There are two main processes I use making my jewelry. One is wire wrappng which uses no glue or solder. The other is silver clay which forms the pieces from silver clay. If you want to learn more about either process, contact me or sign up for my newsletter, "Whiticar Waterway Tales".
.Silver clay comes in a very small package. It has the consistancy of modeling clay, but dries out quickly. It can be cut, shaped, and textured but this must be done in about 10 minutes.
It then is fully dried. At this point, it is called greenware. It is fragile, easily broken, but can be sanded. Pieces of greenware can be glued together with water. Cubic Zirconia gemstones, fused glass, and other items can be embedded into the clay. These must be able to withstand temperatures of from 1400 to 1650 degrees F.
After fully forming and drying the clay, the piece is fired in a kiln for two to four hours. The temperature burns out all of the impurities and filler in the clay. When removed from the kiln, the piece will have shrunk around 15% and be almost white.
Gold may be fused onto the jewelry at this point. It is then torched or fired again. The piece is then finished by polishing and adding patina if desired. Most of my pieces made by silver clay have my "mark" on them, which is a small Whiticar Boat.
In wirewrapping, I use either sterling silver, fine silver, or 14k filled gold. The wire is square, round,and half round.
The wire is measured, cut and straightened. It must be planned before cutting, as too much or too little will result in wasting the wire. It can be remelted and repurposed, but that is another story.
The wire is then wrapped or woven using additional wire to bind it together and form the pattern. If a cabochon is used, the wire is formed around the object to encase it
Additional beads or cabochons may be added into the design. Patina may be used with the finished product, especially in wire weaving, to give depth to the piece.