Jewelry Lessons: Silver Fill

As most everyone knows, I’m completely new at this jewelry making thing. Teaching myself as I go, which means a lot of trial and error. When I say a lot, I mean… A LOT.

I’ve been working again on my wall tree. I’m struggling pretty hard with it. It’s become clear I need to teach myself a new thing before I can try yet again to get it to work. Solder. Seems I must learn solder.

Project for another day as I’m not set up for that.

Yet.

Instead of frustrating myself with that more, I went back to playing with my silver filled wire and rings to learn more of what this new stuff is all about. As I’ve mentioned before, they say it’s a good silver alternative. Much better than silver plate.

This seems to be true.

They say I can do anything with it that I can do with sterling. Wasn’t quite sure I was buying that. After a couple days of doing different things to it, wow, oh wow, that seems to be a true statement. I’ve been making chainmail with it, wrapping things with it, all kinds of things. It’s pretty cool stuff to work with. I’m rather impressed.

What has me all excited today is that last night I threw it in my rock tumbler. I had a chainmail bracelet to ship out today, and I wanted it to be the best it could be, as I do with all my pieces. When I work in sterling, I tumble everything when I finish it. Tumbling has become an important part of my finish work. It further strengthens the metal, it polishes out any superficial marks the pliers may have left, it smoothes out any rough edges, and it makes it super duper shiny.

You can’t tumble silver plate. For obvious reasons. Being beaten up with steel shot tends to strip that plating right off. I was worried it would do the same to my silver fill.

Nope. Didn’t.

I made up some sample chains last night to test it all out. Make sure what “they” said about tumbling it was true. And sure enough. Came out wonderfully. Then, scared as I was still, I threw in the new chainmail bracelet that is going to it’s new home. Crossed my fingers, held my breath, set a timer so I wouldn’t forget about it, and…

… out came the most shiny pretty evah.

I’m seriously diggin’ this silver fill thing. Perhaps I’ll be able to get away from silver plate all together.

That would sure rock.

That would rock hard.

Adventures in jewelry.

WooT!

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