My Silversmithing Work: A "Manly" Christian Cross for an 8th Grade Graduation Present

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-17-2008 09:15 PM 2809 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Project Story:

Today, 5-17-2008, we have some good family friends that are celebrating their oldest son’s 8th Grade Graduation. He’s a great young man, as is his younger brother. The family has been involved in my little country church for the past 30 months or so. The Graduate was baptized last summer in a swimming pool, about a year after his younger brother was baptized. I’ve enjoyed getting to know both of the boys, they are special.

So, wanting to use a little of my new silversmithing skills learned this Spring, I decided this morning to make him a gift in honor of his graduation and his baptism. I started silversmithing this Spring as a way to do little projects like that I have wanted to do, but just didn’t have the knowledge of how to go about it. I’ve enjoyed the class a lot, unfortunately the last session is next week. With the cost of gas to drive 200 miles round trip, and the price of silver, I’m not going to sign up again for awhile.

The “Manly Cross” is Sterling Silver with a Fine Silver bezel (ring around the stone), Blood Red Stone, and mounted on a Whitetail Deer Shed Antler cross section. I tried to make the styling something a teenage country boy would like to wear, and also wanted to make it look a “manly”, not in any way was it to look “girly”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ha.

To mount the silver cross I silver-soldered two small hand-wrought nails on the back of it and pierced them through the antler cross section and bent them over and peened them tight. I started to do a recessed inlay with epoxy holding the cross in place, but my silversmithing teacher says that anytime I use the word “glue” he is dropping my grade one letter. I’m done a couple of grades already, and can’t sacrifice another drop. Ha. Silversmith’s don’t use glue. At least not in his class.

Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou

Phil 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (NIV)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

10 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3742 days

#1 posted 05-17-2008 09:24 PM

Wow Mark, somebody’s gonna love that!... you’ve done a great job, as always! The “blood” red stone on the cross is a perfect choice for this project!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3843 days

#2 posted 05-17-2008 09:35 PM


I think you pulled off the manley thing quite nicely. I love silver cuz it’s more manley than gold.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4433 days

#3 posted 05-17-2008 09:39 PM

thanks Steve and Scott. I can’t work Gold anyway, nor afford it.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3758 days

#4 posted 05-17-2008 11:48 PM

Very nice Mark…. I wouldn’t mind having one. I wear a Bolo everyday of my life.
Great work!!!!!


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 05-18-2008 12:05 AM

Great gift, Mark. It is really a nice design.

Dave, my hat is off to you for confessing that to us. LOL!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 05-18-2008 04:46 AM

looks great Mark, I’m sure he’ll love it.
it’s neat that you’ve taken the silversmithing class to add more to your already impressive list of talents.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#7 posted 05-18-2008 01:02 PM

Mark, this is simply beautiful. Great project and thanks for the story behind it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 4063 days

#8 posted 05-18-2008 04:17 PM

I admire how talented you are Mark….

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4007 days

#9 posted 05-18-2008 06:14 PM

Hi Mark;

Very nice design and gift.

As I’ve mentioned before, you ARE quite the artist!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#10 posted 05-29-2008 05:01 PM

Mark a great gift on a memorable occasion.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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