Hell hath no bracelet.
This job has a quite interesting story. A very close customer of PepperBox had a request for an anniversary gift for her husband. When they first met he had a bracelet that he enjoyed wearing but it had been given to him as a gift an ex….. Needless to say that bracelet had the kaibash put on it. However she knew he really enjoyed the piece and wanted to give him a new bracelet, one that wouldn’t recall past girlfriends. This is further evidence of the the way jewelry connects us to past memories and people. So here is how the new bracelet was made.
The bracelet is for a man that is on organization boards and is an all around classy guy so the bracelet has to reflect that. This piece is being made out of .999 fine silver and will have a good heft to it. A piece fit for and executive. This is the round stock that will make up the cuff.
The silver is as close to pure as possible. That means it is softer and more malleable than sterling silver, which is alloyed in order to make it stiffer. Here the silver is being annealed, which will allow it to be hammered and formed more easily.
Here the silver rod is being forged flat in one direction only. The forging also imparts a unique texture on the silver. This texture will add to the over all finish of the piece.
The annealing process, which consists of heating the silver up to red hot and then quenching it in water, is repeated through out the forging process.
Once the forging is completed, two sides of the stock have a rounded contour. These faces are going to get a line carved into them to add a subtle detail to the bracelet. Here the center line is marked with a pair of steel dividers.
Here the groove is being carved with an abrasive cut of disc. Care has to be taken during this tricky process . One little slip and a large and deep gash can be cut into the silver.
The measurements were sneakily obtained by the customer and here the length is being measured out. Measure twice, cut once.
The fine silver forms quite easily to the contour of the mandrel. Here a nylon mallet is used. The nylon will not deform the soft silver like a steel hammer will.
Once the bracelet is formed round it is hammered in on direction for create an oval shape that will fit the wrist.
PB and the .999 content is hand engraved on the inside of the bracelet.
Now that the bracelet form is created, it is time to impart the finish. Here the bracelet is heated. This cleans the metal in a way and also allows the silver to develop and interesting “skin”.
As a final step the bracelet is rubbed down with steel wool. The steel wool actually burnishes the fine silver down and gives it a subtle luster. Like fine leather, this bracelet will, over time, have a patina of wear built up, meaning it will get dinged up develop it’s own texture. This burnishing process can be repeated later to bring back the original finish.
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