Silver Tableware

A simple and easy way to make an attractive salad set These pieces should be made from 16 gauge silver sheet. After the initials and the bowl are soldered onto the handle, the pieces can be hammered to restore some hardness. They are then filed and polished. If targe enough pieces of heavy silver are available, they may be cut from one piece and the bowls hammered into a dapping block instead of being soldered. A contemporary salad set made with a cupped bowl soldered onto the handle Ham me red...

The Story Bracelet

This bracelet is made up of four pieces of 20 gauge silver sheet soldered onto a back Df 18 gauge silver. This makes a frame to hold the story cut-outs. The characters for the story are first drawn on scrap pieces of 20 gauge silver sheet using a fine marking pen. They are then cut out with a jeweler's saw, assembled in the frame and soldered into place. There are innumerable ideas and designs for stories for this type of jewelry. Bracelets, necklaces, pendants, buckles and even boxes can be...

The Zun Cluster

First the round silver wire bracelet shank is constructed. A plate of 24 gauge silver is used to form the base for the rosette or cluster o1 smalt bezels. To make all the bezels in a row uniform, a nail or bolt is ground or filed to a particular shape -- oval, round or drop - and the bezels shaped around this form or jig. The bezels are of 28 or 30 gauge silver strip about I 8 inch wide. One edge is filed with a checkering file. After all the bezels are soldered onto the plate, the cluster is...

The Horseshoe Buckle

This buckle is constructed of 24 gauge silver sheet. The main part is stamped and formed in a wooden form, then soldered onto a flat plate,. This makes a hollow, lightweight buckle. The stamps used to decorate the buckle The stamps used to decorate the buckle The pointed tip is stamped and soldered to a frame on a base to make a box with an open end. When finished it is glued onto the end of the belt. The guide is a 1 2-inch wide stamped piece of 24 gauge silver bent U-sbape, large enough to...

The Link Bracelet

Frve or more graduated and matched stones are necessary for 1 bracelet of this typfl. An attractive Zuni style link bracelet set witii Blue Gem turquoise An attractive Zuni style link bracelet set witii Blue Gem turquoise Five 28 gauge silver hase plates for the stones 13 gauge round with fits the inside of 9 gauge tubing best. Tubmg, 9 yauge hinge wire, 13 gauge and a piece of bezel The plates usually 24 gauge , jewels and decorations are assembled as shown. A number of pieces of silver...

Rocker Or File Engraving

Old Kiowa-Comanche nickel silver button Rocker engraving or file engraving was the most popular method of decorating silver used by the Eastern and Great Plains Indians. Examples were traded to the Southwestern Indians and much was taken a plunder. There were a few silversmiths who practiced the art, but it did not gain popularity in the Southwest. The name for this type of decoration comes from the action which produces the en graving. It is a rocking-like motion of the wrist, walking the...

The Cigarette Ugi Iter Case

The silver cigarette case for the disposable pro pane lighter is a rather recent item for the silversmith. Decorated cases were also popular a number of years ago for the old cotton wick naphtha lighter, A sheet of 26 gauge silver of the correct size for the particular lighter is decorated with a stamped border and bent around a discarded lighter body. Black iron binding wire is used to hold it in place while soldering. A silver base is cut and perforated before soldering on to the bottom. The...

The J Arge Stone Classic Bracelet

The large bracelet presents a greater problem of construction because it is more difficult to bend the heavier parts and also the larger mass of silver needs a great amount of heat in order to solder it. The 2 gauge triangle wire shanks, inches long, are stamped with a selected design and then bent into a V shape wide enough to accommodate the large stone, using a vise. The three pieces, including a center strip of number 4 gauge round bead wire, are soldered together at the Bnds. After being...

Leaf And Flower Decorations

The leaf and flower decorations shown above are lost wax centrifugally cast pieces made commercially and are not Indian made. They can be purchased from many of the silvercraft suppliers. These are but a few of the many designs available. Once they are incorporated into a piece of jewelry it is usually so difficult to distinguish them from the handmade decorations that only en expert can tell the difference. However, most of the decorations on the jewelry pictured on these two pages ere Indian...

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Indian Jewelry Making

One of the most sought after items of tourist silvei is the silver hell, which was seldom made and is therefore scarce. These were made onfy on ordei or request from a client or trader. Few silversmiths have ever experienced making this item. A paper pattern is made to form a cone. The si e can vary. The piece to form the body of the bell is made of silver sheet of at least IS gauge thickness. The silver is then stamped and bent in ihe shape of a cone and soldered, The shaping can be done over...

The Silver Headstall Or Bridlt

One of the proudest possessions of the nomadic Navajo was the silver headstall for his beloved horse. Very rarely is one seen in use today and then only at sings or dances in remote parts of the reservation. Hundreds of these headstalls and possibly tons of silver jewelry are buried across the reservation with their owners. Wh it a rich legacy to the archaeologists ol the i inure I This bridle ts made of IB gauge silver sheet. It consists of II pieces plus the naja, and weighs about IS oz....