news from the workshop: silver hound

photo by Dawn
photo by Dawn

The news from the workshop is that there is no news. I took some time off over Christmas, so I’m afraid I have no new creations to share.

So, here is some old news instead. I made this silver greyhound back in November, as a commission for a friend. He and his wife adopted a rescue greyhound lurcher cross, Bruno, earlier this year, and he wanted me to make a silver hound pendant. It was a Christmas present, so I’ve had to keep it under wraps until now, but finally all can be revealed.

Greyhounds/lurchers are very sleek and elegant, but their shape doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a practical piece of jewellery, so I was keen to come up with a design that minimised the risk of those long thin legs catching and getting damaged. We decided on a seated pose, which gives a lovely sinuous curve to the back and haunches, and ran the front leg into the tail. It was lovely to have lots of photos of Bruno to work with.

The impact of the design is in the strong shape, and the finish. The silver is very lightly textured, and I oxidised then buffed the finished piece. The main technical challenge was how to hang the pendant from a chain. I didn’t want to just drill a hole for a jump ring, which is always the easy option, as I thought it would compromise the design. I eventually decided on a thin section of silver tube. The trick then is to find where the pendant balances, so that it hangs straight. Not an easy task with an asymmetric shape, and I spent a lot of time positioning and repositioning the loop with a blob of blue tack before I found the right place to solder it.

It did work out, thankfully. The real Bruno sports a natty collar with a red name tag, so I added a silver loop and a red crystal bead to his silver alter ego. Here I am modelling the finished necklace, which, you’ll note, is hanging straight!

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