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Finishes


#1

G’day; One finish I often use for the backs of sterling
pendants, etc., is done with a ball-ended punch. If you can get
silver steel - I think it is called drill steel in America - you
can grind one end of a steel rod to a dome or ball of whatever
diameter you like, then harden, temper, and polish it. Another
approach is to take a big nail, grind off the point and
silver-solder a ball bearing of your choice on the end, plunging
it into water the moment the solder solidifies to harden it
sufficiently. Polish the ball brightly. Simply tap the ball punch
onto your work after a quick polish on the buff.

Another finish I use occasionally is that often done inside the
backs of watches; circular polishing. Put a wooden dowel about
3/16" dia in your drill, dip the end into valve grinding paste
available from auto suppliers, spin the drill at a medium speed,
and press the end of the spinning dowel onto the job at regular
overlapping intervals. You will think of other punch-shapes you
can make using nails, fine files, and/or tiny grindstones in a
handpiece. For one-off jobs you won’t need a hardened punch, so a
nail will do. If you want to harden nails, ask me - it isn’t
difficult. But practice with a bit of scrap sheet first, or
you’ll hate me and ruin my day if you muck up your time-costly
work. I too like matte finishes, but the question is , ‘what will
it look like after 6 months everyday wear?’ And don’t overdo
it. Cheers, –

    /\
   / /    John Burgess, 
  / /
 / //\    @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \

/ (___)
(_________)


#2

John, thanks for addressing the problem of wear on other than
polished finishes. It may be easier for the craftsman to do a
not-polished finish but if the article looks badly worn after
only a short period of use then it is a poor choice. I am
currently repairing a white gold ring set that someone put a
florentine finish on and it now looks terrible. The lady who
owns it had quit wearing it because it looks so bad. She was
going for a remount until I showed her it can be polished out at
a much lower cost. Some would like to go for the remount and the
extra money it would generate but she is 73 years old and I
believe it would be taking an unfair advantage of her. She will
now have her original rings back and they will continue to look
new due to the shiny polish they will have. The shiny polish is,
in my opinion, the best choice for an article which will receive
much wear. It is not difficult if you perform each step
properly. I can completely polish a ring, through all steps, in
a matter of minutes.

Lewis Elrod


#3

Howdy Lewis:

What is a “Florentine” finish? I like a matte finish and I think
the matte finish “wears” well…What does everyone else think?

DeDe

DeDe Sullivan
Producer
Manhattan Transfer Graphics
Tel: 212-907-1204
FAX: 212-370-9346
E Mail: @dede


#4

I never considered the wear (patina) factor if I offer a hand
finished piece. Thanks for the suggestion . . .


#5
What is a "Florentine" finish? I like a matte finish and I think
the matte finish "wears" well...What does everyone else think?

DeDe, A flourentine finish is produced with a line graver
usually 5/7 lines. You cut in one direction ,then 90degrees shift
and cut a second direction and then for a rally nice finish a 45
degree rotation and cut again a third time. This can produce a
very deep and lasting finish that refelects light from 3
directions producing a very soft luster. Its a classic that is
usually done poorly with only two cuts or with a bit that fits a
foredom. neither of which do i find good enough.

Frank


#6

Lewis:

You know, this polishing thing — I am listening to people talk
about not using commercial findings because the FTC will come and
get them for calling it handmade; I am hearing people talk about
not wanting to dirty their hands with casting and just fabricate;
I’ve heard people compared to crow because they like shiny things
(Isn’t this almost almost instinctive? Watch your ten month
old.). If you’ll do all that work, do a little more and learn
how to polish it and polish it. I think Mark P. said it well
today, you have to pay a little attention to what people want
unless you are content to sell very lettle or market yourself
mercilessly.


#7
   What is a "Florentine" finish? I like a matte finish and I
think the matte finish "wears" well...What does everyone else
think?

DeDe

hi de de, a true florentine finish is cross hatching with a line
graver. they both have their uses in certain instances, but i do
prefer a matte finish if it recessed and away from wear.
florentine wears off too but is much more durable. best regards,
geo fox


#8

Jess, you said it. If an artist or craftsman wants to sell, and
we need to in order to be able to afford more supplies, then we
must make what the buyer wants. It is great to let your
immagination go and make a “dream piece” once in a while and
these will sell eventually. Not many of the buying public will
go for this type jewelry piece so we must make more conventional
items. Watch the buyers go past displays at shows. They look at
the more far out pieces and then buy a ring with a solitare
round, oval or emerald cut in most instances. They also buy for
the long run and in an article such as a ring the polished
surface will hold up longer then any matte or other finish. One
thing we also must consider is that the polished surface can be
redone by any other craftsman to restore the article to its full
beauty but alternative finishes cannot be restored without a
great deal of trouble. The flourentine finish on the rings I
mentioned, while not a great job when first done, was probably
fairly attractive. Now that it is worn it looks terrible. Had
the surface been polished the rings would still look new.
Learning all the different treatments is just part of the job.
We need to emphasize to each other that design is only part of
the project. Poor construction with good design falls far short
of a good project as does good construction with a poor design.

Many years ago, in college, I took a craft course. The same
college had an art department in which students made jewelry.
The craft teacher would have given a failing grade to many of the
art students projects. Many of them still had saw and/or file
marks on the edges of the metals. The design of the art students
was, I will readily grant, far beyond that of the craft course
but the craft course students had much better construction and
finishing techniques. The second session of the course I
assisted the professor and worked a lot at night. That semester
we turned out, according to the professor, the best display of
projects ever made in his classes. I was later told that he only
offered the course one more time and quit in disgust because the
quality and quantity dropped. He never knew I was opening the
shop at night for a number of students to come in and work.
Guess I should have told him.

Enough rambling. Glad someone agrees with me.

Lewis


#9
 Watch the buyers go past displays at shows.  They look at the
more far out pieces and then buy a ring with a solitare round,
oval or emerald cut in most instances.  They also buy for the
long run and in an article such as a ring the polished surface
will hold up longer then any matte or other finish.  

Lewis, Boy, you hit the nail on the head! I do lots of shows
and while my customers enjoy my fun pieces, they usually buy the
ones they can get the most wear out of. Lately, my pieces
finished to a high polish (I do mainly pendants and earrings)
are selling twice as fast as the matte or highly textured ones.
I use alot of handcut stones and the bright, warm colors are
selling the best, such as Australian opals, sugalite,
chrysocolla, blue and green tourmaline, lapis, and combinations
of the above. Wendy Newman