I’ve got myself a new studio! The new studio is where I’ll be working out of and where people can come by to collect orders etc. It’s a great spot in West Hampstead, north west London, not to far from Hatton garden.Read More
Solder, to most, solder is pretty insignificant, it’s typically an alloy of some kind which can join two pieces of metal together. Used in electronics, jewellery, pluming and more. To a jeweller, it’s pretty important, you want clean strong solder joins in your work to make the piece as strong as possible and for it to look good. Too much solder and a lack of clean up will mean a faint brown/gold line where the join is and no one wants that.
what am I on about you might think? Well I made some simple silver bands playing on solder. I made it as a feature. I hand forged three different style silver bands and soldered at two points with wayyyy to much 18K yellow gold solder.
I’m trying to make a play on something which may be perceived as a negative can become a positive if played right. Solder although is just an alloy that joins two points together, it also makes a simple bar of gold into an unbroken, endless loop which will (if made properly) last a lifetime. I’d rather look at solder as the link between a simple, unusable bar into something wearable and beautiful...here the rings 🙏
A ring is a loop that has no end, its the definition of eternity and i, in a way wanted to glorify the thing which can make something boring into that endless loop.
You can shop these via this link: http://www.rustysjewellery.co.uk/shop/too-much-solder-rings
Thanks as ever for ready brothers and sisters,
Peace and Love,
A big part of this blog page is to share the ins and out of day to day life in the jewellery game but the biggest component was for me to show the process in a more in-depth look than i show on my instagram ( @rustysjewellery ) It’s important to me for you guys to be able to see how things are done as I believe the process is a massive part of the end product and makes it extra special!
find below how i make my solid silver Cuban link bracelet:
I’m melting around 70g/80g of sterling silver scrap and pouring two ingots. One into an old school ingot mould and the other into my durston adjustable ingot mould. Once these have been poured, quenched and pickled, I then forge the ingots into a rough square shape ready for the rolling mill. I use 70/80g of silver to be safe. It won’t weigh that much but it’s better to have too many links opposed to too little, you’d have to do this whole process again to make more.
I’m rolling the ingots out into square wire which I will then draw down to round wire. I roll until the silver has almost doubled in length, I roll in small increments (around 10 minute turns on the rolling mill) that way I don’t stress the silver too much which can cause cracking. I’m always checking the silver to see how hard it is.
I haven’t got a nice posh drawbench...dammit man I wish I did. So I use my bench vice. I pop the drawplate into the vice, use some self locking pliers with jaws, brace with my foot and give it a good old pull. This isn’t glamourous at all but does the job. I either file or forge the end of the square wire into a taper so I can go into the smaller hole and force it through.
To make the jump rings I pop a flat drill bit into the vice along with the ugly end of the silver wire next to it so both the bit and silver are secure. The drill bit shank is perfect for what I need. I simply wrap the silver around the drill bit tightly for nice even jump rings.
Cheeky screen shot of a soldering video, each link is then soldered individually, it’s pretty time consuming and you’ll find some people don’t actually solder links on chunky link bracelets purely because the thickness of the links alone is pretty strong but I wouldn’t feel comfortable that the bracelet would last a lifetime...that’s my thinking.
‘I don’t show a photo of the forming but I then work each link so that it has the classic Cuban link shape.
The chain must hang/lie straight. I opted for a simple/secure S catch. The catch is then hardened so that it is more secure and less likely to bend.
Once I’ve filed and cleaned up each solder joint and removed any tool marks I then polish to a high shine! I love this piece, it’s super classic/old school and will look awesome however you wear it.
There you go! That’s how I make my Cuban link bracelets! You have grab it here: http://www.rustysjewellery.co.uk/shop/handmade-cuban-link-bracelet-solid-stering-silver
One thing I want to make clear is that this isn’t the only way to make a Cuban link it’s just how I work it and it works for me. I also want to point out that I’m not a teacher, this is just deeper look into my little workshop.
Anyway! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you did, please share with your friends, comment or like, it will encourage me to do more!
Peace and love. Rusty. X
The blog. I've been toying with starting a blog for a while now but I've recently realised that its a really good platform to show my process', the day to day ins and outs of making jewellery and also just as a place for me to, i dunno, chat?
So what are you going to expect from this blog page? As mentioned above im going to be showing some of the process behind my work and general day to day stuff as well as a place for you guys to get to know me bit more. I used to be abit against talking about myself or my personal life but recently I've thought that its nice for people to know who is making the shiny things you see! now im not saying im going to be uploading "selfies" and all that but im going to make a conscious effort to try and inject abit more of my personality into my social platforms and on my site :)
Ill start first off with a short intro to me...My name is Sonny (AKA Rusty, either is fine :) ) and I've been a jeweller/goldsmith/silversmith for around 3 years. Im self taught and honestly, just fell into it. I used to be a personal trainer and i did that for around 6 years since i was 16 till around 22, now 24, i wanted to do something abit more creative as i always thought that it was in me. My dad gave me his old ring and the rest is history, curiosity got the cat so to speak. I done my "2 year apprenticeship" where i basically learnt what i could from books, videos and social networking then as of January 2017 felt i was competent enough and i started as a proper company and took the job of a jeweller seriously. A year on im still going, still learning, still developing and still loving it! I feel pretty fortunate to be in a position where i love my job, i can earn a living from it and im still pretty young. I will forever be a student and im always experimenting with new techniques to try and expand my work.
So after that little intro, im going to be uploading to the blog once a week on mondays, i think thats regular enough that you don't get bored but not so often that i haven't got a clue what to write about! Im pretty excited about this new platform (for me) to share some stuff with you and i hope you enjoy what i put out as it is for you! If theres anything you would like to read specifically then please let me know and ill do my best to get that across!
Peace and love, Rusty
Me and my lady Liane