Artist process - making Jewellery in the studio

Sinead working at jewellery bench

Have a look inside my studio and get some insight into the process involved in hand making your jewellery.

Sinead Buckney jewellery bench tools
The heart of where it all happens - my jewellery bench.  The benchpeg in the middle is where you hold the pice you are working on.  You have all the tools you need regularly within reach so you don't need to keep moving.  A jewellers bench is high so that you do not bend over when looking at such small things.  I sit in close, in the cut out area and the leather hanging below is used to catch all the silver and gold filings so they can be melted and used again.

Making a Ring

Soldering silver ring at jewellery workbench
I cut out and carefully arrange all of the pieces of a design ready to be soldered together.  (Silver soldering involves joining the pieces with tiny bits of silver)
Sawing the two ends of the ring to make a perfect join.
Sinead Buckney from above filing silver ring at jewellery bench
Using a tiny jewellers file to smooth any bumps and marks.
two hands holding silver v shape ring and flexishaft to polish ring
Further smoothing out scratches using a rotating sanding bit on my flexishaft motor.
Using a small polishing brush and polishing compound to polish in the small areas.
Hands at polishing mop polishing silver ring
Polishing larger areas on my larger polishing mop motor.

Making a gemstone setting

Labradorite gemstone with silver mandala held in hands
Deciding on a Labradorite gemstone to make into a pendant.
Shaping silver on a mandrel jewellery tools
Making a setting for a gemstone, shaping the silver around a steel tapered rod.
Large labradorite gemstone held in hands
Checking the fit of the silver around the gemstone, it need to fit perfectly!

Final inspections

Inspecting a piece of jewellery to ensure there are no flaws
I carefully inspecting pieces all through the process to check it is all perfect.

Shaping recycled melted silver

Silver and calipers beside jewellers rolling mill
Starting with a lump of melted silver for a chunky ring.
Shaping a piece of silver in jewellery rolling mills
I use my rolling mill to squash and stretch the metal to the size I need to work with.
female holding calipers in hand measuring silver piece
I need to measure the silver each time to check if it is the correct thickness yet.


All photographs by the wonderful Brisbane based Christina Lowry Photography

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