When I was just starting in the jewelry industry, I didn’t have a “mentor” or someone to teach me what to do, or not to do. I learned a lot by looking at a project, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and how I would accomplish my idea. I did a lot of things wrong, but I also did a lot of things out of my comfort zone, to learn.
Tool modification is always right up there with one of my favorite subjects, so whenever I can, I will bring it up and show you something to help you in your craft. I’m there for ya…..
Today we will make and use a small burnishing tool to get into tight spots and smooth and polish. First, get one of those small burs that you broke, but refused to throw away because the “JewelryMonk” told you not to because you would be able to use it again. Sand off the tip to a point, rotating it as you sand it on a Snap On Disc. After you get it good and uniform in shape, sand it smoother on a piece of 400 Grit Sandpaper by hand, or put in your Foredom and spin and sand till smooth.
Next, take a piece of paper, any scratch paper will do, and add some Yellow Rouge to it by rubbing the rouge on the paper, over and over, till there is a thin layer of rouge on the paper. Place your bur into your foredom and spin and drag it over the rouge covered paper. This will polish the bur into a shiny point. I like to place the bur into a Pin Vise to make it easier to hold.
Now just rub the burnisher firmly over the piece you want to burnish, or polish. be careful not to mark the jewelry with the tip of the burnisher. Just rub over the area you want smooth and shiny and it works like magic. If the area you are burnishing starts to get a little dull, just rub the tool over the yellow rouge covered paper again, this will shine the tip again.
There you have it, a simple tool to make, but the burnisher is one of the most under-utilized tools you can have. Make them in different sizes and shapes.
Feel free to share this with your jewelry making friends, they will thank you for it, and also think you are Super-Smart. haha
Take care and have a “smooth” day.
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