Wednesday, August 17, 2011

put a bird on it?

I absolutely love this piece.  I wish I had an occasion to wear it for. These are my Egyptian inspired birds, for some reason they remind me of my brother.

I created a stencil from paper and cut out each bird separately. I then soldered them together at two points, one at the beak and at the base of the talons.

As many of my pieces, I used nitric acid to etch in my design.  Since the pieces are so large, it takes a while for the acid to etch evenly.
I wove a Roman Chain, which takes hours.  I started with 26(ish) gauge fine silver, wrapped it around a tube, and cut the "spring" looking form to create tiny hoops. Since it's fine silver, you can fuse the hoops closed without solder and without the metal oxidizing. 

After ruining at least 30% of them, each hoop is stretched using a special pair pliers you can get at an auto supply store. It elongates them so you can weave them together. I used 3 links, I thought 4 would be too large. 

After you have a desired length, you need to anneal the metal, then pull it through a series of holes drilled into wood, or a metal plate.  This gives a streamline look, pulling all the "threads" tight.  Anneal the piece again, then run it over a dowel so it becomes more pliable and will fall better across your neck. I soldered on spiculums to hide the ends of the chain.

Next time I go grocery shopping I'm going to wear this anyways.

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