Adam Fierro’s Silver Smithing 101

Adam Fierro’s Silver Smithing 101

I’m going to show you how to make “drops.”

Drops are extra pieces you can put on a piece. Balls they solder on, on the top or bottom. Little accents jewelers use.

To make those, get your scrap material and start cutting, and start making a pile. A pile of cuts. I usually go with three different sizes; a big one, medium one, and a small one.  What I do, is make a pile, then separate them. Make sure nothing is touching.

Using the striker. You’re going to use your thumb to actually press down on the end where it moves. If you don’t you won’t get a good a good spark.  Stick your torch as close as you can to it. *Uses Striker*

We’re going to use a high flame. I learned with a high flame.

Just start with a piece. Melt it completely. You don’t need to move(the torch), just focus the flame on the metal and watch what it does.

It turns into a ball. Go to the next one. Once it turns into a ball, move on.

We’re getting a feel how the metal actually works. How much it heat it actually takes for it to melt. What’s the melting temperature? We don’t know that off the top of our head, but we can see it. So we get use to that visual remembrance of how the metal actually melts. Do you notice how it turns red? It starts to get shiny right before it starts to melt. Then it just clumps up.

There are different techniques you can do with this. Right before it starts to melt, pull the heat away and don’t let it clump up fully. Try to make some forms instead of ball. Try and make some forms with the silver. You’re controlling your temperature. Work with it. Create something with the fire; something abstract.

When you’re able to use one hand, you can manipulate it. *Using tweezers* It’s still hot so I can manipulate it. It also makes it flow quicker. When it’s hot you can press it and make it into different things and shapes.

So this is the first thing I ever learned. Making drops. I don’t know why we call them drops. That’s just what we called them in my family. Some people call them tear drops, or balls.

So that’s about good right there. Turn off the torch. What I do is, get a water bottle and poke a hole on the top. If you try to take some of these off(drops)  they’re stuck.

To conserve your pad, you soak the drops with water. Then you get your knife and gather the drops.