Thursday, 7 February 2013

River People Cuff-links

Julia, this is for you :-)

When I make earrings, I cut the shards by eye, and make the bezels for them afterwards. With cuff-links it's a bit different, they have to fit into a specific size of frame which requires a bit more planning.

Here is a step by step account of how I go about it. It's a long and quite dusty process...

Here is a large shard with people on it - I want to use both of them so it will be a bit tricky. I also want to avoid the rust stain on the bottom right which didn't come off in the cleaning process.

I mark out the bits I want to use, and the direction of the cut. It's very close!
(This must have been a plate, and there were some curved bits round the side which I have removed as they get in the way).
I'll have to get a very precise cut...

Yay! (and 'phew')

I use my mosaic nippers which I have left over from my mosaic making days.

Then I roughly shape the circles:

It's off to the grinder now, to smooth them out. I have to wear these:

and this:

The grinding produces lots of dust which I'd rather not breathe or get in my eyes. 

Then, the final refining - with an old rusty metal file I found in a boot sale, then sandpaper.

I also adjust the height (more sanding) - and now they are ready to be set!

Here they are in the Thermo-Loc, I have just set the right hand one, I still have to do the left one.

Finally - they are set and cleaned up, photographed and uploaded to my online shop.


  1. great tutorial! I've wondered how you do you magic :)

  2. Beautiful! Do you have to solder the silver around the edges of the shards? Love your work.

  3. Thanks both! I do all the metalwork separately, little round silver frames soldered onto a cuff-link t-bar setting. I should probably put up some pictures of those as well! XTania

  4. Thank you Tania I'm touched :) - as I read your post I kept saying 'how clever', my 13 year scolded me, 'no not just clever - very skilled' - that's told me. You do have such a good eye. Tides are low again, so I'll be down there on Monday again. Julia


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