I’ve started a lanyard bead on some Geoff Keyes damascus steel. I’m going to add a tiny gold spider hanging from a thread. This bead is for Geoff – shhh, don’t tell him…
Above, I’m beginning to turn the bead from Geoff’s damascus steel rod. So far I’ve faced the rod, turned the rough exterior perfectly round and am drilling a center hole for drilling all the way through with successive sized drill bits.
Here I’ve carefully rounded the end, saying particular attention to the finish. Any marks left on the surface now will be accentuated once I etch the damascus steel and reveal its’ complexities.
Above is the turned bead and the remainder of its’ bar – I tend to turn two beads at a time, because the next bed gives the lathe chuck something to hold onto.
You can see the preliminary etch above, revealing a really fine pattern (3/4 inch long/19 mm). Geoff made the damascus from two or more different kinds of high carbon steel. Each kind of steel etches at different rates (I used ferric chloride), leaving behind this beautiful woodgrain effect. Now I need to make several tiny punches to create the raised portions of the gold spider.
I spent today making a set of punches for making the raised portions of a gold spider on yesterday’s Damascus lanyard bead. The spider will be similar to the gold ant on the beetle hobo nickel from a few weeks back.
Above, I’ve transferred the design to a piece of 1/8 inch diameter piano wire.
Here I’ve engraved the interior of the design.
Now I’ve carved out the interior with a tiny carbide bur. Can you see where we’re going with this punch yet?
Here I’ve engraved and carved exterior to the edge lines – I want a not quite sharp edge.
Above, you can see the shaped exterior on the two finished punches, one large for the spider’s abdomen (big butt…), and a smaller one for the spider’s head. You can also see where I tested both punches on a piece of lead.
Below, I’m adding the spider to the Geoff Keyes damascus lanyard bead.
Above, I’ve completed excavating the inlay pocket with tiny carbide burs.
Here I’m undercutting the edges of the inlay pocket. The soft gold will flow into these undercuts, trapping the gold into place.
In addition to the undercut edges, I’ve also added heavy stippling to the bottom of the inlay pocket. This rough bottom will also allow the gold to flow into the zillions of crevices, creating additional hold.
Here I’m adding the gold in the form of a tiny ball melted on the end of the pure gold wire, squishing it in place with a brass punch, to be followed by the front body portion shaping punch I made last time.
I’m continuing the inlay process of the 24 karat gold spider abdomen by pounding in several gold balls
Above, I’ve rough-sculpted the abdomen with a brass punch, and used the shaped head punch to refine the shape of the gold in the head inlay.
Here’s the beginning of inlaying a single 28 gauge gold wire into the silk strand the spider will hang from.
I’ve aded in tiny outlining cuts around the single wire inlays in the legs. This step really makes the inlay pop visually. Did I mention the spider is only a little more than one fourth of an inch tall?
Thanks for Looking!