Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Demon Brooch

So I've been working on this brooch for the past three days and it's given me so much trouble I thought it only fair to give it a posting.

It started out very simply. I had a bunch of pieces of silver that I wanted to fuse together to make a very textured brooch. Well that was the only part that actually went well. Everything else was a disaster. Nothing was soldering correctly...the back pin wasn't working etc. etc. Just a general bad day and it only got worse.

We even got into making back pins on one of the threads on Etsy....which helped me finally finish after I figured out why the pin wasn't working.

After being coined "the demon":
I had originally planned on not oxidizing the piece, and went ahead and set the peridot stone that I had. Well it just wasn't looking needed more depth and I went ahead and put it in the LOS (liver of sulphur) If something else couldn't go wrong...some of the LOS got underneath my stone and oxidized just a bit of the silver underneath. The result? The stone now looks like an eye, most likely a demon eye for my horribly misbehaving brooch. ha. ha.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Treasure Box

Ok so maybe it isn't a treasure box that everybody would like...but it certainly is mine. When I'm stuck or I'm not sure what I want to work on, this is where I go to peruse all of my pretty stones. Some may sit in there for weeks, waiting for their moment to shine, and others are snatched up straight out of the delivery box...their setting already planned and waiting.

Notice the coins in the lower right hand corner. These coins are from a variety of countries in Europe and I think in Canada. I've been considered doing "something" with them...but nothing that I've sketched or imagined seems quite right. I'm sure it will come to me soon.

I think it's a whole lot easier to lay out all of your stones so they are visible. I just recently collected all of my stones from everywhere and put them in one central place. This way I'm not searching high and low for that peridot cab I had two days ago.

It just works for me.

UNFORTUNATELY...I have a half grown kitten who is horribly bad at stealing small items. I've managed to store this box away so he can't get at it...but the day will probably come where he steals a small bag of my aventurines or the like. And I'm sure I'll find it a day later in the water dish (which is where he sometimes drops his plunder) I'm still looking for the screw on cap for my rock tumbler. I'll probably find that when we move. Ugh!

Don't let his "innocence" fool you! He's BAD.

Just thought I'd share!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Work Space

Here's my lovely work area. This is when it was actually clean. Usually it looks like a tornado struck. But for about 2 hours it looked this nice.

It's a nice corner to work in...right next to the window so I get a lot of sunlight. I have quite a bit of makeshift items but as long as it's good!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Process Photos

Here are some recent photos of a bracelet that I made for a customer. I tried to include most of my steps. If there isn't a photo for a specific step, it's included in the description.

Round pieces of silver are cut out using a circle cutter

Soldering rings onto cut out circles. Ever so tedious with itty bitty bits of solder.

Coiling little bits of wire and placing it in the domed circles. It is then heated enough to fused all the pieces together. Careful not to melt it into a gooey mess!

Sanding down the domes to create a "flat" part on the bottom so they will sit nicely on the other pieces. They are then sweat soldered onto the other pieces.

To create jump rings, wire is coiled onto a dowel put in a drill. They are then sawed down one side to create perfect jump rings. I'm sawing in this image. (I just needed one hand to take the picture!)

The jump rings after being sawed in half.

After most of the rings are soldered closed, they were then hammered for a nice texture.

Now comes the fun part...figuring out how these guys are going to fit together! Requires a lot of the above picture!

A somewhat complete section of the bracelet. After the bracelet has been assembled, the jump rings that are still open are soldered closed for security. (at least one in each link set)

I wanted to oxidize this bracelet...and this is what it looks like after
it's taken out of the liver of sulphur. Very very black and dull!

Steel wool takes the liver of sulphur off the high spots to create a beautiful contrast between light and dark

Then after all is said and done...into the tumbler until it's as shiny as you like!

The Finished Product.

Myrtle Beach - The Drip Castle Extraordinaire!

So since my lovely ankle was sprained, I found it rather difficult to go out in the ocean. Instead I decided to be content sitting on the sand, searching for random sand bugs and building a drip castle. This was the second one of my series, and quite large compared to my other one, complete with a moat. For those of you who don't know what a drip castle is: Scoop up a soupy mixture of sand and water and fling it into a shape of sort. It's amazing how easily it will stick and stay. It created some really cool textures this way. I was hooked.

Boys love to crush, crumble, stomp, destroy and pulverize anything they can. I'm pretty sure that it took all of my hubb's energy NOT to stomp on my castle while I was making it. But I indulged him after I had finished and taken a few pictures. Needless to say it took all of 2 seconds for my 2 hour long drip castle to be obliterated. At least we both had our fun!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Crocheting Experiment

My experimentation with crocheting began in late '08/early '09. While I enjoyed crocheting mostly scarves, I did promise a friend of mine that I would crochet a cardigan and hat set for her soon to be born baby. This was in March. I promised to crochet it to fit for this winter. Since beginning my adventures in jewelry making, I had nearly abandoned my crocheting. Most of my time was taken up with jewelry-making.

However, the other day the weather proved so lovely that I just had to pull out my crocheting and begin this daunting task. Fortunately the pattern was marked "easy". The weather had turned, if only for a moment, quite cool for South Carolina. Since we South Carolinians do not get much of a "fall season", I took the opportunity to start crocheting before the temperature shot back up to 95 degrees.

I followed the pattern for the cardigan but wasn't please with the hat it didn't crochet in the round. (I guess that was too hard for an "easy" pattern. So I made my own and just kind of went along as I could...including earflaps and a cute pompom. I'm hoping it fits ok!!!

Here's the finished product as well as a neckwarmer I also crocheted for the new mommy. I think they turned out quite well.

For anyone that wants to crochet...I learned mostly by watching youtube videos and a simple beginner book. Sometimes books are hard to follow...therefore the youtube videos can really help you step by step. I'm a hands on kind of they helped a good bit!