Roller printing and other fun


I'm teaching a "Roller Printing" class at Get Crafty in West Sussex on 11th June and few people have asked me what it's all about. I thought I'd share a few snaps of the process.

Roller printing is the technique of printing patterns and textures on to copper or silver, by pressing the metal through a rolling mill with a variety of materials. It's one of my favourite things to do in the workshop, as the results are almost instant and it's good for experimentation (well, let's be honest, I'm like a kid with a toy and enjoy making pretty patterns). In the class, participants will get to make a pendant or a pair of earrings from their textured metal.

There's a bit more to it than what I show you here, but these are the main steps...

So this is my rolling mill, and the star of the show. This guy is my most treasured possession, but I won't be using him in the class as he weighs about 85kg and isn't exactly portable. I'll be using my smaller mill (yes, I have two, it's tragic I know).

Lots of materials can be pressed on to metal with a rolling mill (lace, dried leaves, feathers and fabric are just a few of the items I use).

I'm going with a skeleton leaf for this demo, which I'll press on to sterling silver. Skeleton leaves are often used for roller printing as good results are pretty much guaranteed.

The metal is prepared and rolled through the steel plates of the rolling mill with the leaf...

Within seconds, I've achieved a beautiful impression on the metal!

The shape of the pendant is pierced out with a jewellers saw and tidied up with files and emery. I've just gone for a simple rectangle.

The silver is given an optional black oxide with a solution of liver of sulphur...

Which is partially removed with emery paper to bring out the detail of the lovely design.

A simple bail is added, and with a few finishing touches you have a beautiful pendant!

For more information about my roller printing class, click here!


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