I dug a deep hole for myself today and, yes, I jumped in. I figured it would be pretty simple to fabricate an orchid out of sterling silver, but I was very, very wrong. This particular creation took me 8 hours to complete, with many swear words uttered throughout.
The major challenge in making an orchid is that there are so many different pieces to assemble. Each flower has three sepals, two petals, a lip, column, pouch, or something like that (again, I'm not a botanist).
I tackled this challenge by sawing out the parts and soldering them one by one onto a length of wire (the stem). With the first flower I managed to solder on sepals and petals, but then everything started falling apart. Every time I added something new, a petal would fall off. I finally came up with a technique, to solder a "bridge" between two petals, hammer it flat, drill a hole, and solder the pair of petals to the wire. That worked. By the time I finished the third flower I had my system down.
Botanical study in silver, piece 21 of 30, an orchid:
This is the point when I decided to add a "bridge" between the petals.
Then I drilled a hole through the bridge to string and solder it onto the stem.
Check out my other botanical pieces made to-date:
String of Pearls succulent
Three Peas in a Pod
Cedar tree branch