The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Blog Post - Fine Silver Daisy Stud Earrings - How is Fine Silver Jewellery Made?

Behind the Scenes - How is Fine Silver Jewellery Made?

I thought it would be fun to share the process of creating a pair of my fine silver daisy earrings with you. First of all, you need to understand what fine silver clay actually is!

What is Fine Silver Clay?

Fine silver is made from precious metal silver clay, which looks and feels like regular sculpting clay but contains fine particles of pure silver mixed with a non-toxic organic binder. It is eco-friendly since the silver particles are recycled silver reclaimed from medical, scientific and communications equipment.

Fine silver contains no other metals. It is tarnish resistant and, due to its purity, it is less likely to cause any reactions on the skin.

Fine silver pieces can be hallmarked at the Assay Office if they weigh more than 7.78 grams. Since my jewellery pieces are below this weight, I choose not to have them hallmarked.

So How is the Jewellery Made?

It all starts with a blob of wet clay! Sometimes I use a mould to create a piece, other times the clay is rolled flat, textured and cut to shape.

For the fine silver daisy earrings, the wet clay is pushed into a mould (in this case, a little daisy flower, which I made myself). You have to work fast though - the clay dries very quickly...!

The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Work in Progress - Fine Silver Clay Earrings - Stage 1

Once the clay is out of the mould and is completely dry, it's time to smooth it out and tidy it up! At this stage (we call it the "greenware" stage), the dried clay is extremely fragile and must be handled very carefully so as not to break it.

Fine grit sanding pads are great for larger areas but for those tiny, fiddly edges, you can't beat a good old-fashioned cocktail stick!

The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Work In Progress - Sanding the Piece before Firing

Then it's time to heat things up! The dry clay flowers go into the kiln for a couple of hours, where the binder is burned away and they are magically transformed from clay into 99.9% pure silver (compared to sterling silver which is only 92.5% pure silver, the remainder being mainly copper).

The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Work in Progress - Kiln Firing Silver Clay Earrings

After they've been kiln fired, the little daisies have a white, satiny appearance. This is pure silver in its natural state. To make it shiny, we have to polish it. But first, I solder on a pair of sterling silver ear posts to make them into stud earrings.

The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Work in Progress - Soldered Ear Posts on Finished Earrings

Once the ear posts have been soldered on, the earrings go into the barrel polisher (or tumbler) where they spend a couple of hours getting polished to a nice shiny finish. And hey presto - we have a pair of pretty little daisy stud earrings!

The Tiny Tree Frog Jewellery - Work in Progress - Finished Fine Silver Daisy Stud Earrings

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit about my creation process and all the different stages that go into creating my jewellery.

If you'd like your very own pair of my little fine silver daisy earrings, you can find them here.

Thanks for reading - have an awesome day!

Tracy

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