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Linear dot pattern


#1

When reviewing the work of many old, even ancient goldsmiths, there
is often a border of a linear pattern of round dots.

The size varies but for talking purposes, say 1.5 mm round and
slightly domed. Sometimes they are very close, other times there is a
small space between. The ultimate result however is neat line or row
of evenly sized and spaced dots. The row of dots is sometimes
contained within parallel lines.

The question… is it done with a punch? How is it done?

Ben A Harris


#2

Sounds like you’re talking about a millegrain tool. It’s a small
roller with depressions all around. Rolled along an edge, it turns
the edge into a row of raised “beads” or grains… The tools come in
a variety of sizes. 1.5 mm diameter grains is rather larger than most
of them, but available nevertheless… A widely used, almost
standard finish for an edge, especially around some types of diamond
settings.

Or are you talking about something else?

Peter


#3

It’s called millgraining and is done with a millgraining wheel as
far as I understand. I’m not sure if it’s only done on cast jewellery
and the wheel used on the wax or if it can also be done on fabricated
jewellery as well.

Helen
UK


#4

The pattern you speak of I think is one borrowed from engraving. It
was done with what we now call beading tools and a chasing hammer.
Sometimes the beads were spaced and roughly cut with an onglette
graver and then rounded and finished with a punch. Other times, the
beads were placed and formed simultaneously with only the punch. It’s
a relatively easy thing to do, but care must be taken to evenly space
the beads and the hammering must be done uniformly or the beads end
up being uneven in size and shape, producing a less than desirable
effect.

A nice effect is to use a graver to cut a border for milgraine on
either side of the intended bead pattern, and then make larger beads
in the center, with milgraine on the outside edges applied with a
milgraine tool. If the beads are to be large and deep it’s best to
cut the beads roughly to size before rounding them up. Otherwise, you
can end up with an “ice cream scoop” look on the finished piece, with
the excess metal squeezed out from the sides of the bead. Trying to
clean it up after the fact tends to make it look kind of muddy.

Try it, it’s fun!
Dave


#5
When reviewing the work of many old, even ancient goldsmiths, there
is often a border of a linear pattern of round dots. 

It is done with a tiny roller with a handle on it. a millgrain tool

See Ottl Frei http://www.ottofrei.com product id 6806

Susan
http://web.mac.com/SusanThornton


#6
It's called millgraining and is done with a millgraining wheel as
far as I understand. I'm not sure if it's only done on cast
jewellery and the wheel used on the wax or if it can also be done
on fabricated jewellery as well. 

It’s not generally done on wax. The tool is too fine for wax, and
would clog up. Also, the pattern is fine enough that a cast texture
would not look so good on a cast millgrain, though with coarser sizes
and good molding techniques, it can be done. But generally
millgraining is done on actual metal, either fabricated or cast. Most
commonly, it’s one of the last steps in the finishing process.

Peter


#7
It's not generally done on wax. The tool is too fine for wax, and
would clog up. Also, the pattern is fine enough that a cast
texture would not look so good on a cast millgrain, though with
coarser sizes and good molding techniques, it can be done. But
generally millgraining is done on actual metal, either fabricated
or cast. Most commonly, it's one of the last steps in the finishing
process. 

Thanks for the clarification Peter. I’ve often wondered about it.
Being a wheel on the end of a handle, it must be very difficult to
control whilst using enough force to imprint onto metal? Even
annealed metal. People who do it must have very good control and
hand/ eye coordination - but then I guess that’s what you need to be
a jeweller in the first place!

Helen
UK


#8

Ben,

If the dots are along the very edge then they are millgraining but
if they are parallel to the edge and a little way in, then they are
probably repousse and made from the back with a punch. On thin metal
for rings etc. it was common to use repousse techniques and a punch
with a simple rounded end would be used to strike the metal up from
the back, the front of the metal being supported on a pitch block. An
easy way of making the dots even is to hold the punch against the
edge of a ruler and just move it along at each strike. After the dots
have been raised, the work is turned over on the pitch block and a
punch with a concave depression is used to knock the bumps down to an
even size. The raised lines either side are made with a narrow, wide
punch with a rounded edge from the back and the front is tidied up
and the edges of the lines defined with a punch with a flat end.

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#9

I have seen dies that were made and used extensively in Roman empire
times ( and probably before) to give a raised dot pattern in lines.
The dies were cast metal, then the gold was hammered into them to
give the pattern. I seem to recall seeing dies from fired clay in
which the metal was hand burnished to give a pattern, but it’s near
Christmas so my brain might not be working well… happy and busy
season to you all,

Christine in South Australia


#10
Thanks for the clarification Peter. I've often wondered about it.
Being a wheel on the end of a handle, it must be very difficult to
control whilst using enough force to imprint onto metal? 

There are dozens if not hundreds of linear dot patterns, and folks
here have discussed many of the various ways to do them. As for
millgraining, for those who are newbies to it. There are really a few
kinds of tools - there’s positive and negative, and there’s hand
tools and lathe tools, and in the lathe tools there’s also rope
patterns and things. The lathe tools do work that requires more force
than the hand can generate. The key thing, though, is that
millgraining is done on an edge. Meaning that the two outer lips of
the wheel should not touch metal. Think of it as a concave wheel
riding on the apex of a triangle. If those edges of the wheel touch,
you’ll get lines along the beads, which is wrong and ugly. Either the
wheel much be big enough to staddle an edge, or more usually it’s
done along an engraved line, such as in bright cutting. Generally you
cut a line right along the edge of the metal, and millgrain that.
You’ll see what this all means as you do it…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com