Monday, February 16, 2009

Production Line, part I

EtsyMetal's Charm Swap #3 is underway. I am mid-production on my "Tea Cup Charms. Here you can see the design sketch, template and metal selection. I've decided on a floral patterned brass. The pattern is nice for a tea cup and the brass is fairly inexpensive for a production of 24 charms. The 20 participants of this swap will get 20 different charms to do with what they please, Two charms will be donated to the EtsyMetal shop for use in bracelets for sale, and I will keep two to sell in my own shop as charms or necklaces.

Next, I used rubber cement to glue the traced pattern to the back of the brass. This gives me guidelines for cutting without marking the metal. The paper will simply peel off the finished cut pieces. The shape of the cup is nice as there is very little metal wastage. I cut the straight lines with a break shear and the curvy lines with a jeweler's saw.

The edges of the newly cut tea cup shapes are filed and smoothed and then stamped the back with my name marking. My next steps will be to fabricate the handle and steam swirls from sterling silver wire. I will be posting photos of that process soon. I rarely make this many of anything at one time. Usually I make less than 5 of one item at a time or one of a kind pieces, so the production line I'm doing here is an interesting process, which takes a bit more planning than I'm used to. It's interesting to see what other members are coming up with. Charm Swap charms are a delightful, eclectic mix of treasures from a talented mix of metal artists.

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