Pewter Jewellery Evaluation By Nathan curwen

The facts/process

First of all we went onto the Internet and found a picture that we would like to create out of pewter metal. We then copied and pasted ( control c then control v) our picture of choice into 2d design and traced round it using the line tool, the path tool and the delete line tool. We then saved our traced out design into the p drive (student share) so that sir could draw a border around our design so that the melted pewter can run into our cut out wooden design. Once sir cut out our pewter design into a wooden form, he then turned on the brazing hearth and melted the pewter so that it could be poured into our wooden template design. Once the pewter had been poured into the wooden template we put it on a metal vice to cool down and set into a solid metal. After the pewter had set we then took of all the wood surrounding our now pewter jewellery using a coping saw, possibly a file to get rid of all the wood that was stuck in small gaps and a vice to keep the "structure" steady whilst we cut it with the coping saw. When the jewellery was free from the wood we then began the process of sanding it. We started the process of sanding with 240 grade and then 400 grade and then finally 1000 grade to try and get rid of most if not all of the scratches (we also wet the sandpaper so that additional scratches wouldn't be made by the sandpaper and so that the sandpaper wouldn't rip as easily and also so that the sanpaper could fit into the small gaps in our pewter jewellery design). After that we then varnished and buffed our pewter jewellery to try and get a smooth, mirror finish. We then washed the metal to get rid of any varnish that was stuck on the metal. If there were still any more scratches then we would repeat the whole sanding and buffing process again and agin until all the scratches were removed and we had a mirror like finish.After that we then ( if we wanted to but unfortunately didn't get to ) put a chain/necklace into a hole ( that will of been made by a drill ) to add a finishing touch to our pewter jewellery.


In my pewter jewellery designing experience I have found out that I have enjoyed the whole process. I loved the whole idea of working with metals and trying to create a lovely piece of jewellery. I thought that I did very well in my practical design because I didn't think that I was going to do that well. I am quite proud of myself for what I have produced for my final product. This has made me more confident in my whole resistant materials study and is urging me to take this interesting subject as a GCSE.


The good things about my final pewter jewellery design is that I have created a nice and smooth surface. I almost reached my aspiring goal of getting a perfect mirror finish but I wasn't quite there.I spent most of the time in my lessons trying to sand and trying to get the perfect piece of jewellery that I desired, unfortunately after sanding and buffing over and over again I didn't just quite get my goal. However I did mange to get into some of the very small gaps in my piece of jewellery with all of the grades of sand paper we were instructed to use, which helped make those hard to get to and small gaps both smoother and shinier. Which obviously made me proud and pleased with myself. I also loved the design I chose to try and create out of pewter as I love animals and thought it would be the perfect design for me to make. Overall I think I succeeded but there sadly were a few downs to my final piece.


Although I was very pleased with my work there were some unfortunate tasks to the design that I didn't just manage to complete. Like I said in my last paragraph in the "positives" section, I sadly didn't just quite get the mirror finish that I so wanted to to a few minor scratches on the two main surfaces of the jewellery. There are also a few edges that aren't completely shiny and smooth such as the face that was above the tail and just below the head of the seahorse, which I didn't really get my sand paper into ( I did partially but not all over the whole face due to it being Such a tiny area to get into with the sandpaper). I also didn't just manage to get into some areas of the "spines" of the seahorse ( the neck/back of the seahorse) due to once again the surface area being to small for the sandpaper to reach. I also couldn't ( due to us not having enough time) apply a hole using a drill into my jewellery where a chain/necklace would be fitted to add an amazing finishing touch to my pewter jewellery design.


If I was to try and complete this project again I would aim to try and get rid of all if not most of all the scratches on the pewter jewellery. I would do this with using all of the sandpapers that were suggested to us by sir. This was 240 grade, 400grade and finally 1000grade. I would also try to be a bit more independent and complete tasks on my own without asking to many questions. Finally I would also try and get my pewter jewellery piece as shiny as possible using the buffing machine and using metal polish to give a nice shiny finishing touch.


Overall I am very proud of what I have accomplished during this practical project. I have very much enjoyed it and have learnt many things. Here are some of the things that I have learnt during this extremely enjoyable project: that pewter is an alloy and an alloy is a metal that contains 2 or more metals, mixing the two metals together are to improve the properties of a metal; some properties of metals are malleability ( meaning that it can bend or be flexed) and ductility (when hit with a metal rod the metal and rod make a ringing sound); that the machine to melt metals is called a brazing hearth, and there are many more things that I have learnt. Like I have already mentioned I have loved this project and am very pleased with my final pewter jewellery design. Again like I have already mentioned in the "positives" section I love the shape of my design and am glad that I chose it. A final word that I would like to say is that I have adored doing this project and has made me even more confident about my whole resistant materials study and I am currently thinking about taking this study as a GCSE.

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Nathan Curwen

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