I have completed my first project for my metal-smithing class.
They are NOT perfect, and I'll look at them in a year and want to make tons of changes. But right now, I'm feeling very satisfied.
First, I drew a flower shape on paper, kind of like a daisy or a sunflower. Then I drew the cut-outs inside the petals.
Then, I taped the flower drawing onto metal and cut it out using a jeweler's saw....
Which sounds so simple when I write it, but is torture. I've now been told two pieces of helpful advice for using a jeweler's saw. The first is, "Better learn to enjoy the process, 'cuz you'll be doing it a lot." The second bit of advice was to treat the saw like a baby bird... Gently, and with very little pressure.
The third step was to file and sand the sharp edges and make them pretty. Which took forever.... and ever.... Then I pickled them in an acid to clean them.
Next, I annealed the flowers. Which means I heated them with a torch to soften the metal so that I could work with it. After that, I was able to gently shape them into lovely little flower buds.
Finally, I used all my other jewelry designer skills, and turned them into pearl earrings.
1 month ago