Gifts On Demand
As an amateur, my pieces are given away to family and friends, or they end up in my projects graveyard. Just occasionally I get a request as I did for this phoenix belt buckle and I am glad of the challenge.
It seemed that my best option, using the tools I already had, was to make it in pierced silver with a coloured lining; then to add a strong back sheet, with a peg and a bridge for the leather strap.
For the front I chose a heavy roll texture, made with floral net curtaining, evocative of fire and smoke. This was a decision I came to regret when I tried to read the scribed image later.
Next I laid out the design and formed the front plate into a cushion shape, using my hydraulic press. Finally I filled in the design, with a black sharpie and pierced it. The pierced edges were lightly bevelled with a scorper. All this seemed to take ages and no doubt James would have finished it before breakfast.
The contrasting lining I made of copper for the reddish flames, adding Platinol where needed for the black parts. The copper was first textured with a frosting wheel to give some bite for patination.
Lastly the back sheet was secured with four self-tapping screws from my box of found objects. Dennis.
Last edited by Dennis; 12-03-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Nice job, as always!
What thickness of silver did you use for that, Dennis? For that style I tend to like 3-4mm to give the buckle some heft, which is getting to be somewhat costly in silver.
And, since I've got a bee in my bonnet about belts - what's the leather? I'd hazard a guess at a through-dyed split, but I might be wrong?
Thanks Peter, the overlay was 0.9mm by the time it was roll textured and the copper insert 1.0mm. As this is for a careful lady user (she’d better be) and these were domed in a non-conforming die, I hope that will be enough. The back which was screwed on was 1.2mm thick. The real strain is taken by the 5.0mm peg, to which the ends of the leather are attached, so pulling in opposite directions. I have made quite a lot of these and never had one bent or come adrift.
As I only expect to make a few belts this year, rather than make up orders and accept what comes, I have been buying XL belts in the stores and throwing out the buckles. This one had rough edges, which I bevelled and slicked according to your suggestion. Regards, Dennis.
That's gorgeous work Dennis - love the texture.
Lovely Dennis. Like the copper flames showing through.