This week I made one of my favourite ever things, thanks to my fellow crafty crusader. She found a most excellent voucher for a silver charm making workshop and we spent a most enjoyable three hours designing and making our own silver jewellery. She made a beautiful bunny charm in honour of her pet rabbit. I made this.

Ta-da

I must say that I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I took a few pics, so I’ll do a blow-by-blow of how I went from a solid square of silver to this.

Template and raw material

I started out by sketching the template. This is the plain silver.Etched balloon

The next step was to etch the design into the silver. You can see the reflection of my high-quality camera in it, too.Cutting balloon

Next came the sawing. Getting the blade into the saw was tricky and they were very fine, which meant that they snapped if your technique was bad. You can see the hole I drilled in the balloon so that I could cut out the highlight.

Both cut out

I finished a little bit early and thought it would be cute to have a little heart hanging from the string of the balloon. It was surprisingly difficult to cut due to its teeniness- I broke one blade in cutting out my balloon but FIVE when cutting the heart.Annealing

The next step was to anneal the pieces. This involves going at them with a little blowtorch in order to make the silver malleable. I forgot to take a picture of them pickling in an acid solution after this step.Stamped balloon and a hole in my heart

Next came the decoration. You can probably see that my balloon has become fatter- the pattern is applied to the silver by putting it next to a brass mold and then putting it through a roller. I set the pressure a bit too high. Oops. I also nearly forgot to drill the hole to attach the chain ‘string’ of the balloon. This was nearly a disaster too- you can probably see that the hole is ridiculously close to the edge of the shape. I like to live dangerously.

Vanity stamped back

I also stamped my initials into the back of the balloon, in case I forget who made it.Filing

Next came the filing stage. This took forever! It was followed by the sandpaper stage.Both polished

The final thing was to give them a good ol’ polish. This was done on a big cool machine that I also forgot to photograph. You first polished it using brown stuff called tripoli, I think. After a quick wash, the final polish with rouge left the pieces looking shiny and beautiful, ready for the jump rings to be added. It was an excellent evening with a wonderful souvenir.IMAG0652

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