When I could attend in-person shows, one question I heard over and over was: “How do you make that?” I love questions like that. It gives me the perfect opening to welcome you into my world of sparkling metals and radiant gemstones.
Today, I want to show you what’s involved in making a piece of filigree jewellery. To do that we’re going to head behind the curtain for a glimpse into the inner workings of my studio.
The piece I’m going to be making is a filigree saddle ring. If you’ve seen my posts, yeah, it’s that ring.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s the video. Have a look…
If you’re thinking that making filigree looks time-consuming –it is. There are no shortcuts. It takes patience (some days, more than I possess 🙃) and perseverance.
Preparing the filigree wire is itself an intensive process, one that needs to be completed before I can start making a piece. Once I’ve planned out my new creation, I need to make a frame. After that, it boils down to placing one filigree spiral or curl at a time, hoping there’s enough tension on it to hold it in place, but not so much as to cause it (and several of its neighbours) to spring out.
It’s a delicate balance. Filigree is set from the front, but soldered in the back. As you can see in the video, I have to pick the piece up and flip it over without anything falling out. 😬
If that succeeds, the next stress test involves shaping my flat creation into a 3D ring. At this point, I’ve already invested hours, but a lot can still go wrong.
Sink or swim. Beautiful ring or mangled metal mess.
I’m sure you get the point.
There’s no denying that filigree jewellery is beautiful. Each piece is truly a work of art. In a world of machine made, soulless perfection, the variations between individual pieces, whether big and small, make handmade fine jewellery truly one-of-a-kind.
Speaking of handmade, each of my filigree pieces are just that. A limited quantity will be available when the collection launches.