in which our plucky heroine looks back at a challenge...
Last month I completed a complicated dual Peerage medallion, with a central cloisonne enamel set in a circle of seed pearls.
First I created the cloisonne enamel, 1 1/2" in diameter, using silver, powdered glass and the 1500F heat of the kiln. Why I had to choose the one day in May that was well over 80F outside was pure luck (not!)
Because the design called for a border of seed pearls, I had to fabricate a set of wee bitty wire guides to hold the pearls in an even distance and spacing from the center medallion. I always forget how tricky this part is, and indeed everything about working with seed pearls is. They are so lovely though, it is worth all the trouble.
The wire guide loops, and a fine silver bezel, are soldered onto a heavy sterling silver base plate. This is a very tricky solder job, as I carefully control the torch to get all the parts properly attached and aligned without melting anything in the process. It is Much Easier to solder things together that are similar in size and mass.
The last part of the fabrication is to solder on the bail loop, that connects the pendant to the chain. Here I have a chance to stamp my tiny makers marks, the running horse from my heraldry, and the crown of my Royal Commission
With all the parts ready to assemble, the next step is to set the enamel in the central bezel, and string the pearls on silver wire, fitting them around the edge neatly...