Dots to the Rescue

by Judy Larson
It is amazing how much an added little dot of metal can elevate a design. I used so many tiny dots when I made my Bali style beads that I ran out and had to restock my supply!
Instructions
After cutting the pieces needed for a project from sheet metal, use a variety of different size hole punches to cut "dots" from scrap sections.
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
One side will be more rounded and will be considered the right side. Place the dots right side up on a bench block. Give each dot a light tap to flatten.
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
After the dots have been flattened, they are ready to use. Save all excess dots for use on other projects by labeling a small bag with the sheet metal gauge, and possibly the dot size, if many were made in different sizes. My favorite storage box for these little gems is a trading card storage box. These little boxes are easily accessible stored on a shelf above my workbench.
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Keep little metal dots on hand to use as embellishments and you won't be sorry.

When running a butterfly wing texture and sheet metal through my rolling mill, I wasn't paying close enough attention. The tip of one of the wings folded over-grrr. I lined the texture up again, knowing there would be a ghost image when I ran it back through to get the wing tip imprinted. Then it was a matter of disguising the folded over area. Dots to the rescue! Decide what size dots to use and where they will be placed.
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Small dots of paste solder were used to attach the dots and then the unit was placed on a soldering surface. Because the flux in paste solder bubbles up if the heat is too close, thus probably moving the tiny dots, make sure to keep the heat at least a finger width away from the piece until there is no more smoke and flame. The dots will be settled on the metal backing at that point and the heat can be moved closer. Immediately remove the heat when the solder flows.

Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
After pickling the piece, the fold is still visible, but the dots draw the eye away. The ghost image means that there are more lines for patina to remain in when the excess is removed from the raised areas. This helps disguise the fold. The folded over recedes into the background when the dots become the star of the show after the patina is removed.
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots
Judy Larson's Dots to the Rescue - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, making silver dots

Materials

18 Gauge Half Round Dead Soft Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-18HRD
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.18
  • Gold Club Price: $2.39
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22 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-22SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $61.68
  • Gold Club Price: $46.26
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Tools

Silver Solder Paste Soft SS65- 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.10
  • SOL-822.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
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Fire Brick
SOL-485.00
  • SOL-485.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.96
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Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Design