Interesting Way to Transferring Designs to Metal (CAD) Video Demonstration

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Today I will show a couple of quick ways to transfer designs from Paper to Metal or Wax, Plus a video demonstration to help as well. 

1a Locket 01

There are a number of ways to start to create jewelry, from finding an existing media and turning it into jewelry, to Computer Aided Design (CAD), wax carving, metal fabrication, Precious Metal Clays (PMC), etc.  For the first step let’s look at metal fabrication. I found a design on an antique locket that I would like as an earring. If I could draw, I would but alas, I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I found a way to scan the design and get it on a piece of paper. In this instance I used a CAD program, but you can use the original picture, scaled to the size you want, and then I cut and taped it to a flat sheet of sterling silver. I took a very sharp metal Scribe and traced around the outside of the picture with a series of small points, just hard enough to make a mark, but not too deep.

1e Locket Earrings 01       1f Locket Earrings 02

As I was contemplating an easier way to show this process, I did a quick Periscope session and here is a quick video made from some excerpts from that Periscope.  CLICK HERE for video.

(Periscope is a free app for your computer or mobile device that allows interaction via live streaming video. Follow JewelryMonk on Periscope)

After I traced around the design completely, I removed the paper and I have an outline on the silver. (this works on wax as well) I now pierced the silver with a hole large enough to get a saw blade through. I usually use a 3/0 blade, but you can use smaller if you like, I tend to break smaller ones a lot more. after I have the piece completely cut out, I smooth the edges with small “escapement” files and sandpaper, then polish. At a later date we will get into detail on how to best file, sand, and finish pieces, but I figured we would start with an easy way to get your ideas onto metal or wax.  On this piece, I also used gravers and a Foredom to give the piece more of a rounded look, but that is what I wanted and that is the cool thing about jewelry making, it is an expression of one’s self as well as a craft.

1g Locket Earrings 03 1j Locket Earrings 08

Finished Amethyst

Remember to wear your safety glasses!

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Now go make something Shiny!


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2 Responses to Interesting Way to Transferring Designs to Metal (CAD) Video Demonstration

  1. Marion February 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm #


    So happy that you’re back and on the upswing!!! Thank you so much…again…for giving of yourself! Your shared expertise is greatly appreciated!!! Much Peace and Many Blessings!!!!! Marion

    • Doug Napier February 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      Marion, thank you! I am back and feeling great!