Bali Silver is sterling silver made on the island of Bali, in Indonesia. The Balinese are highly skilled silversmiths, known for their granulation and wire work decoration.
Genuine Bali Silver is made entirely by hand, starting with the weighing, melting and mixing of the 92.5%silver and 7.5% copper to form sterling silver. The silver and copper are heated with a simple torch, attached to a bottle of gasoline with simple tubing. A foot pumped bellows adds the needed air. Molten silver is poured into small wooden molds. Once cool the silver is put through a rolling mill cranked by hand. The worker tightens down the rollers after each pass to make the silver thinner and thinner until the desired thickness is reached.
The silver sheeting is cut to size for making beads with two halves then hammered into semi-circular indentations on a brass block. The two halves are then sanded and soldered together. Wire and tiny granulations (snippets of wire torched into balls) are then used to decorate the beads. They are applied to the bead with a natural glue and then a solution of silver, copper and water is brushed over the bead. The entire bead is carefully heated with the torch to complete the process.To emphasise the decoration, Bali beads are typically oxidised with the raised part then polished which gives a dark background highlighting the shiny silver pattern.
Each Bali bead and finding is made one by one with patience and skill. It is a time-consuming process with element hand made from start to finish. With every piece of the pattern on a bead made and attached separately it means that each bead and finding is unique.
The necklace pictured above is my Bluestone and Sterling Silver Harmony Necklace made using a Bali Silver Harmony ball.
Here is some more jewelry made using Bali Silver from some members of the Jet team: