Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Close My Toga: A Penannular Brooch

I took a jewelry class at the Fashion Institute of Technology here in New York during the spring semester.

According to the professor, a penannular brooch was used to close togas. I don't own a toga (though I could probably make one from a sheet, right?), but I thought my mom could use this to close a couple of the wraps I knitted for her. 

The Process
I started by rolling a doily pattern onto a brass sheet using a rolling mill in the studio. Then I cut the metal down to two squares and drilled holes in the center to try and recreate the doily effect.

For the arch, I braided three brass wires together, then soldered them to the back of the metal squares. I also soldered the bezel setting onto the metal. (I definitely cheated by gluing the stone into the bezel setting.)

The pin was a brass wire that I hammered out until it was nice and stiff (save your dirty jokes!). Then I sharpened the end of the pin so it could go through fabric.

Et voila!

Even though I asked not to be graded, the professor couldn't help himself. Apparently I used too much solder, creating this mess. I didn't think it looked that bad! Anyone who didn't catch their hair on fire (that's me!) deserved an A.

It was fun to learn new techniques and play with fire, but I don't think I'm cut out to do any type of goldsmith work. (I also made some earrings. Post to come later on that little experiment.)

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