CREATING OVERLAY AND TEXTURES ON METAL 

With Fathers Day on Sunday the 19th of June, finding a personal and unique gift will be on the agenda for many people.

Thick, mixed and textured metals are often a popular choice when it comes to mens jewellery design, so we've put together a list of tools and products needed to create overlay and textures on metal.

We also spoke to jeweller Caroline Jones who incorporates beautiful textures into many of her designs, a number of which are made for men. Caroline gives us a great insight into how she creates her amazing designs and what tools she likes to use.

So, with Fathers Day around the corner, birthdays, anniversaries and of course Christmas to prepare for, you'll have plenty to get creative with. 

Jewellers Insight From Caroline Jones...

Oxidised Sterling Silver Black Diamond Cufflinks

"These were textured by striking the metal directly with my favourite old battered jobbing hammer. The dings in the hammer head are transferred to the metal giving it a random aged look".

Sterling Silver Bark Effect Ring

"This ring was textured using an old blunt chisel-like tool and then struck with a jobbing hammer / ball pein hammer. The lines are random and overlapping to give the effect of natural tree bark"

Sterling Silver Bark Effect Cufflinks

"These Cufflinks were textured in the same way as the previous ring. I used the old bunt chisel-like tool and struck this with a jobbing hammer. Again, the lines are random and overlapping to create the effect of natural bark".

Oxidised Sterling Silver Anticlastic Spinner Ring With Copper Spinner. 

"This silver ring was formed and textured using a highly polished, smooth straight edge of a cross pein hammer. The copper ring was textured using a highly polished round end of the ball pein hammer. The ring was then oxidised and polished back to enhance the texture created by the hammer marks" 

A jobbing hammer is also known as ball pein hammer, which has one domed end as well as a flat round head and is an essential tool for anyone who likes to create texture.

You can use Liver of Sulphur to oxidise metal to create darker areas and add depth to the textures you've created.

To see more of Caroline's work click here to visit her Folksy shop. Or follow her on facebook and instagram.


WHAT YOU NEED...

With a few simple tools and materials you can create amazing textures with overlaying metals and mark making. 

This technique can be incorporated into so many designs to create unique pieces such as cufflinks, brooches, tie pins, rings and cuffs. 

For example, the sterling silver fish brooch featured in this blog was created by our managing director Hannah Hodge. 

Hannah used the following tools and products to create both the marking on the metal such as the scales as well as the raised metal areas such as the fin and lips...

Choose your base metal, for example sterling silver,coppergold, brass or bronze and what thickness you would like your design to be.

Use a piercing saw to cut out the shapes you desire. A piercing saw is the best tool for cutting any shapes you may require from sheet metal, as well as being ideal for cutting metal tubing and thicker metal wire. The saw frame is sold separately to the blades . To view the saw frame click here and to view the blades click here

Smooth the edges of metal shapes off with needle files cut from metal sheet. Needle files are ideal for controlled and accurate filing of metal. They are small enough to reach into tricky to reach places and are are ideal for the intricate work of jewellery making. We recommend our swiss needle files - slightly higher in price than the standard set but very high quality and made to last! 

Use wire to create shapes and outlines on metal surfaces. This could be the same metal or you could experiment with mixing metals.

Flatten and texture the wire or sheet to your desire with a repousse hammer. This is a great tool for flattening wire or forming and raising shapes from metal sheet. This is such a versatile hammer you are sure to wonder how you ever managed without it!

Use a gas torch and solder paste to solder together your shapes. Solder paste is much quicker and easier to use than traditional solder. The paste stays where you want it and there is no need for extra flux.

Engrave marks, patterns and textures in the metal using gravers. These are available in a variety of shapes depending on your design. Attach a wooden graver handle to make the process much more comfortable!

Use Liver of Sulphur to achieve an antiqued, black or iridescent coloured patina on silver, copper, bronze, brass, gold and metal clays. Colours can range from black, purple, blue, copper and gold and the coloured or darkened effect is great for making any surface texture or decoration more visible.