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Laura McDonald

Date: 01-03-2023


Submission from: Laura McDonald
Category: Metalsmith Teacher - Hamlyn Terrace, NSW
Item: Sterling Silver Snake Ring

My term classes began this week in my studio, I had set out a task for my regular students to create a snake ring or pendant of some sort. I decided to join in with them and make my own too. I decided on giving her a 14k gold head and a thick body in 10 gauge sterling silver wire. I soldered the gold head and the silver wire together and then started shaping it all with my files and my flex shaft. Once I was happy with the shape of her head I added some metal stamping on the first half of the body to make it look like scales or the closest I could find to snake skin.

When it came time to start shaping I had to anneal the body several times because it was quite hard to move the wire into the shape I was happy with. Once I was happy with the position of the snake I cut the excess wire off the end and shaped the tail. I hadn’t textured the last half of the body so I did that with my flex shaft and a diamond bur wheel bit and blended it into the original stamping I had already done. I added some eyes at that time too.

I blackened the whole thing and removed the excess. When it came time to polish the whole piece it really looked so great, that’s always my favourite part. 

AJS products used:  I used AJS Diamond Wheel Burs to add texture, eyes and other details. All of my Polishing and Sanding wheel bits are all from AJS also. My preferred polishing wheels are SS Mounted Wheel Syntha Suede - 22mm