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What do I do with my silver scraps?

Updated: Mar 4

Well, it may be classed as scrap but I use it all! There are various things that can be done with scraps of silver to make them usable again. Read on to find out the ways in which Silver & Fern uses everything to make unique pieces of jewellery.


I always do my best to ensure Silver & Fern is as sustainable and as ethical as possible. If you aren't already aware; I use only recycled metals, non-toxic and vegan-friendly polishes and eco-friendly packaging. I also ensure the production of my jewellery is fully traceable from start to finish. You can read more about how jewellery can be sustainable here.


the image shows a small pile of scrap silver, a melted chunk of silver and then a rolled-out piece of scrap silver

So, what is scrap silver?


Scrap silver is as it says, the scrap parts leftover from making jewellery. It can be tiny morsels of wire or sheet silver or even larger chunks such as projects that didn't quite go as planned.


The image to the right shows a small pile of scrap silver, a melted chunk of silver and then a rolled-out piece of scrap silver which is ready to be used in my next project.




What can be done with it?


There are many different uses for scraps and I'll tell you the ones I use below.


Casting

My personal favourite is casting - this involves melting the silver and casting it in a medium. I love to use household items such as rice, lentils, peppercorns or even just cold water! The molten silver becomes some amazing organic shapes which are totally unique to the piece.


Molten shapes

Another way to use the scrap is to arrange it and melt it into a shape, such as a heart. For the image below, I simply arranged the pieces of scrap silver I had available to form a heart shape and then, evenly heated them to melt the silver together into one solid piece - which created this beautiful organic heart shape! Doesn't it look amazing hanging on a chain?

Sheet or wire making

The last way I use my scrap silver is to melt it down and roll it out into a sheet or wire. The sheet of silver can then be used as normal - cut and shaped into whatever shape I'm after! Sheet silver is perfect for making wide band rings or even backplates for setting stones on.


Refining

There's also one last type of scrap, the silver lemel. Lemel is the small filings from sanding down silver. It may seem insignificant, tiny specks of silver mixed with sanding compound, it just looks like dust, but it can all be saved and collected. When a certain amount has been collected, it can be sent away for refining where it will have the contaminants removed and turned back into useable silver. I have 3 years worth of silver filings saved up ready for the day I can send them off for refining!


a close up picture of silver dust and offcuts of silver -  AKA silver lemel.
Silver dust and offcuts - it's so sparkly!

It's that simple


Well that's it, that's how I use every piece of silver possible during the making of Silver & Fern jewellery. I always try to be as sustainable as possible and using every piece of silver I have available is a major part of this.


I hope you found this post interesting, I'll be back with another one soon!


You can find your perfect piece of jewellery here.


Silver & Fern's simple S&F logo in a dark green font within a pale green circle.

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