Welcome to the latest in a series of articles to do with enamelling and making jewellery that I intend to publish. I hope you find them useful. Although I planned to write them weekly, unfortunately I missed a few last year due to sheer pressure of work. Many apologies and My New Year’s resolution is to do much better! I will be writing about issues and problems I have experienced (and hopefully overcome), and tips and shortcuts concerning enamelling and making jewellery that I have come across in the course of the past twenty years or so.
What to Do When Your Ready Made Copper Blank is Pierced and You Want to Make a Brooch
I came across this problem this Christmas when I decided to make a range of enamelled owl brooches. I wanted to make them as a stocking filler item and so needed to use a ready made shape. The only one I could find that was suitable came only as a pierced shape. I ordered them anyhow as I knew I could fill the hole with a wire rivet that wouldn’t show after enamelling.
Making the Rivet to Fill the Hole
I chose copper wire that was a tight fit in the hole. In this case I used 1.2 mm. I used a saw to cut a short piece approximately 2mm longer than the thickness of the blank. Use a saw instead of wire cutters to end up with a nice, flat cut that you need. Alternatively you could use wire cutters but then you would need to use a file.
Try your wire for fit, set your blank onto a steel block. Then I use a small, light hammer with a flat face. Tap gently on the wire to spread it a little, turn over and repeat on the other side. Work methodically and you should end up with a neat rivet that is almost invisible. Try not to put hammer marks in the blank itself, although a few light ones probably won’t show. You can continue with emery paper if you wish, although I didn’t find it necessary because I was making was using a riso screen over my surface that completely hid any evidence of the rivet. Have a go. It is useful to be able to do this if you need to. Tomorrow I will get back some of the owls I made and I will post a picture. Let me know how you get on.