Did you realize that that very cool tool you have on your workbench—I’m talking about the jeweler’s saw—is good for a whole lot more than making metal jewelry? What? You don’t own a jeweler’s saw? Well, if you are looking for a great way to make your own highly unique and personal ornaments, I think you should really consider getting one!
In his book, Metal Artist’s Workbench, Thomas Mann shares his enthusiasm for this amazing tool and I learned so much from him about the way a saw actually works, and the best way to use it for maximum efficiency and the best quality results. I also learned that not only is the saw good for metal and acrylic (well, actually I knew it was good for acrylic because I’ve been using it to make plexi projects for years now, using Robert Dancik’s Faux Bone Saw Blades), but you can also use it to carve guest soaps, hors d’oeurves, pasta, chocolate and more! (Examples are in the book!)
But today I just really wanted to use my jeweler’s saw to make a new tree ornament to celebrate what an amazing and joyous year I have had and, as usual, it did not let me down. I’m not going to tell you all about how to use the saw because I can’t even come close to the great job Thomas Mann does with that in his book; I just wanted to quickly share with you how my “Joy” ornament came about.
I started by sketching out my design on 1/16” Plexiglas. This ornament was to be two thicknesses, so to keep things together while I sawed, I drilled holes and tightened on three temporary bolts.
Then, remembering a few of the new tricks I’d learned from Tom’s book (grip is very important), I sawed out my shape, replacing the bolts with tape as they were sawed out of the work. (I was wishing I had one of Tom’s very cool studioFLUX Bench Pins because of their larger working surface area, which would have helped with several of the intricate spots in my design.) When the sawing was finished, I used a drill press to create “bubbles” that were the start of holes that didn’t go all the way through the plexi. I did this for what would be the inside side of both pieces.
I removed the protective paper on both inside sides, stacked them together and then drilled new holes for wire rivets, and secured the halves together with these rivets over random parts of the entire piece. Finally, I sanded it all and added a jump ring to tie a hanging ribbon onto.
If you want to create a little joy of your own—be it from plexi, metal, wood, paper, foam, clay, chocolate or just about any other surface, you owe it to yourself to get out the jeweler’s saw and look through Metal Artist’s Workbench for great information and inspiration.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS