Sunday, November 18, 2012

Transforming a Flea Market Find

When looking for materials at thrift stores or flea markets, I always try to keep an open mind. 
I like to look for opportunities to transform one of my 'finds' into a unique material for my jewelry.
Maintaining a distinct design voice is a constant challenge and I like that my thrift store transformations sometimes allow me to incorporate components that only I have.
I recently found these earrings at a local flea market.
The angel shapes are sterling, and at $2.00 for the pair, I knew that I could somehow repurpose the metal.
I decided that I would cut discs that could then be used for earrings or as links in a necklace or bracelet.
Using my handy metal gauge, I determined the sterling was 20 gauge which is thicker than what I need for discs.
I annealed the angels and ran them through my mill three times, increasing the pressure with each pass.
After the three passes through the mill, the sterling measured at 24 gauge.....better for maximizing my use of the metal for making discs.
The angel on the left still has the oxidized finish that naturally forms as a result of annealing.
The angel on the right was lightly sanded to bring back the lustrous silver color.
Each angel was textured with a steel stamp.
Discs were then cut with careful placement to again maximize use of the limited supply of metal.
The discs will be drilled and probably domed so that I can then put them to use.
Nothing gets wasted, so the 'holy' angel remains will be included with other sterling scraps that get sent back to my sterling supplier for recycling.

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