Process of Making a Slice Necklace

This is the process of making one of my slice necklaces, each piece is made by hand individually from scratch with craftmanship in mind.  The type of construction used here to make this necklace is called hand fabrication.  

I start with recycled sterling or fine silver sheet metal.  The metal is then sawn into the approximant shape.

The cut piece is then stamped with my maker's mark and proper karat value, in this case .925 to indicate sterling silver.

Karat and maker's mark stamped on what will be the back of the piece.

This is my soldering area, the ventilation helps to remove fumes during soldering to keep my workspace safe.  The tweezers on the bases are called third-hands, they help hold pieces for soldering and are helpful when you need an extra hand or two :).  When soldering multiple pieces or times on a piece, proper set up is very important to get placement right and third-hands are one of the ways to get everything where I want it.  Placement set up usually takes much longer than the actual soldering.

The piece is then ready to be soldered with the dimensional rim (this was formed by hammering around a steel mandrel to shape the form).  In this photo, I'm adding flux that will help the solder to flow.

The pieces are being brought up to temperature and solder is added.

Heating the piece to flow the solder.

The piece, after dimensional rim and attachment points for chain have been soldered to backplate. 

Sawing off extra metal from outside of the pendant.

Filing and smoothing outside of the pendant. The wooden support is called a bench pin and it is where I do the majority of my work, I use it to support my pieces for sawing, filing, drilling, stone setting, forming and many other tasks.  The whole desk is called a jeweler's bench.

Adding a light texture to the pendant.

The piece after being cleaned with completed texture with the chain and findings soldered on.  The piece is cleaned and sanded smoothed multiple through out the fabrication process with care not to add any extra scratches or marks that would need to be removed later.

Cutting and placement of the high karat gold foil, each piece of gold is individually hand cut and placed so no two pieces are exactly alike.

The gold is attached using a process that involves heat and pressure until a molecular bond is formed.  This is an ancient Korean process called Keum-boo. The piece after gold design has been permanently attached. 

The piece after the silver has been given a surface patina (oxidized).  Basically, the patina acts as a way to rapidly and evenly tarnish the silver surface but doesn't change the gold, providing a nice contrast.  


Adding a protective wax to the surface.

Completed piece.