It’s becoming common practice to do more and more platinum fabrication with a laser welder. For this project, you need about a foot of 0.25 mm hard platinum wire. You can purchase hard wire from a metal supplier, or draw it down from a larger size without annealing to achieve the hardness required. You also need a wooden bead (the diameter of which is up to you), superglue, and a laser welder.
Begin by making two oval jump rings and superglue one to each side of the wooden bead. Be sure the jump rings are parallel but on opposite ends of the bead. Plug the hole in the bead with wax.
Weld the end of the platinum wire to one of the jump rings and wrap it around the bead. After a few wraps, weld the wire to the other jump ring and clip the rest off.
Clip and weld the wire to every intersection until the entire bead is covered with irregular shapes.
Soak the wooden bead in denatured alcohol. Burn it with a torch or butane lighter, so that only the platinum wire remains.
Remove any residue with a steamer, leaving a clean sphere. Use a soft muslin buff to polish it.
Use the laser to repair any incomplete seams and to attach a prepared gold rim to the sphere. Be sure the gold rim is pre-polished.
After final assembly, re-polish everything and steam clean.
Insert a chain or cable necklace through the two jump rings.
Jurgen J. Maerz would like to thank Tom Rucker of Gem Lobster Design in Munich, Germany, for providing the photos and technical expertise for this project.
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