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 handmade.
This cast snake is only one of the many cast figures available
The decorations shown balow are examples of how attractive handmade leaves and flowers can be made. The real leaves around the border are just a few of the unlimited number of natural leaf shapes that can be used as patterns.
The progressive step» in making a leaf
The easy way to obtain a design is to trace or sketch the outline of an attractive leaf on a suitable size piece of silver scrap. Use silver thick enough so it will not bend easily once it is applied, usually 18 or 20 gauge. To make a heavy leaf with a central stem, solder a piece of half round silver wire down the center. The veins are then stamped. To g make "S" figures and spiral shapes,/? thin strips about 1/8 inch wide are At from 20 gauge sheet and bent with^L ground nose pliers. V
When soldering decorations onto a piece of jewelry, tiny chips of solder, or silver solder filings should be used
A few of the miscellaneous "fill-in" shapes that can be used
These examples illustrate the many leaf backgrounds that can be used and the chasing tools used to make them
The belt with numerous small stones is usually a woman's belt. The ones with larger stones are worn more by the men. This belt is made up of 8 conchas and 9 butterflies plus the buckle. This makes a belt to fit a 3B to 40 inch waist. It is usually worn over a dress or jeans so it should be larger than the fitted belt. The conchas can be spaced out to make it larger or taken out to make it smaller.
Twenty 6-millimeter cups for the stones are soldered around the rosette and an oval bezel cup is soldered in the center of each concha. Care should be taken to separate each bezel cup sufficiently so none are soldered together. The best way to accomplish this is to melt a chip of solder with flux on the bottom of each cup before placing them around the rosette.
The shell or rosette design is pressed into the eight pieces of 20 gauge silver.
The design is stamped around the edge to form scallops and carry out the shell motif.
A small silver ball is soldered between each bezel cup.
A copper strip %-inch wide is formed over a one-inch piece of strep iron, to form a loop for the belt. One of these copper loops is soldered crossways on each concha and lengthwise on each butterfly to accommodate the belt.
The buckle is made in a similar manner except a I x I inch hole is sawed in the center for the belt to go through. Pieces of 12 gauge rourtd wire are used for the cross bar and the tongue.
The entire concha it sawed out with a jeweler's saw. _ _
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