Have you ever used a penny machine? That old fashioned, gear driven machine that squashes a coin into an elongated souvenir? If so, you've used a version of a jeweler's rolling mill. A mini rolling mill is the latest addition to my jewelry studio.
The cool thing about making jewelry is that there is always more than one way to perform a task, to get to a similar end result. I've been getting by for several years without a rolling mill, but I finally bought a mini, to make my tasks go a bit quicker. I still intend on saving up for a full size top of the line Durston mill...someday..to make everything even quicker and easier.
Anyway, above are two examples of how I've put an X onto metal. (I use these in my Pirate Tides Jewelry Collection.) The bronze X was created using etching acid. The sterling silver Xs were made with my new Rolling Mill. I used the bronze X that I had etched, and pressed it with annealed silver, so the etching was transferred to the silver. This is how your penny comes out with "Souvenir of ..." on it.
Don't let the image fool you. Even though it's a machine, it is still hand powered. My strength and adjustment of the gears is needed to perform the tasks. This is true with most "machines" in the studio jewelers shop. Come back next Tuesday and I'll tell you about another tool in my studio.
This post is the first in a series, titled Tools Tuesday. On most Tuesdays, I will share some pictures and information on the tools I use to create the jewelry I make for you.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram