: SAWING & FILING
To start, you must use a hand saw to create the shape of your piece from a sheet of silver. Then, you file it carefully to create smooth edges. Removing the sharp edges makes it safer to continue your work! This step took Erika about 20 minutes.
STEP TWO: METALWORKING
This is the fun part: during the metalworking stage of production, you use small tools to shape and add artistic details your piece. Erika used a hammer and a large, steel ring cone to create a ring that was the correct size and shape for her finger. This process took about 45 minutes.
STEP THREE: SOLDERING
This is the part where you play with fire! Once the rings have been shaped, the ends are melded together and the fun begins. For her first ring, Erika used a torch to create small silver balls out of tiny strips of flattened silver, then she soldered each ball onto her ring one by one. For her second ring, she spent time ironing the kinks out of another a strip of flattened silver, then used pliers to stretch it around the ring cone and a hammer to pound it into an X shape. This process took well over an hour.
STEP FOUR: FINISHING
Finally, once the piece is complete, it’s time to give it the finishing touches - a final once over with the file (if needed), a quick polish, and a bit of buffing to give it the perfect shine.
Sounds easy, but Erika says the experience gave her even greater appreciation for all the hard work & artistic craftsmanship that goes into every piece made by Sandpiper artisans!
Have you ever made your own jewelry before?