A little birdie told me...

Little birdie pendant

It was my sister's 16th birthday in January and I always try to make her a special piece of jewellery. I love following her fashion blog and I knew that whatever I made had to suit her style and interests. She love the vintage / old fashioned English style and I remember she has  a little antique-looking telephone pendant that she loves. So I decided it would be something whimsical and cute.
Bird word collage

I had been researching bird shapes for a while and it seemed the perfect thing for her. So I finished off my research and started to design on paper. I looked at real bird shapes and bird shapes that other creative people had drawn or crafted. I had a go drawing my own little bird shapes until I got the look I wanted.

Bird theme collage

Collage of whimsical bird shapes that I like

Collage of real bird shapes that I like - little fat ones

So my plan was to make a flat silver cute bird shape, stamp marks / textures into it, and then brush it with a patina so it had an antiqued feel to it. First I cut the shape from silver sheet using a saw and then filed the edges.

Cutting with a saw

Fililng the edges

Then I had to find the centre of gravity and drill a hole accurately so the bird hangs nicely when it is put on a bale later.

Then I marked out where I was going to stamp the patterns on the bird. I stamped them one at a time. It was quite nerve racking because I knew if I had one slip or heavy handed swing of the hammer I could ruin the whole project and I would have to start from scratch again.

Tail stamped

Marking out the rest of little bird

Almost completed the stamping!

I did the stamping in batches: tail first, then the wing, then the tummy feathers, and finally the eye - which was the most important to get right! As each section went to plan I got more and more excited because I knew my sister was going to love the pendant!

Finally all the stamping was done and I spent hours polishing it up. It needed to be perfect and scratchless before I used the patina.

Once it was smooth I popped it in the sulphur chemical and it turned black. I then polished it again so that it came up shiny silver but all the indented marks stayed black.

Finished little birdie

She then just needed puting on a chain. And my sister loved her - I was quite sad to see her go but glad she was going to a good home.

Hopefully I will be able to post a photo of my sister wearing it when she finally gets round to taking one. :-)

Natasha x

Natasha Fraser Handcrafted Jewellery


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