I've been playing around with some new ideas over the past few weeks. My "Bowl of Shame" (credit to Anji for joining the phrase) is full of failed pieces of jewelry, and while I don't have the process completely figured out, I did manage to make a few pretty good pieces.
Here's the necklace I have listed in my etsy shop. I started with a disc of sterling silver and debossed the flower stems using brass wire and my rolling mill. I drilled holes for the flowers and used handmade ball-end headpins to hold the 2 layers of Bali silver spacer beads in place. Then the tricky part: ball the OTHER end of the headpin to hold the bead flowers in place.
The challenges I encountered were numerous. The length of the back end of the wire needs to be to just right to create a ball large enough to NOT go through the hole. The silver disc acts as a big heat sink and really slows down the melting of the back end of the headpin. This can definitely affect (and begin to melt) the silver disc and the spacer beads. Ask me how I know.
I'm still figuring it all out, but I'm pleased with this necklace. Not so pleased with the huge pile of silver in the Bowl of Shame.