I was recently commissioned to make a 4oth anniversary sterling silver brooch based on my clients wife's favorite flowers, chocolate lilies. Seeing as how it was their 4oth (ruby) anniversary I had the added task of incorporating rubies into the design. We settled on star rubies due to their uniqueness and the fact that they are most often found as cabochons and would fit my idea of adding them as berries. We over looked the fact that chocolate lilies don't have berries, because what else were we to do?
I carved the brooch out of wax and had it cast into sterling silver.
My client wanted an antique sort of look to the piece, and I was glad that they were willing to spend a little extra to get me to make the findings by hand. I settled on a french catch, two pieces of tubing one that slides inside of the other. The outer tubing is soldered to back of the brooch and a cap or handle is soldered to the end of the inner tubing so that it can't slide out of the outer tube. The catch pin is fabricated from a piece of sterling plate and hammered to give it strength, it is riveted into position once everything else is soldered in place.I added a dark patina before polishing so that the crevices would remain dark. This helped me to achieve an antique sort of look.
The final step was the stone setting, a little hammering and I was ready for a final polish.