The watermark technique
Filigree pieces have been found for several centuries in various parts of the world. It was in Asia that this technique was born, the art of filigree was then exported to Europe in the 16th century.
Here are the different stages :
- La Fonte
First of all, you have to prepare the money. Pure (in a granule) it is too soft ... then room for calculations. A small proportion of copper is included in the silver granules .... We will then make 925 silver.
Then, the mixture is then heated to about 1000 degrees with an oxyhydrogen torch. The goal is to reach the melting point so that the metal can pass to its liquid stage and thus be able to flow into an ingot mold.
- The sons
|To make the watermark you need silver wire ... lengths and lengths of wires ... Once the ingot is manufactured, it is passed through a die so that it is stretched and transformed into fine wires ... a little sport, let's go shoot !!! and an interminable number of passes must be made in order to achieve the expected wire diameter.|
- The making of the Filigree
At the beginning the little hands learned to do it the "old fashioned" way. This involves taking two lengths of wire, twisting two ends. Then using two ends
Once all the wires are twisted two by two ... they are passed through the rolling mill (tool) in order to be flattened using two steel rollers.
Let's move on to the manufacture of a filigree jewel ...
- The manufacture of the frame
The first step is the realization of a frame with interstices that will be filled with the watermark. We cut and shape the wire to obtain the desired shape. The ends of the reinforcements are then welded with silver filings and borax. The structure is then sanded with sandpaper to make it flat and uniform.
- The "caracoles" are shaped one by one with a round clamp ... They are then placed against each other in one / or more interstices of the reinforcement.
- The "Panderos" and "Lagrimas". With a small magic tool with a notch on a steel rod ... the watermark is rolled up like a roll of liquorice. Then placed it in a gap in the frame.
- The "Zigzague" . The watermark is passed through a tool (between two gears), which will give it the appearance of "waves". Then we gradually wind a thread
- The "Tomatillos" . They are made by winding a wire around a small metal rod. Then the spiral is again wound around this same rod to finally form small spring circles.
- The welding
| Once the reinforcement is completely filled, it must be welded. To do so, it is sprinkled with fine silver filings and borax (to make the solder flow). The piece is then heated with a torch so that the solder flows over the entire surface of the jewel. This is then placed in a special bath to|
remove impurities from borax. Finally, it is brushed to restore the shiny appearance to the metal.
Then you have to finish the jewelry. Shape it and weld other elements (ring body, bail, crimp) ... here the classic jewelry techniques.
Then brush the jewelry with sandpaper to remove scratches, blemishes.
Finally ... for those who like shine: polish the jewelry using a cotton disc for a lustrous effect.