Introduction: Beginners Sawing and Piercing Project

About: I've been making jewellery for 22 years and teaching jewellery making classes for 13 years. Recently I've started an online jewellery magazine packed full of free tutorials and interviews with jewellery artist…

This simple Sawing and Piercing project is perfect for the beginner. I've designed a simple leaf pattern but this project can be used with any sawing and piercing design that emphasizes negative space. Although I roller printed the top plate, you could hammer texture or leave yours polished. I used a patinated piece of copper for the center plate, but yours could be patinated a different colour, or be textured, heat treated, left polished. Remember this project is a demonstration of techniques, you should make the project your own design; I am very sure you can come up with something fabulously unique to your creative self. 

The project consists of 3 layers riveted together. A top plate of sterling silver roller printed and sawn and pierced, a centre plate of copper with a green patina and a back plate of polished sterling silver. The bail is 14 gauge sterling silver wire, balled and forged (image 1).

Before beginning, all three plates will need to be flat and must lay on top of each other without gaps (image 2) and finished to the desired effect. Adhere the design onto the top plate (image 3).

Step 1: Sawing and Piercing the Interior Bits

Center punch, drill, de-burr and saw & pierce only the interior design (images 4, 5, 6 & 7)

To learn more about:

"Drilling holes" page 52 in the October issue.
"Jewellers Handsaw" on page 62 in the September, 2012 issue.
"Sawing & Piercing Basics" on page 56 in the October issue.

Read the tutorials available for free in Creating Linus Jewellery online magazine at

Step 2: File and Emery

File and emery the interior cut outs (images 8 & 9)

Learn more about:

"Files" on page 66 in the September, 2012 issue.
"Emery tools on page 72 in the September, 2012 issue.

Step 3: Riveting

Secure all three plates together using masking tape and rivet together with mushroom rivets (images (10 & 11).

To learn more about Mushroom riveting turn to page 74 in the October issue of Creating Linus Jewellery free online magazine at

Step 4: Sawing and Finishing the Exterior Bits

Cut out the exterior, file and emery the edges smooth. A quick way to emery the exterior edges is to use a split mandrel; emery all the way down to 1200 grit (images 12, 13 & 14). The edges should be smooth with no visible saw or file marks (images 15 & 16). The split mandrel can also be used to slightly round the the corners, giving the outer edge a softer look (image 17). The pendant is completed (image 18), time to add the bail.

Learn more about The "Split Mandrel" on page 90 in the October issue.

Step 5: The Bail

Often when designing, the bail is given last consideration and ends up looking like something "stuck on". For me, the Bail always requires more thought then the rest of the pendant because I want it to enhance the design and not just function as away to attach the pendant to a chain or hanging device. For the leaf, I wanted the bail to "reference" a vine.

The bail is created out of 14 gauge wire by balling up one end (image 19) and forging the other flat (image 20). File, emery and polish both ends. Drill a hole large enough to thread the forged end through, use fingers and wood doweling to curl the wire (image 21)

If you are a beginner you might want to read the following tutorials available for free in Creating Linus Jewellery online magazine at

- Designing for sawing and piercing turn to page 56 in the October, 2012 issue.
- Patination turn to page 88 in the September, 2012 issue and page 56 in the July, 2012 issue.
- Roller printing turn to page 50 in the July, 2012 issue.
- Hammer texturing turn to page 84 in the September issue.
- Straightening a piece of metal turn to page 48 in the September issue.