It's been suggested to me that I 'brand' my jewelry. Too bad I had to buy the whole alphabet stamp set to use just one letter. But don't expect bangles and tags containing words like 'dream' or 'love' or 'honesty' or whatever. I hate all that crap. Oh well, here's the BB tag.
And here's the beginnings of that bracelet I was telling you about...stay tuned to see if the ugly duckling turns into a swan :)
It's getting to be Autumn all of a sudden; rainy and cool. There's still some patches of blue sky fighting against masses of clouds but if you blink they're gone. I'm still working on this wretched ring and still refuse to use glue to keep the stone in the bezel cup so I'll need to burnish the edges of the cup some more. I went to my silver shop this morning and learned something new - that jewellers in Arizona working with turquoise sometimes lay the stone on a bed of sawdust in the bezel to make it sit flat. Makes sense. I'm starting work on another bracelet and have several of the links cut waiting to be smashed up with a hammer :) and then the soldering.
Meanwhile...Jinx has no concerns about petty things like stone setting. His day is all about catching the fleeting moments of sunshine.
Frustration and failure have been the name of the game this weekend. I hate to have to share these things with you but as we all know they are a part of life. Firstly, I had a flashback and I don't mean of the memory kind. I was working with the propane flame trying to solder the ring in the bottom 2 images when all of a sudden the normally blue jet burst from the nozzle and grew into a huge flash right in my face. It was just for an instant, but it was enough to singe my bangs. I was wearing a mask and safety glasses but didn't think I'd need to protect my hair! Oh well, at least it'll grow back :) Anyway, here's a simple ring I made at the end of the day after a frustrating few hours trying to make the raw amethyst ring below.
I'm going to pull out what's left of my hair trying to get this thing made. This is the 2nd bezel cup I've forged and I've ground down the base and lower edges of the amethyst but it's still not sitting properly in the cup. I'm at the point where I'm going to saw it apart again and start again :( By the way, these photos were taken by my son and you can see how much better they are than the ones I take. Thanks Simon!!!
I'm trying to make use of some of the bits and pieces I've had lying around on my desk, namely these 3 silver bangles that I made months ago. The bales (the rings attaching the tags to bangles) were also scraps from some other project as were 2 of the tags. It's hard to see but one of the tags is made of brass and that's the only part I had to cut out today.
And I had to take a quick photo of our cat Jinx who happened to be nearby while I was taking these pics.
I'm 95 % done here. What remains is for me to go over the silver with more fine sandpaper and a buffer to give it a satin finish as opposed to a high gloss finish which is what my sister wanted. I also need to polish it. And I'll probably hammer the toggle a bit more.
I've put roughly 5 hours of work into this so far; sawing, annealing, forming, pickling, soldering, repeat...and repeat. Next step is sanding. I've also started a bezel cup for a raw amethyst that I'm thinking will be added to a ring.
I picked up a new polishing product yesterday and was trying it out today on the ol' drop earrings I'd finished the other day. The polish is great but I've got some new notes to myself 1) DON'T photograph shiny jewelry with a big red sticker stuck to the back of your iphone and 2) Kick your son's butt to start taking photos with his real camera like he promised
A pile of junk I hear you saying. But it's pretty junk right? Silver wire and brass sheet and some links. I've been asked by one of my sisters to make her a necklace so I'll be starting it shortly and will show you when it's done which might take a couple days (wait for it...)
Not the best photos of the latest pieces but the clock is ticking and I have other things to do. While I was trying to polish the ring, the dog came into the room to let me know it was almost his dinner and walk time and then the cat decided he wanted out. Then my daughter phoned to ask me if I'd meet her for lunch after her soccer game. I know, these are trivial things in the real world. Seriously. I'll be going to my silver dealer on Tuesday and will pick up more polishing wheels (and saw blades...and maybe some more silver :) ) and I promise these pieces aren't finished yet.
Yes, I've blogged about this bracelet before but if you were paying attention you'll notice it's now half an inch longer. I wouldn't expect you to notice but take my word for it - several hours at the workbench later and it's grown. Oh, and it's been polished. It's for a prospective client on Etsy who asked me to add some bits and what the client wants, the client gets. Now, back to the ring and earrings. Stay tuned.
My mom was good at using the phrase 'into every life some___must fall', the___part being whatever it was you happened to be whining to her about on any given day. With 7 kids she probably got tired of listening to all of us complaining about this and that, like what she had prepared for dinner or the household chores she had us doing. Of course she was right because into every life some toilet/bathroom cleaning must fall, today being that day. So... I'm giving you a sneak peek at what I'm working on. It's a size 6 1/2 ring and it's waiting patiently on my workbench for me to come back and finish sanding and polishing it. I also have a pair of earrings waiting there too so stay tuned to see them. Now...I'm off to clean some toilets :(
Like wow! I LOVE this ring! It isn't my work but I wanted to share it with you since I have nothing of my own to show after being away on a little vacation. This looks like copper with raw amethyst and it's from Midwest Alchemy on Etsy. You'll find the shop at http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MidwestAlchemy So while you're enjoying that, I've started work on a new ring and pair of earrings which I hope to be able to show you in the next couple of days.
You never know what'll happen when you're working with heat and metal. You need to be aware of minute changes in the appearance and behaviour of the metal; too much heat and a piece can suddenly turn molten, too little and whatever you thought was soldered, isn't. Frustrating at times but very rewarding when it works out the way you'd intended
My first pair of earrings. I don't wear alot of dangles but... they were kind of fun to make because the thicknesses of each component were easy to bend and shape. I took them out for a test-wear this morning and even got complimented on them. Now if I can get away from the kitchen sink for awhile (it's been one of those days) I'll make more.
Quite pleased with the business cards that arrived the other day. Designed them using vista print (in case you wanted to know). I'm working on pair of earrings at the moment and will hopefully have something to show you tomorrow...
I love metal; shiny, dull or rusted. If I were a Bower bird, my nest would be filled with scraps of it. The top image is of a coil one of my sons found. He's lucky enough to live near his work and on his way to and from his job he passes along an alley behind a small grocery store, a treasure trove for bits of discarded metal. I think it's beautiful. The bottom image is of some scrap wire we found on our property, fencing wire I guess. I coiled it up and it sits on a table in my living room. I love it.