This commission started with the luxurious image of fireflies dancing around cattails and a pond on a moonlit night. A pretty piece of prasiolite (green quartz) was to be used to signify the pond and little 3mm round peridot cabochons were to be made into fireflies. I fell in love with the serenity of this scene in my head and was super excited to make the pendant!
Before I could get to the pretty imagery, the structure of the pendant had to be made.
Once the basic structure was soldered together it was time to start on the fun stuff. Fireflies were cut out around the settings for the peridots, the moon’s craters were carved, and the cattails were formed from sterling silver and copper hammered wire.
As I went, I continually placed the pieces where they would be connected to see how it was coming together.
The foreground was fit in by slowly filing a piece of copper sheet until it fit perfectly to the curve of the pendant’s frame.
The whole pendant is only an inch across but it has over forty separate pieces!
These dirty pieces of copper are one of my favorite tools. They can prop up parts that need to be soldered together. Because they are so gross with oxidization and grime, the solder will not fuse to them, allowing them to prop up a part without fear of being stuck together after the solder flows.
I am a big fan of itty bitty pieces of solder. My professor in college called these flea poop sized pieces of solder! Using only as much solder as you need is important in making clean joints in metal fabrication.
Dirty prop and flea poop solder ready for the fire!
By the end a whole bunch of tools were used and a few different techniques. The result of those forty tiny pieces of metal was exactly what I had hoped: A tranquil scene of fireflies, cattails and the moon.