Cupid’s Bow and Arrow Brooch by Annie Kilborn

Written by Annie Kilborn

Back of Brooch with the sample “trial and error” piece I made out of brass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Valentines Day without Cupid and his bow and arrow? ( See below for materials and tools used)

I began this project with a quick simple sketch to work out the ideal size and shape of “Cupid’s Bow and Arrow” Brooch. I knew that getting the bends in the sterling silver patterned wire “Dotted” would be a little tricky, because the bends would need to occur where the wire was the thickest. Before I attempted to bend the sterling wire, I made a sample in brass, a cheaper material for trial and error.

 

I marked the center, and where I wanted the two main bends to be on the wire. I used a 4mm jump ring maker mandrel in a vise to bend the metal. I bent the two outer bends in the bow to create a U shape with the wire. The metal needed to be annealed a couple times to get the desired bends. I did not initially worry about the bend in the middle, because I removed material with a saw making it much easier to bend after the two main bends were in the wire. I then repeated the process in the silver wire. Then I removed material to create a slight tapper on both ends leaving just the dot on the ends. I also added a tapper toward the middle bend. Once I got the desired shape for the bow, I filed, sanded and polished the tappers and smoothed out the bends. I soldered the pin henge and catch to the back of the bow with hard solder.

Next, I started constructing the arrow by taking 18 gauge sterling silver wire and making 10 pieces that were approximately 3/4” long with a 90° bend in the middle to make the fletching. I lined the pieces up so that they fit snuggly together. I cut the tubing to a 3” length, and removed part of the tubing on a 1/2” area at the end of the tubing exposing the inside. Then I flowed hard solder in the exposed inside of the tubing and pickled it. After pickling, I placed it on top of the 18 gauge wire pieces, and reflowed the solder to attach the pieces. Next, I soldered the other end of the arrow to the middle of the bow leaving enough space to solder the stone setting to the end of the tubing. Next, I soldered on the stone setting completing the arrow.

I took 7” of the the sterling silver patterned wire “Rope #2”, bent it in the middle, and soldered it to the back of the fletching with medium solder. After it was soldered, I took the ends of the “Rope #2” wire and wrapped them around the ends of the bow so that the wire nested into the niches that were made around the dot. I wrapped the wire around itself to create a tide rope effect, cutting of the excess wire so that the end is in the back of the piece. I took the remaining 5” of the rope wire, placed the middle of it behind the bow where the arrow attached, and wrapped it around the bow.

I did all my final sanding and polishing then raised the fine silver. The last few details were setting the cubic zirconia, and put the pin stem on. I put a bend in the pin stem so that it hid behind the bow. I finished of the piece by brass brushing it to create a soft finish on the silver.

 

 

MATERIALS USED: 

CUBIC ZIRCONIA – FIRE OPAL – TRIANGLE 10mm

STERLING SILVER 10MM ROUND SNAP-SET – 6 PRONG SETTING – SET/2

STERLING SILVER TUBE – .089″ OD, .009″ WALL

PATTERNED WIRE – STERLING SILVER – DOTTED 12 GAUGE DEAD SOFT – 6″

PATTERNED WIRE – STERLING SILVER ROPE #2 – 16 GAUGE DEAD SOFT – 6” (x2)

WIRE- STERLING SILVER – 18 GAUGE HALF HARD – 1 FOOT

STERLING SILVER PIN FINDING – 2”

TOOLS:

KNEW CONCEPT HAND SAW WITH CAM-LEVER TENSION AND SWIVEL BLADE CLAMPS – 5”

HALF ROUND RING FILE WITH WOOD HANDLE – CUT 4

HAMMER – NYLON

FRETZ PLANISHING HAMMER

ECONOMY TABLETOP SWIVEL VISE

JUMP RING MAKER – SMALL 4MM – 8MM

PLIERS – LINDSTROM EX SERIES – SIDE CUTTER

PLIERS – LINDSTROM EX SERIES – FLAT NOSE

PLIERS – FLAT NOSE

FOREDOM® SR-2220 FLEXIBLE SHAFT KIT – #20 QUICK CHANGE HANDPIECE

SANDING DISCS – ADALOX SNAP ON – 7/8″ MEDIUM

MINIATURE MANDREL – SNAP ON 3/32″ SHANK

SILICONE POLISHER – BLACK BARREL SET – SET OF 4

SMITH® SILVERSMITH™ ACETYLENE AND AIR TORCH KIT WITHOUT TANK 

360° ROTATING SOLDERING PAN WITH PUMICE – 12″ DIAMETER

SOLDERING BLOCK – MAGNESIA

HANDY FLUX 8 OZ

CAMEL HAIR ECONOMY BRUSH – SIZE 3

SILVER SOLDER WIRE- HARD & MEDIUM

January 25, 2018

Posted In: Creativity, Product Spotlight

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960 clayacidAgateannie kilbornantique moldartistbead & Buttom showbead showbezelbow and arrowbraceletbrassbroachBRONZclaybronzebronze claybroochcabachonscarol douglascarvingchamplevecharm braceletchristmas earringsclayclay moldclay templatesclay thickness rolling framescloisonnecontestcontest winnercontest winntercool toolscool tools productscoppercopper claycopper wireCOPPRclaycoralcreating jewelrycreativecreative fireCreativitycrowleyCubic Zirconiadeb dewolffDichroic Gemsdiydiy jewelryearringsenamelenamelingenamelsetchetchingez 960ez96 sterling silver clayEZ960ez960 clayez960 sterling silver clayferro sunshinefine silverfine silver clayfire opalfiringfiring guidefiring metal clayfiring stonesfive star metal clayfoamfossilFREE shippingfs 999fs999garnetgauge earringsgemstonegemstonesgordon uyeharagraphitehadar's clayhalloween jewelryhigh fire stonesholidayhow to videojan harrelljeannette foese leblancjewelryjewelry Artistjewelry diyjewelry makingjewelry showjewelry technique videosjewelry techniquesjulia raikilnkim nogueirakitleaf canelisellovemake your own ringmetalmetal claymetal clay artistmetal clay jewelrymetal clay kitsmetal clay projectmetal clay success storymetal clay toolsmetal magic silver clayMetal Stampingmetalclaystudiometalsmithmetalsmithingnano gemnano gemsnano gemstonesnanosnatural gemstonesnecklaceone firePalmwoodpam eastpinpmcpmc sterlingpolymer clayPolymer Clay Productspreciousprecious metal clayPromotionpush moldringrivetingschool housescratchsheetsilversilver claysilver clay moldsilver wiresingle fireskull earringssoldersolderingss claysterling claysterling silversterling silver claysterling silver metal claysterling silver ringsunshine enameltestingthe artist project seriestim mccreightToolsvalentines daywater firing methodwhat's in the Woods?wingswings and thingswirexmas

Nano Gems – Update

Written by Annie Kilborn

After conducting some further testing of Nano Gems in the Cool Tools Studio, we found that Nano Gems are highly responsive to light. To keep Nano Gems true to color, it is very important to fire with an azure, or a hole for light to pass through, behind the gem. Without an azure, Nano Gems can change color, get muddy or lose luster.

Nano Gems can also change properties when they are fired above certain temperatures, and the maximum temperate that a Nano Gem can be fired to varies from gem to gem. We have found that all of the Nano Gems we currently carry are safe to fire up to 1675°F / 913°C on an open shelf in clay, with the exception of the Dark Orange and Orange, which can be safely be fired up to 1650°F / 899°C on an open shelf in clay.
Initially, we fired the Nano Gems on an open shelf – not in clay. The Nano Gems could be fired up to 1725°F / 940°C safely without change, with the exception of the Dark Orange and Orange which could be fired safely up to 1700°F / 927°C on an open shelf.

The first Nano Gems testing we performed in clay was in FS999 Fine Silver clay on an open shelf, fired at FS999’s recommended firing schedule of 1650°F / 899°C for two hours. The top row of Nano Gems all have azures behind them. They stayed true to color and brilliance. The only exception was with the Amethyst Green, which reflected some champagne tones with the light green ones. The bottom row of Nano Gems do not have any azures, as the gems were placed directly into the clay. All changed greatly in color, clarity and luster. The exceptions were with Orange and the Kryptonite, which just lost some of their luster. You can clearly see the difference the azure makes for the stones appearance. Nano Gems with azures behind them are on the top row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next test we did was similar to the previous, however, we fired the Nano Gems in EZ960 Sterling Silver clay. The sample was fired open shelf at EZ960’s recommended firing schedule of 1675°F / 899°C for two hours. Again, the top row of Nano Gems with the azures behind them stayed true to color and brilliance. The exceptions were with the Dark Orange and Orange, which began to lose their luster and became slightly dull, and the Amethyst Green took on some champagne tones as it did in the FS999. The bottom row of Nano Gems, without the azures, respond very similarly to the ones fired in the FS999. Some did get darker and duller do to the higher firing temperature. At this point it is very evident that the Nano Gems are dependent on an azure to stay true to color and luster. We tested the Dark Orange and Orange in EZ960 and fired open shelf at 1650°F / 899°C and fired for 4 hours. They stayed true to color and brilliance. Both the Dark Orange and Orange cannot be fired above 1650°F / 899°C in clay.

 

Nano Gems with azures behind them are on the top row.
Nano Gems with azures behind them are on the top row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third test was the Nano Gems with azures in EZ960 fired in Magic Carbon. It was fired at EZ960’s recommended firing schedule when firing in carbon, which is 1590°F / 865°C for two hours. All fired beautifully, without any change in any of the stones. The test was repeated with FS999 in Magic Carbon fired at 1650°F / 899°C. Once again, they all fired perfectly. As of this writing, we have not tested firing silver clays and Nano Gems in coconut or coal carbon.

The next question… How do the Nanos respond to base metal clays? We did a test strip of Nano Gems with azures fired in Hadar’s One-fire High-fire White Satin fired in coconut carbon fired to 1000°F / 538°C and held for two hours, then continued to fire to 1705°F / 929°C for two hours. All the stones did change due to the higher temperature, with the exception of the Amethyst Green which stayed true to color and luster. Some just darkened and dulled slightly, others changed dramatically. We also did a test strip in Hadar’s One-fire Medium-fire Bronze and fired 1100°F / 599°C and held for two hours, then continued to fire to 1560°F / 849°C for two hours. All of the Nano Gems fired beautifully, with exception of the Dark Orange and Orange. The Dark Orange and Orange do not fire well in coconut carbon; in both samples they turned black as shown below.

 

Nano Gems with azures behind them are on the top row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We worked on some other tests to get some conclusive evidence on cause and effect of firing Nano Gems. One test was to see if the size of the stone matters. We tested the London Blue Nano Gem in a 2mm, 3mm and 4mm round all with and without azures. All the Nano Gems with azures stayed true to color, and the ones without an azure did not. The upshot being that the size of the Nano Gem does not matter. We tested Cubic Zircons in 4mm round with and without azures to see if they responded to light the same way that Nano Gems do. They do not. There is only a very light change of color and luster when they are placed directly into clay.
All in all, the conclusive finding is to always fire Nano Gems in clay with an azure, or hole for light to pass through behind the gem. If the Nano gem is too small to effectively create an azure behind it, the next best option may be to use a small cubic zirconia instead, as their brilliance is not diminished when placed directly in clay – with or without an azure.

Nano Gems with azures behind them are on the top row.

 

January 9, 2018

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960 clayacidAgateannie kilbornantique moldartistbead & Buttom showbead showbezelbow and arrowbraceletbrassbroachBRONZclaybronzebronze claybroochcabachonscarol douglascarvingchamplevecharm braceletchristmas earringsclayclay moldclay templatesclay thickness rolling framescloisonnecontestcontest winnercontest winntercool toolscool tools productscoppercopper claycopper wireCOPPRclaycoralcreating jewelrycreativecreative fireCreativitycrowleyCubic Zirconiadeb dewolffDichroic Gemsdiydiy jewelryearringsenamelenamelingenamelsetchetchingez 960ez96 sterling silver clayEZ960ez960 clayez960 sterling silver clayferro sunshinefine silverfine silver clayfire opalfiringfiring guidefiring metal clayfiring stonesfive star metal clayfoamfossilFREE shippingfs 999fs999garnetgauge earringsgemstonegemstonesgordon uyeharagraphitehadar's clayhalloween jewelryhigh fire stonesholidayhow to videojan harrelljeannette foese leblancjewelryjewelry Artistjewelry diyjewelry makingjewelry showjewelry technique videosjewelry techniquesjulia raikilnkim nogueirakitleaf canelisellovemake your own ringmetalmetal claymetal clay artistmetal clay jewelrymetal clay kitsmetal clay projectmetal clay success storymetal clay toolsmetal magic silver clayMetal Stampingmetalclaystudiometalsmithmetalsmithingnano gemnano gemsnano gemstonesnanosnatural gemstonesnecklaceone firePalmwoodpam eastpinpmcpmc sterlingpolymer clayPolymer Clay Productspreciousprecious metal clayPromotionpush moldringrivetingschool housescratchsheetsilversilver claysilver clay moldsilver wiresingle fireskull earringssoldersolderingss claysterling claysterling silversterling silver claysterling silver metal claysterling silver ringsunshine enameltestingthe artist project seriestim mccreightToolsvalentines daywater firing methodwhat's in the Woods?wingswings and thingswirexmas