Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

Harp Pendant

Here's another item of jewellery I made: a harp pendant for wibble_puppy.


It's pretty tiny; less than an inch tall.

The body is made from nickel-silver AKA german silver, which is a type of brass that looks a lot like silver. I happened to have a sheet of it sitting around because I'm using it to make some replacement parts for my concertina. The strings are made from fine brass wire salvaged from a mesh that held the cork on a champagne bottle. The attachment rings are made from sterling silver. The (commercially made) chain is also sterling silver. The reason it looks a bit plasticky is that I dipped it in lacquer to try to stop it tarnishing.

The way I made it was:
  1. Design a template based on wibble_puppy's real harp. It had a rectangular outline with the strings oriented vertically.
  2. Roughly cut out two rectangles of nickel silver and superglue them together.
  3. Glue the template on.
  4. File the edges so the two pieces match exactly and so they correspond to the outline of the template.
  5. Drill a small hole inside the inner area.
  6. Cut out the inner area with a jeweller's piercing saw.
  7. Clean up the inner edges with small needle files.
  8. Heat with a match to release the superglue holding the two halves together (this also unavoidably burnt the template so I removed that too).
  9. Remove all burrs.
  10. Clean off any oxide with wire wool.
  11. Clean and cut a lot of short pieces of brass wire and crimp them over one of the halves of the body. This is why it was important to get the strings aligned vertically across a rectangle. Do as many as you can fit into the available space while still leaving a gap between them. This is the fiddliest step.
  12. Flux and silver-solder the brass wires onto the half-body. Curse when capillary action causes solder to stick some of the wires together in clumps.
  13. Apply more flux and solder the top half over the wires. You need to apply quite a lot of solder because you ideally want to fill up the gaps caused by the wires.
  14. Clean the flux off.
  15. Glue a new template on.
  16. Cut out the outside of the harp body.
  17. Tidy up the edges with needle files and emery paper.
  18. Form the small attachment ring and silver-solder it on.
  19. Form the large attachment ring, fit it over the small ring, flux and weld it together.
  20. Clean off the remaining flux.
  21. Polish.
  22. Lacquer.

  23. This is the photo of wibble_puppy's gothic bray harp that I used for the template:
    It has a few more strings than the pendant, and I didn't manage to include the bray pegs!
Tags: jewellery, photos

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