Welcome to the MaxShock workbench! We make a lot of our jewellery range ourselves, by hand, here in our workshop in England. We thought you might be interested to see how we make the jewellery and the work processes involved.
The inspiration for this pendant was an old castle door with huge iron rivets and rough-hewn oak boards. It was about 700 years old and full of character. We are going to create the pendant from pure copper and sterlng silver.
We start with a sheet of 3mm thick pure copper and saw the shape of the pendant using our jewellers saw. The block is beeswax used to lubricate the blade. Look at all the copper dust left from the sawing.
Now lets carve some rough channels into the metal. We used a carbide wheel and various hand files to do this bit. The channels go all the way around both sides. This step took a long time, even longer than the sawing did.
The edges are a little sharp after the sawing so we take them off with a sanding buffstick and smooth the surface of the copper. We use mostly 180, 240, 500 and 1200 grit papers.
We want the pendant to resemble ancient, weather beaten wood so we get to work with our various hand files working along all the edges of the pendant and the edges of the channels we cut earlier. The front is looking too smooth though, that's no good. We want hard-won character!
That's more like it! Old hammers are great for adding texture. We used lots of different methods to add the texture to this piece.
Drill it! In the photo we have drilled the holes for the bails (this is going to be unsusual and have 2 bails). We have also drilled the first of the holes for the rivets. Look how tiny it is. The drill bit is less than 1mm wide.
The start of the rivet process. We cut the rivets from the sterling silver wire in the picture. Each one is set by hand and has to be gently shaped and flared using a rivet hammer. This is detailed work and has to be done slowly and very carefully. The metal block is case-hardened steel and is what we rivet on.
After a quick teabreak we drill 5 more rivet holes. In the foreground is a picture of a rivet we have cut from the silver wire. We use tweezers to work it into the hole then slowly shape the wire into a rivet head on both sides of the pendant.
This is the back of the pendant. The drill has left some push-out on the 2 bail holes so we use a ball-burr in our flex shaft to make both sides nicely countersunk. See how the rivets appear on the back as well.
Next we polish the pendant using tripoli and a cotton mop spun at high speed. Polishing is dusty, dirty work.
We make 2 copper bails and fit them to the pendant. To make them we wrap copper wire around a mandrel and then saw the spiral into ringlets with our jewellers saw. After the polishing stage is done the pendant looks good but we want a hard-worn, tough, weather-beaten look so we need to age the copper and silver...
The copper now has a nice aged look and the patina has brought out all the texturing details we worked on earlier. We buff up the silver rivets and leave dark patina around them to look authentic. The patina is then sealed with several coats of protective clearcoat.
From copper sheet to finished pendant set with 10 sterling silver rivets.
The final shot. The pendant is on a black leather necklace with sterling silver ends and clasp. You'll recognise the steel rivetting block. It makes a handy photo prop. :o)
We hope you enjoyed this brief look at what goes on in the MaxShock workshop and how we make our jewellery. If you would like to see more do let us know!
The MaxShock Team