Baby Sea Turtle Pendant Part 4

Above, I’ve finished carving and sculpting all the flippers and her cute little tail.  I’ve also carved the track details, and textured the sand.

And a side view. Pretty deep carving, even though it’s low relief!  Now it’s on to the silver back…

I’ve engraved the outlines of the starfish, and using a tiny carbide bur, I’ve excavated the pocket for the inlay.  I’ve also undercut all the sides, and laid in lots of tiny hooks to catch the gold wire.  Above you can see the beginning of the gold wire being punched into place.  The tiny hooks in the silver hold the gold quite well, even when it is just barely punched down.  I want to leave enough gold above the pocket so when I really punch the wire down, it will become a single, solid mass and flow into the side undercuts and into all the gaps between the hooks.  24 karat gold will readily cold-weld to itself, becoming a single piece.  This is how dental fillings were done for many centuries, before mercury amalgams were introduced.

Above,the first round of the gold wire punched loosely in.  I’ll continue this until the entire cavity is filled with concentric wires.

Above, all the wires in place, and before punching it all securely into place.  The super-soft gold will flow in all directions, and fill all the visible gaps.

And here’s the final punching, followed by outlining the inlay with tiny engraved lines.  Normally I would stone the gold completely flat, but since I’ll by using a tiny beading punch to texture the starfish skin, I won’t bother here.

Above, I’ve used the beading punch to make tiny knobs all over the surface, just like the knobby skin of a real starfish.

And here’s the 24 karat gold starfish inlaid in the Sterling silver back.


Finished! This little turtle is ready to crawl off to her new home… She’s an inch and a half tall, hand engraved in 416 stainless steel, with a sterling silver backing, and inlaid 24 karat gold starfish.

A close-up of the turtle and the turtle tracks in the sand. She’s booking for the water before the gulls spot her!

Thanks for looking!


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2 Responses to Baby Sea Turtle Pendant Part 4

  1. Mandy says:

    I simply adore this little dude (Baby Sea Turtle-Part4)! I have wandered back to this page many times and each time it has made me smile. Thank you for making him/her. Do you possibly sell these little guys? I would truly love one. I would promise to look after her (yes, I’ve finally decided it’s a ‘her’). Please tell me you do sell….. pretty please?

    • metal_musings says:

      Hi Mandy,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I do occasionally take commissions, but I tend to keep those pretty few and far between. Also, I’m pretty burned out on turtles at the moment. However, when I do have items available, they are normally announced through my Instagram and Facebook accounts. You can find those links right below the header image of this blog.



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