Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Ever wonder how a chain is made? I am still fascinated by the process. How can an ordinary piece of wire be made into something so beautiful, so tactile, so unique? Well I can show you......
Here it is. Wire - actually not so ordinary. It is a high standard sterling silver wire.
This wire needs to go through a number of processes before it is transformed into a beautiful piece of jewellery. The wire is wrapped around a mandrel to create a spring coil. These coils are then cut to make hundreds of little jump rings, all uniform in size.
Each one of these little rings needs to be opened or closed depending on the design of chain. Yes, there are hundreds and hundreds to manipulate with my jeweller's chain nose pliers and bent nose pliers. These pliers become part of your hands when you make such intricate chains.
And now for the fun part........connecting them together! With time, perseverance and skill you can see the design emerge. How amazing is this! I'm still excited by the process even after all these years!
Here is a photo of my ever-so-glamorous headgear that I need to wear when I'm making my jewellery. They have magnifying lenses that are vital for working with such small components. They aren't the most flattering but I'd be lost without them that's for sure.
So once the chain is made it needs a good clean in a barrel polisher. Tiny ball bearings are added with the jewellery and a special cleaning solution where they are turned over and over in the polishing machine. The process cleans the metal and gets rid of slight sharp edges from the links.
Once that process is done clasps and hallmarking tags are joined to the chain.
Not quite finished though. Each sterling silver piece of jewellery must be hallmarked in order for it to be sold. So I send them to London Assay Office to be stamped with my very own hallmark!
And there you go! A finished product ready to be sent to where it is destined to go, to be worn and enjoyed by the lucky wearer.
I really hope you enjoyed learning about the process. Hopefully it will make you appreciate and love your purchase a little bit more. I really do add a little bit of love to each and every piece.