Friday, March 2, 2012

A Blatant Rip off...

My team  <- (click on team to go to the team blog, I don't know why blogger isn't highlighting my links!)  does a weekly blog post called, "Tip, Trick or Technique"  where the writer highlights different tips and tricks from our various members.  The title is catchy don't you think?  I don't have enough Tips, Tricks or Techniques to share to make this a weekly feature, but I figure once in awhile it will be fun to share a tidbit.

So....Tip, Trick or Technique:  The Silver Bullet

The ring above is made with the addition of two decorative silver balls which I have given the name "Silver Bullet" to.  All of the rings from this series were made using different silver bullets, all different and all pretty.  I love the decorative touch it adds to my work.  

Some of you may be interested to know how these silver bullets are made!  First off, you start off with the molds:

I came across these purely by chance while internet shopping one night, and had to have them!  I got 2 plates with 8 impressions each.  They are all different designs, or different sizes of the same design.  Along the center you will see some of my practice pieces.

You start with a bit of scrap silver, ball it with a torch, and then hammer it into the impression.  The fun part is trying to get them out (not!).  The tool I use to get them out leaves a hole in the back.  You can see it in the bullet on the top here:

The more I use it, the more I am able to accurately judge the size of silver ball I use to minimize the extra silver.  Check out the bullet on the bottom.  If you look closely, you can see all the extra silver around the impression that needs to be filed off.

And those silver bullets are small!  Hard to hold onto while filing.  I was surprised how time consuming the process is once I actually got into it.  When I bought the molds I had visions of encircling entire large cabochons in them, but considering the amount of time I spent making my first ones each design only got 2 to 4 each!  I'm getting the hang of it now, so bullet encrusted cabochon pieces may just be around the corner.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this technique!


  1. That is so cool. I didn't know they made molds like that to be used with melted silver and not PMC. So inspiring!

  2. Oh wow... so jealous! I've been looking everywhere for molds like that. Lucky girl. :)

    And the ring is gorgeous!!

  3. any hints as to what these molds are called ? I would love to use something like that but for a different idea. the rings are beautiful !

  4. Those Plates Rock! I want them! Was wondering how you were making those embellishments!

  5. I bought some of those and can't get them to work! I hammer the silver balls and they go flying! lol. Great job!

  6. Have you tried using beeswax to hold the bullet onto a dowel or something like that so you can file the edges? I've never tried it, but I've heard it works pretty well.

  7. VERY cool, and glad to now know this technique! Very clever!

  8. Love the little sucker me I have just been doing them the old style way this is a good reason to buy a new tool.