Differences between sterling silver, fine silver, silver plated and silver filled

A lot of people when they start making jewellery, struggle with the issue of what wire to use. I started with copper, then moved onto coloured craft wire until I decided I liked the colour of silver best of all. Since then I’ve made pieces in both sterling silver wire – round and square – …

Oxidizing copper or silver with liver of sulfur

Oxidizing copper or silver with liver of sulfur

I’ve made a video on how to oxidize, or apply patina, to copper or silver. The chemical compound used in this video is potassium sulfide, also known as liver of sulfur. In its natural state it’s a solid, like little crumbly pebbles, that can be dissolved in hot water. It’s also sold already in liquid …

Mohs Scale – hardness scale for minerals, metals and other materials

Mohs Scale – hardness scale for minerals, metals and other materials

When you work with minerals you notice there’s a difference in hardness between gemstones. As a jeweller you must know which gemstones are resistance to damage, both during the creation process and afterwards, while wearing the piece. For example, while setting a topaz you can file away the ends of the claws without damaging the …

Wire weaving tips – sampler and ways to hold your wires

Wire weaving tips – sampler and ways to hold your wires

I’ve recently returned to wire work. I love silversmith projects but I have to sit at my bench, with the drawer open over my legs, while I saw, file or polish. Sometimes I just want to get out of there for a bit and wire work is ideal because it doesn’t require a lot of …