(The method I used to create the Monstera Pendant)
Tools and Materials Used
Number 4,6,8 saw blade, doming set and hammer, 1mm sterling silver sheet, 1mm & 2mm sterling silver round wire, heard silver solder, half round fine & one side course swiss file, emery papers 600,800,1000,1200, Tripoli polishing paste, Calico polishing mops Hard and Soft, Green Dialux, Muslin mop.
The sterling silver was first cut to create the leaf shape & then domed to create its three dimensional appearance. I then pierced & cut in the extra detail. The stalk and bail was then added. To give the piece a mirrored finish a selection of Swiss files in an array of grades & shapes was used to clear & level the surface of hammer dents & solder spills. Then a wet and dry fine paper was used.
Once you have a clean and level surface the process of polishing may begin. In between each stage of polishing the piece requires a thorough clean, i find an electric tooth brush does this job very nicely. Before starting each stage of polishing the piece needs to be completely dry.
Starting with 600 grade emery paper i thoroughly rubbed in between all the creases and between the leaf serrations, occasionally tearing off very small pieces of the emery paper to get into the intricate areas. For some of the finer detail I used a folded thin piece of paper clamped at one end to the bench & then threaded the piece onto the paper.
I repeated this process with increasingly finer grade emery paper until I got to grade 1200 which is the finest of the grades I needed. After completing the creases and detail I then cut a 1 cm strip of grade 8 emery paper and placed it in a split end shank of a Dremel 4000 and completed the final paper polish before moving on to paste and mops.
With a Dremel and a point felt mop, using Tripoli polishing compound I then moved on to the fine detailing.
To finish the piece a polishing motor with Tripoli and a firm calico mop was used, then with a softer Calico & green Dialux the final polish was almost complete. The last touch was a quick buff with a muslin mop to create the mirrored effect.
I would like to say that all the stages I used for this piece are not always necessary, for flat items I would not need to use a Dremel, but, for that extra clean mirror finish I would never bypass the polishing paper, through experience i have found the depth of shine provided by this stage is exceptional.
The finished item is then cast and ready to be personalised