For the past several weeks I've been holed up in my studio, often till the wee hours of the morning, researching everything I might possibly need to know about putting silver cores in my beads and making silver bead caps. I have tables piled with gigantic Rio Grande catalogs and boxes of rusting yet resurrect-able silversmithing tools from bygone days.
Finally, last week, research done and hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars saved for this very moment, I placed my orders and waited anxiously each day for the UPS lady to arrive.
Now my studio is happily scattered with styrofoam peanuts and shipping boxes, out of which has come polishing bits and compounds, silver tubing, silver sheet, hammers, mallets, mandrels and one very heavy and gorgeous Jim Moore bead press!
The photo at the top of this post shows the one success out of my first six attempts at silver coring a bead. Here is what remains of the other five attempts:There is definitely a learning curve to this process! And I'm not even finished learning how to make the bead caps, which is another ongoing studio adventure at the moment.
Today marked Day 4 of working with the tubing and bead press, and I finally have 5 successfully lined and polished beads which I will photograph and post here soon.
Stay tuned for my next post featuring sources and resources for everything you need to silver core and cap your beads!