Craftsman of the Month
Cover of Rock&Gem V1N1 March-April 1971

Collette Divine - June 1999 - Scraps to Sculpture

The Craftsman of the Month for June is, again, a woman. (We're going to have to do something about our gender correctness around here!) Collette Divine, of Colorado Springs, uses silver scraps to sculpt some incredible jewelry items. Here's the way she explains this "scraps-to-sculpture" technique.

"Hidden in your pile of scrap silver are some of the most fascinating forms: birds, butterflies, fish, dinosaurs, you name it. You have but to experiment with your torch to bring them to life."

"You'll need a block of charcoal, a scrap and a torch. Heat the piece but don't let it ball up. Pull the heat to the sides and ends. Elongate it if it looks like it has possibilities--say, a fish. Maybe you'll want to stick a small scrap to the end for a tail or, in the case of a bird, a beak. Dinosaurs come up really easily, as do butterflies. If you mess up, don't fret. Just use the 'mistake' as part of the decoration, or you can always make more raindrops."

"When you are finished with your bracelet, pendant or whatever, you'll have a very original design and it eliminates having to use the same old bezel or twisted-wire effect, which are all too common."

"First, choose your stones well. Above center we have some great Australian rhodonite. The choker represents grapes, twisted wire for the vine and a little bird on the upper right-hand corner. There are at least 25 little raindrops all bundled together to form the grape. I used a pumice block and dug out a shape of the grape about 1/8-inch deep. Just pile up the little raindrops in the form, flux it and solder."

"Note: I first tried to form the grapes without the pumice shape to guide my raindrops and, believe me, you don't want to go that route. I had raindrops falling everywhere but on my head!"

"Follow the usual procedure for making your piece. Then attach your grapes, vines and leaves. I used scraps for the leaves, as well."

"I use nothing thinner than 22-gauge silver; it seems to work out best for me. Play with the design. You'll have lots of fun seeing the picture come into being."

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