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  • Karen Tweedie

How the Heck Did you Make That? The Flower.




This is a question I frequently get when people see my jewelry. How did you make that? How long did it take? Where did you learn how to do that?

Funny, but no one has yet asked me why I do it!! That’s an easy one: I’m a “maker”, a person who is driven to make things. My passion is making jewelry, but I also make loads of other things, like many of my clothes, and am now experimenting to make the perfect French baguette. But back to the flowers…!



Because I occasionally make multiples of a design, I take advantage of the specialized tools available for that purpose. For my flowers, I cut out my pieces using a steel pancake die. I insert a piece of metal and then punch the flower shape out using 12 tons of power with my hydraulic press. It’s an excellent upper body workout!





After a bit of clean up, I shape the flat piece into a rounded flower by pressing and hammering it into a domed concave steel dapping block with a corresponding sized round-headed steel punch. This not only shapes the metal, but it also hardens it so that it stays in that particular shape.



Next a hole is drilled on the top so that my new little flower can become an earring! I form the stamens by balling up the ends of silver wire using the flame from my torch, about 2000 degrees. You wouldn’t want to touch that!




Depending on the final look of the earring, I either polish up the flower or color it with enamel. I like them both ways!



As a surprising added bonus, the red enameled earrings make a sweet tinkling sound when you move!!


I assemble the earring with sterling silver wire, shaping it into an earring hook, do some more final touch up like round the end of the earring wire so that it is smooth when touching your ear, and voila! A flower earring!


FYI I am having a Black Friday Sale starting Black Friday, November 23 thru midnight Cyber-Monday, November 26. EVERYTHING on my website will be 25% and…if your order totals $100 or more, you will also receive a Thank You gift from me: a pair of 10mm white freshwater pearl earrings, packaged up as a stocking stuffer to give or keep for yourself!! Hope to see you online!

Karen
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