Design Process: Sterling Silver Spiral Hoops in the Making

I'd like to share a little of my creative process. This is a pair of earrings that I designed some time ago, but they remain a favourite. I try to begin my designs on paper, but most often I am so excited about the image in my mind, that I take pencil to metal! That's how I made these earrings the very first time.

So I begin by cutting 2 circular discs from solid sterling silver sheet.
I trace the circle on to a piece of paper, so I have the dimensions of my design exactly right, and then fill in the spiral design.

Once I am happy with the shape of my spiral I cut out the circle and place it on top of the 2 sterling silver discs, and hold them all securely together with temporary glue.
Now we're ready to cut!

I do my best to keep my creativity and production eco friendly. I avoid chemicals and synthetic materials like the plague!
You'll notice that I am not using the blue synthetic lubricant that's on the market for my saw blade, but rather all natural bees wax.

I cut the spiral design out with great care frequently pausing to re-lubricate my blade. (No one likes the sound of scratchy grinding metal)... :)

Here we are! A lovely spiral; with so much symbolism. It's a design that inspires, that has so much meaning for the continuation of life and is omnipresent in nature!

Once the spirals are separated and the paper and glue cleaned away, I begin to transform these into a comfortable and impressive pair of earrings.

I begin by smoothing the edges completely so there are no sharp edges and they can comfortably slide through your ear piercing.

Once the edges are done, I hammer the entire earring with a mallet. I use this type of mallet so that I don't alter the shape of the metal or leave any marks. This hardens the metal so it keeps it's shape.

Then I hammer the part that slides through the ear with a steel jeweller's hammer for a little added strength on that part of the hoop.

Now polishing begins! I use a multi-step process for most of my pieces that includes two different polishing compounds and a number of different brushes.

For these, I decided to give them a satin finish. I think that the design speaks loud enough for itself.

Here they are almost complete. I recheck every edge and make sure that the part that slides through the ear is firstly thin enough and also sturdy enough to last you for many many many years.

You can find these in my etsy shop. Click here.

This was fun. I think I'll be posting more of my design processes for my favourite pieces.

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