A Sprouting Seed

It should not surprise you that all my work on astrolabes has incurred the desire to make one. So when I found that a local silversmith was offering a jewellery-making class, I signed up right away, thinking this could be the first step in learning the requisite skills. So one late December day, I designed and made (with guidance) this brass and silver pendant. I chose the motif of a sprouting seedling because Persianate astrolabes frequently have retes in the form of leafy plants; my hope is that this experience is the seed that will someday grow into making a full astrolabe.

Below the cut are some in-progress photos from that initial session.

(Most of these show the silversmith rather than me, because I couldn’t take photos of myself while working.)

Cutting the brass piece.

Preparing to cut the silver piece.

The two pieces freshly cut.

Preparing to file the silver piece to smoothness.

Silversmith demonstrates how to file the brass piece.

Attaching the housing for the central gem.