Intro: Small Flower Pendant
I'm a beginner jewelry maker. This was my second piece of jewelry made.
The pendant took 19 or so hours to make and is made out of brass sheet that I bought at a jewelry store (18 gauge). The piece is approx 2.5 inches in diameter, the inner segment is approx 1 inch in diameter. I bought a 6x6 brass sheet for $7. If you have all of the tools already, you will spend around $15 dollars on the supplies including the chain. The cost of the chain is dependent on the length you buy and the type of chain. When you buy the chain you will have to buy chain hooks and those tiny ring loops that attach the chain to the hook.
The most basic things to have: blowtorch, sheet of metal (brass, copper, whatever), jeweler's saw + clamp + wood block + extra saw blades, silver and lead solder + flux, and a small metal file. You could improvise with everything else.
An overview of what was done: The basic flower shape was cut out using a German-style jewelry saw and then filed to soften the sharp edges. Then the leaves were stamped using a metal stamp with a straight tip and hammer. The round shape was made by hammering the metal with a spherical metal object. I used a Baoding ball.
Flux was added to the two petal parts and were heated with the blowtorch until the flux had evaporated. This is needed every time because prevents the parts I want to solder from oxidizing due to the heat. The two petal parts were soldered together with silver solder and a blowtorch. The braided bezel part is a spool of brass wire that was braided with a hand cranked drill and flattened then made into a circle with a mandrel. The braided bezel was also soldered with silver solder to create a closed loop. Lead solder used to solder the braided bezel onto the smaller flower set. Alternatively, sawing out a sliver of brass and then filing the edges can make a basic bezel.
The 'stone' is from a small sheet of Plexiglas.The Plexiglas was found in the garbage from a clothing shop (yes, I know, ew). Their model displays are typically Plexiglas... So basically any kind is fine.
With the small sheet of Plexiglas, I cut it my desired size of 1x1-ish inch using a jewelry saw.The Plexiglas was then heated. The blowtorch is fine, a heat gun is also fine, but might not be enough depending on the Plexiglas. The Plexiglas was heated evenly until soft (up, down, and on both sides). It's best to use some sort of helping hands, or long metal tweezers so to effectively heat the entire sheet. This is the hardest part because you could get bubbles once it gets too hot. I liked the bubbles so I kept it in this one.
Before the Plexiglas cooled, I placed it on top of a doming block and pressed down on the Plexiglas with a dapping set tool based on the diameter I wanted the 'stone' to be.. A fondant ball tool is fine also. When this was done, I had a semi-sphere in the sheet of Plexiglas. To get the semi-sphere part, I sawed the excess Plexiglas away, then used the jewelry file to smooth the bottom. I buy used nail polish to pain regular aluminum foil to add color. The foil and Plexiglas cannot be soldered on, so they are bonded to the smaller flower set by epoxy. I could have side-stepped all of this by buying flat-bottomed cabachon, or a rhinestone.
I bought the chain. The back (not shown) has a soldered brass wire as a hook for the chain.