My big cuff bracelet that I made at the Arrowmont retreat always gets noticed. (That's why I wear it to major functions.... hoping someone will ask me about it.)
One of my patrons from the Oil Heritage Festival stopped in to return a necklace that was included by accident in her purchase. (Bless the honest people of the world!) While she was there she asked about making a silver bracelet. I showed her my big cuff bracelet and it was pretty much just what she wanted with the exception that it was too wide and she didn't want any stones. So, I cut the template down to one half the width and proceeded; thinking it would be no problem.
Why is it, that when we anticipate ease we don't get it. The silver pieces were easy enough, the hole drilling only required one fill-in and adjustment. The firing went smoothly and then it came time to put it together.
I used the same oval jump rings that I used in my bracelet. The holes needed to be reamed out a little to accommodate the 16 Ga. silver used in the rings. But, for some reason the rings kept the pieces off kilter from each other. Out they would come and in they would go, with the same results. So.... I reamed the holes more. No luck. Nothing changed.
Luckily I had placed an order for an oval jump ring mandrel. (Also, luckily I still had some 18 Ga. sterling silver wire in my inventory.) The mandrels arrived the day after my unsuccessful attempts at putting the pieces together. The 18 Ga. oval jump rings solved the problem.
Up until my Rio certification class, I used the 3M sanding papers on unfired clay only. After seeing what they could do on my tetrahedron, I decided to hand polish the bracelet with the progressive grit paper. But, once I started and saw the nice satin finish the first grit made I stopped there. If the customer wants a shinier finish or a patina on the bracelet, she'll get what she wants. But for now, I like the satin finish and so do a couple of my friends.
Maybe someday, a piece will go together without a hitch.