Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smithy

What would I have been if I'd lived 500 or a few thousand years ago--I mean what would I do for a living? What would my life's work be? You ever think about that? I do. I expect I do because I feel so lucky to do what I do for my work; I don't really consider it work. Creating things is fun to me, I have a passion for designing & building things & that's why I chose engineering & manufacturing as my field of pursuit.
So what if I'd lived before computers & electronics, what would I have done then without my beloved CAD & CAM & CNCs? Would I have still built things or would I have been a farmer, or a doctor, or maybe a writer? ...Well assuming I had the choice and chances afforded me to find & follow my passion like I've had in this life, in this country, I probably would have been some kind of creator: a carpenter, or a leather craftsman, or a stone mason, or maybe a tailor; but probably some kind of a smith: blacksmith, coppersmith, silversmith.
I've been toying around with jewelry making lately...

I designed this necklace pendant as a birthday gift for a friend of mine. It's the first piece of jewelry that I ever made so I found a local jeweler who was willing to help me out. He cast & acid antiqued it for me and then helped pick out a pretty chain for it and antiqued the chain to match. What I liked about this jeweler is he's a real gold and silversmith, not just a guy with a jewelry store. If you're ever looking for a mom & pop shop that'll treat you right here's his contact info: Gold 'n Silver Jewelry. 18850 Brookhurst St Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (714) 963-9594 ask for Ron.

Here's The Concept.
Actually I sketched the concept all out on paper before I started modeling, but I threw the paper away after I finished the SolidWorks file.



Here's The Creation



And here's Some of the stuff in Between.

I cut out a machinable wax version of the pendant. It was the same pattern machined on the top and bottom of the pendant with a 3rd set up holding it sideways to drill the hole the necklace goes through.



Ron suggested I make 2 pendants so I could practice on one - as usual I just took my time and worked cautiously so I didn't have any scrapped parts. I gave my sister the extra one.

Acid antiqed and then a final polish.



The final product.