Saturday, August 31

Happy Labour Day weekend!

As I've mentioned before, my sister is traveling at the moment.  Before leaving she'd asked me to make her a brass ring, like another I'd made before. I've just finished the initial sanding but thought I'd give you a peek before I go further with it. 

Friday, August 30

An old ring and the beginnings of a new one

I think the wire ring (top 2 images) was one of the first rings I ever made. When I took it into the shop where I buy my silver and showed John the owner, he politely told me that if I ever wanted to sell anything, that I should CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN the inner surfaces of a piece as much as the outside ones. I haven't forgotten that but I still haven't cleaned the insides of this one. Shows my impatience I guess.
The bottom image is of a raw amethyst which is an inch in length (2.5 cm) and that I've cradled in a wire setting. I'll need to further work the claws so they hug the stone more firmly and then I'll look at soldering the wire to a band. Or'll become a pendant since a ring standing an inch high would be abit dumb.

Thursday, August 29

Gonna Scream Now!

I'm not a technically minded person and I sometimes feel like throwing things when I can't do something simple on the computer like tweek my blog's template. Seemingly easy for some but it ain't working for me so...please bear with me as I work through these minor changes. My next jewelry project (which I cut the brass for this afternoon) will be a wrap ring for my sister.  She's traveling through the UK and France (probably wondering through very cool shops, or sipping a lager in some centuries-old pub as I write this) so I need to get on that sooooon.

Fresh From the Tumbler - A Ring With Legs!

I set out to make a ring where the concave dome would rest on 3 posts which would stand on the band. But 3 posts looked dumb so I added 4 other posts around the perimeter of the original 3. And now it looks like it has legs. I'll treat this as a prototype but next time...those base posts will need to be refined and tapered. Onward and upward!

Wednesday, August 28

A Pendant Is Born...(but it wasn't an easy delivery)

I finally arrived at this last night after having 3 separate rings kicking around on my workbench for the past several weeks. I'd made the largest and middle rings for another project (the not so dainty bracelet) and found the central ring (or what used to be a ring) in the scraps bowl. I don't like having bits and pieces lying around (because it seems wasteful somehow) so I thought I'd combine the 3 bits into something. I'm not 100% convinced that the final result works but for now it's done.

Tuesday, August 27

How did this become that?

I've shown this bracelet before. I made it several months ago and when I took this photo I quite liked the look of it. But after sanding and polishing and actually wearing it I decided there was something not right about it. One of the copper elements was too thin in relation to the others. So...

 I took all the brass and copper out of it and replaced those bits with sterling. Acouple days ago I dug it out and finally polished it up. I think I'll leave it now. One of my sisters said she wanted it anyway so at least it'll go to a good home.

Monday, August 26

Out of the fire and into the pickle...the process of making

This is another foray into "BIG". The basic form of the ring is there but I now have to cut down the width of the band slightly and then sand and polish the piece inside, outside and upside down until it sparkles. So far so good :) 

Sunday, August 25

When things aren't going well in the studio...

I've been working on a piece this afternoon and I'm not yet happy with it so...I'm going to post these images instead, taken last October in Australia. Are you yawning yet? Back to the studio and hopefully I'll have something to show you other than holiday photos with my next post.

         Docklands, Melbourne

    A Melbourne back alley

    Rock formation at the beach, Bateman's Bay in NSW


A nursery near Warrandyte, outside Melbourne

Saturday, August 24

Silver, silver and more silver

Look what I brought home yesterday - 3mm & 2.5mm sterling wire and as much 22 gauge sterling sheet as I could afford. Oh the possibilities...

Friday, August 23

Big is good

I'll be exploring this "BIG" theme in the coming weeks. All components are heavy gauge, hence they're quite challenging for me to forge. But...practice makes perfect. I've posted a shot of this before but what the heck. Now you see it on my finger :)

A birthday gift for Paige

When you're asked to make rings in a certain size, it's a good idea to measure twice and cut once. These 2 simple rings took acouple hours to do but I spent a lot of that time working on a 3rd ring for the series which in the end I decided would have to go into the scrap pile to use another time. Either that or I'll wear it myself anyway. These are for my sons' girlfriend who's having a birthday in afew days. Hope she likes them.

I'm ready for my closeup

Close-ups and details and a shot of my doodle book. Doodles help me work out problems in designing bits. 

Wednesday, August 21

Some closeups

Details for my Etsy page. These photos were taken with an ipad on my back deck and I think they turned out quite well.

Tuesday, August 20

A not-so dainty bracelet

I know alot of people prefer delicate, dainty jewelry because they think it flatters their femininity but I love using heavier wire in my work. I think it makes more of a statement and it celebrates the beauty of the metal itself. This is a bracelet I finished last weekend. I re-worked the toggle piece as the original bar I'd made was too thin for the overall design. It's finished...maybe.

Wednesday, August 14


An example of over-sanding the bezel (the cup holding the stone). This was my first attempt at setting a stone which in this case is a raw amethyst. I'll be trying this again sometime and will hopefully be able to show you a properly set and beautiful stone. 

Tuesday, August 13

I'm liking brass!

A brass wrap ring with molten silver detail. Could be mistaken for gold (except for the tarnish). 

Monday, August 12

This 34" chain is finished with a wrapped brass toggle piece for abit of contrast and interest. Being that long the chain is versatile because you can wear it as shown here or you can wrap it twice closer to the neck, or you can put the toggle bar through any of the wider links and have the brass piece dangle. Versatility is what I think most people look for in any piece they purchase because they get more bang for their buck. 

Friday, August 9

Top Photo : detail of an oxidized silver and copper necklace. I'm showing the detail because no matter what I do, I can't seem to take a good photograph of the entire piece. I'm waiting for my son to use his canon and a light box and if that ever happens, I may post the entire necklace one day.

The bottom instagram shot is of a large silver ring I'm still trying to properly sand and polish. I like chunky jewelry for sure!

Thursday, August 8

Fresh from the studio...

An experiment in mixing metals - bracelet in silver with copper and brass accents, pre-sand and pre-polish

This is one of my first endeavours in jewelry making. I wanted to make a 'chunky' chain so I chose the lowest (thickest) gauge wire I could get and went to work (which was my first mistake). Thick wire is hard to bend! Hence the visible joins and irregular shapes in the links.

I worked this piece of silver for quite awhile with a hammer and whatever else I could dent it with and then oxidized it. I like the inside texture more than the outside.

Tuesday, August 6

Bits and Pieces

A bracelet and a ring, experiments in melting bits of leftover silver and adding them to a piece.

Monday, August 5

You see that copper circle? I used my steel washer to draw a perfect circle on the sheet, which is better than trying to eyeball it. The majority of the links in this necklace are 925 silver with a few copper links thrown in for variety, all hand forged and soldered, sanded and polished.

This gives you an idea of how hand-forged jewelry begins, alongside tools like hammers and files, a steel sheet to protect the desk underneath, lots of dust and don't forget the silver (wire in this case). You'll also notice a steel washer amongst the silver wire. I found that one day while walking my dog near my house. It was rusted and dirty but I picked it up and brought it home and one of these days I may incorporate it into a piece. Until then I'll use it as a template for drawing circles on sheet metal.