Artwork, Astrolabe research, Visual art

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. In the course of a very full day last December, I designed and (with instructor help) made this brass and silver pendant.


As Persianate astrolabes frequently have retes in the form of leafy plants, I rendered this piece – which represents the start of my venture into astrolabe-making – in the form of a seedling just beginning to sprout.

I have continued to take lessons with him ever since, slowly working on the skills to attain my goal, and gaining a whole new perspective on what is involved in crafting from metal.

Here are some other 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.