Simple Jewelry Making

Posted in Mixed Nuts on August 2nd, 2009 by MadDog
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My dad worked nearly his whole life as a master-craftsman jeweler. He served his apprenticeship following his return from New Guinea after World War II. By the time I was a teenager, he was the most respected and skilled jeweler in Indianapolis. As a teenager, I worked in his shop learning the skills of a jewelry craftsman.

Here is a beautiful example of my father’s talent:

An opal, diamond and natural ruby ring made for Eunie by my father

It’s a gold set opal, diamond and natural ruby ring that he made for Eunie. I never acquired a fraction of the skill of my father, but I did learn enough simple skills that I can make interesting gifts for friends. I prefer to make jewelry from found objects. Starting with something that I’ve found and crafting an interesting bit of bauble for a friend with my own hands gives me and the friend a much more satisfying experience.

I’ll show you a simple example of something that I made in about an hour yesterday for a friend who will soon be leaving Papua New Guinea.

This is a small abalone shell that I found while diving. It doesn’t look like much:

A small abalone shell, unfinished

However, with a few simple tools and skills that we all possess naturally, one can make something beautiful and meaningful. Here is the jeweler’s workbench that I set up yesterday:

My jewelry making workbench

As you can see, it consists of nothing more than a Dremel tool and some accessory bits. The cigar is optional. You will also note from the image that another book report is coming soon.

Here is the finished abalone shell pendant:

A finished abalone pendant

Here is the back side:

The back side of a finished abaline pendant

The tools and supplies can be found at any craft store. You might have to go to a hardware store for the Dremel tool. All of the special little jewelry bits and pieces such as rings, chains and various fasteners can be found at any large craft shop. They are very inexpensive to purchase.

Here is a little gallery of a few of Eunie’s favourite pieces that I have made for her:

If you like to please your friends, spend a few bucks and take a vacation from the TV set. It’s much more rewarding. To you and your friends.

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