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Up-to-date report from one of our students!

Reporter
Daniel Trembovelski

Nationality: France
Course: Jewelry Making
Program: Master Course
Period: Sep. 6, 2021 - Apr. 15, 2022

My name is Daniel Trembovelski, I am a 23-year-old French and Russian student in jewellery. I am currently following the 1-year Master course in jewellery making at the Accademia Riaci after graduating from a bachelor in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the Birmingham School of Jewellery in the UK. I decided to follow this course with the aim to gain more practice and confidence in my work before getting to work in the industry. I was also motivated to learn the “Incisione” techniques in addition to the different possible stone settings and therefore reach a new level in my jewellery creations. My long-term ambition is to gain enough various experience in jewellery all around the world and open my own brand and create my collections once ready! Outside of school, I like to read, visit exhibitions, work out and go out for walks and hikes in the countryside of Italy, Florence being the perfect place for that kind of extracurricular activities! You can follow my journey in jewellery and see my creations on my Instagram account @trembo_jewellery

Apr. 27, 2022 | Posted in Jewelry Making, Blog , | Tags:, | Language:
Reporter: Daniel Trembovelski | Course: Jewelry Making

Jewelry Making vol.2 (Master Course – Daniel)

Week 2: Day 1
Today was practice day.
I decided to finish a project I didn’t have the chance to work on throughout summer. Back in the UK, I needed to engrave one of my pieces and therefore met an engraver to ask for his help and to know the price of the needed engraving. After a few drinks and a good talk, we agreed he would do my engraving for free if I could do something for him in return. In fact, being a smoker himself, he has been looking for a Zippo case thick enough he could engrave for himself. All the Zippos online are about 0.3mm thick which is too thin for him to engrave as he needs at least 0.7-0.8mm of metal to be able to engrave deep patterns. Therefore, we agreed on that deal and I started to work on this project in exchange of his engraving.
I precedingly done the two parts of the case on a jewellery modelling software called Rhino. They were then 3D printed and casted in silver. All I had left to do was to clean it, insert the Zippo inside and rivet the hinge. But it came out harder than expected. Even though I did my best to reproduce the exact dimensions of the Zippo on the software, the result was still a bit narrow to host the Zippo. It took me a long time of filing and sanding the inside of the piece. It is a very tricky process as the mistake would be to file it too much and therefore ruin the whole efficiency of the case. Furthermore, the inside of the case was a bit hard to reach as not all the sanding rolls I could use would fit in it. After a lot of hours of filing, the Zippo started to fit. Through the scratches it would leave on the inside surface, I would understand where to file to make it fit even better (Zippo pictures 1 to 4).
The day being finished, I left the end of the project for Thursday.
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Day 2
Today was the first engraving (“Incisione”) class. I was very looking forward to it as it was one of the main things I wanted to learn by joining this course.
Helped by my classmate, I bought the needed engraving tools before the first day. I therefore opted for 3 different engravers of different sizes and thickness. Once the course started, the teacher, Marco, shaped them as needed thanks to a specific machine. Each engraver is shaped in a particular way to create more or less deep cuts in the metal or create different types of textures (engraving picture 1). We started by cutting a square piece of copper and stick it on a wax base. We therefore melted some red wax and once melted we could set the copper on it and lock it unmovable with the wax. It was quite a long process, but the result was efficient, nonetheless (engraving pictures 1&2).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
After showing me how to hold the engraver properly, the teacher told me to start with simple lines (engraving picture 3). I would trace the line on the piece of copper and then gently follow it with the engraver to create a smooth straight engraved line. Easier to say than to do, it took me a lot of tries before reaching a satisfying result. I tended to position the engraving tool in a too open angle which would make it slide away from the original line. As well, it took me quite a while to handle the correct way to hold the engraver in my hand. The next step was to draw circles and then engrave them perfectly (engraving picture 4). Same as before, it took me quite a lot of tries before getting there but I slowly started to get the hand of it.
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Soon enough, the teacher decided that I could move to the next level which was engraving a real classic engraving pattern. It is a typical Florentine engraving drawing that he started by drawing it on paper and then reproducing it on the metal. All I had to do was to copy it. Already more confident in my capabilities, I soon have realised the difference of quality between his part of the pattern and mine, still a long way to go (engraving pictures 5&6).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Day 3
Today is jewellery making class. I carried on with the leaf project.
After cleaning the surface and the sides of the leaf with different types of sandpaper, I had to create the main “branch” of the leaf in the middle of the piece. I found a small silver wire in my personal materials, annealed it, and then used the draw bench to make it thinner and longer. Once satisfied with the result, I shaped it to follow the shape of the leaf. I found it tricky to shape it perfectly as the leaf is curved in both the vertical and horizontal way.
Using some steel wire to maintain the silver wire in place, I started the soldering process. Like said before, I didn’t have the chance to practice my soldering skills in the last few months. Surprisingly, it comes back pretty fast, and the result was very satisfying to the exception of one point at the extremity of the leaf that the solder didn’t reach properly. I therefore added some solder to this spot and started again which gave a conclusive result. After that, I cleaned the front of the piece of the soldering (Leaf pictures 1&2).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
As I had some of this silver wire left on the bottom of the piece, I shaped it into a loop made to host a chain with round pliers. Once done, I cut it at the right spot and soldered the extremities. Again, filing and cleaning. After that comes the polishing with two different mops. The first one with one polishing product would clean the surface and give it a polished aspect>. The second one with another polishing product is made specifically to give it a mirrored shiny aspect. Finally, I let it about 10 minutes in the ultrasonic to clean any trace of polishing paste. The piece is now ready for engraving (Leaf pictures 3&4).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Day 4
Today was practice day, I decided to finish my Zippo case. The next step was to polish the outside. Nothing too hard or unknown. I started by filing with thin delicate files, then using the 500/800 and 1200 sandpapers I would leave an almost perfect surface. To be engraved, the piece doesn’t need to be polished like a mirror but needs to be as smooth as possible. I therefore opted for the hard brush on the polisher and some polishing paste to make the result even clearer than after the original cleaning.

Once the two sides clean and polished, I had to create the rivet. My first idea was to use some 2mm thick steel wire as silver would be too soft of a metal to hold properly a piece like that. I originally wanted to only buy a little piece of wire, but the shop would just sell a long-rolled piece of wire. As it was pretty cheap, I opted for that option. But the hard part was to actually cut a short piece of it as the school doesn’t have the needed machinery for that process. I decided to heat the wire until red and use big cutters I had to shock the metal and therefore break it. It worked but it was a real struggle. I then got confronted to another issue, the wire was slightly too thick for the hinge. Most of the tools of the school I could use to make it thinner might be damaged if used with steel. I therefore decided to forget about this option and find something else.

This is how I came out with the idea of using a brass wire. It is a relatively soft material but 2mm of thickness makes it seriously solid and stable. Fortunately, I had a piece of brass wire that I shaped on the draw bench. I then cut it at the right length of the wire, drilled a hole with the pendant motor on each side of the wire and once inserted in the hinge, I used a light hammer to hammer the ends and therefore rivet it, so it doesn’t move on the sides of the hinge. The result was successful and the lighter now open and closes perfectly (Zippo pictures 5&6).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog
Happy with the result, I send pictures to my engraver friend that validated the result. All done, just need to post it to him now (Zippo pictures 7&8).
Jewellery Making blog
Jewellery Making blog


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