|My poor broken cocktail fork, sacrificed|
in the name of art
- First, find your spoon. For this project I suggest one with a fairly narrow handle/neck and a large, not too deep bowl. This makes it easier to bend into the tight coil like this one is and also to cut out whatever shape you wish to cut from the bowl. I got mine from an antique store with a cornucopia of utensil, but you can find tons on ebay. I'd suggest buying some really cheap pieces to practice on, which I wish I had done before snapping this poor little cocktail fork in half on my first attempt :(
- Next, do some sketches to gauge what kind of shape your spoon will ultimately have. A great tip for doing this is to trace around your utensil onto some scrap paper as close to it's outline as possible. Then, cut it out so you have and exact copy of your spoons size and shape and know exactly how much neck you'll have to bend and shape. Otherwise you may over-estimate how much you have to work with and not end up with what you wanted in the first place. Not that little mistakes turn into cool pieces, but in my case it saves a lot of energy swearing and throwing the spoon across the room… which of course I would never do.
- There are two main tasks in creating this piece: bending the neck and sawing out the shape in the bowl. I'd suggest sawing out the bowl before bending so that you'll have as close to a flat surface to saw. I used a sharpie to draw the shape of the heart and get the right proportions and size for the shape and size of the bowl. If you mess up some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball easily removes the ink without damaging the metal.
- To saw your piece, you'll need to pierce a hole in which to insert your saw blade, unless your shape happens remove the rim. I used a pretty heavy duty drill bit in a hand-drill right in the middle of the heart. The closer to the edge of your shape the less sawing you'll ultimately have to do, but since this was my first time doing this exact procedure I left a lot of room for error in case the drill slipped and scratched the surface. Before drilling, use a center punch to make a divot that'll grab the bit and make it easier to drill.
- Once you have a hole, insert one end of your saw blade into your jeweler's hand saw and tighten the wing-nut, then insert the other end of the blade through the hole you made. Holding your saw so that the blade is perpendicular to the bowl (or as perpendicular as possible since the bowl is concave), put the blade end into the other wing-nut into the
How to tension your saw blade (but
that's not me, I swear I'm not that
- Start sawing towards the edge of your shape, making sure to ease into any curves. Unless you're very adept at sawing, err on the cautious side and cut slightly inside the edge so you can just file the extra metal when you're finished. It's always easier to remove too much material than to put it back… in fact it's impossible to put it back. Slowly and steadily cut out your shape. Hold your saw perpendicular to the surface you're sawing through, use your should and not your wrist, and don't move your saw too much unless you're in a particularly tight shape. It's best to move the piece you're sawing into the blade of your saw rather than holding the spoon still and moving the saw around. Think of it as using a sewing machine. You move the fabric into the path of the needle and not the other way around.
- Once you've finished sawing out your piece, release one end of your blade and remove your saw. The edges will probably be jagged and sharp, so file the edges using a half-round or round file for the majority of the shape. To get a sharp point on the bottom of my heart I used a triangle file making sure not to cut too deep into the surrounding sides. You can also further soften the edges using sandpaper, but I didn't see a need to. Since the edges are inside the spoon they don't come in contact with your skin or clothing and so they don't have to be too perfect.
|The Dremel tungsten |
carbide cutter I use
|My loverly vice, which doesn't |
actually suction all that well, but
it's not that necessary for the
projects I use it for
And voila! You've got yourself a spoon necklace. There are many different sizes and shapes of antique spoons out there to make a unique pendant of your own (read: don't copy my exact design you moocher!)