Striking Silver: How to Make Bangles in 5 Easy Steps
Making timeless jewellery using age-old techniques
Contemporary Metal’s jewellery making classes introduces today’s generation to the world of metalworking – a trade that goes back thousands of years. Not a lot has changed in the craft; today, we still use many of the ancient techniques in making unique jewellery.
To demonstrate, here is one way to make hammered sterling silver bangles in 5 easy steps.
Make Sterling Silver Bangles in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Making the bangles
Before you hammer away at your sterling silver, it’s crucial that you take measurements first. As a point of reference, a bangle of 7 cm in diameter requires about 22 cm of silver wire. Cut the silver wire using a piercing saw and file the ends.
Bring the ends together with pliers to make a circle. No need to worry if your bangle isn’t a perfect just make sure that you have a good, tight join. Once you’ve got your wire in a ring, solder the ends together.
Step 2: Hammering on a mandrel
A mandrel is a cylindrical shaft to which you can attach your bangle for hammering (and thank god for them!). Pop your bangle on the mandrel and hammer all the way around using a ball peen hammer. The purpose of this step is to shape your bangle into a more defined (if not perfect) circle.
Once you’re satisfied with the bangle’s shape, put it on a steel block or anvil. Next, hammer all around the side surface to further smoothen it out. Repeat the previous steps to make 2-3 bangles.
Step 3: Creating a binding ring
To bind your bangles, you need to create a smaller ring. For 2-3 bangles, 4 cm of 3 mm round wire will do.
Join the ends of the wire to make a small ring. Next, solder the ends and attach it around a small mandrel. Then, hammer your way around. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s just the same process as you did for the bangles.
Step 4: Binding the bangles
Once the ring is perfectly round, use a piercing saw to cut through the area you previously soldered. Although it may sound counterintuitive, it’s easier this way, and ensures that your ring is a perfect circle.
Once you’ve cut through the soldered area, pop the silver bangles into the ring. Hold the ring up with soldering pliers and solder the small ring shut again.
Step 5: Polishing
At this point, your bangles are nearly done. But to turn them into something you would want to wear, you will need to polish them. Pickle the whole piece, rinse, and tumble polish. You may also need to hammer the sides again if necessary.
And there you go! That’s how you make silver hammered bangles. If you follow the steps properly, your results should be nothing short of spectacular.
Check out other jewellery making classes in Perth by Contemporary Metal!
You might also like...