Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not too much of an update.

My goal for this blog is to include at least one picture per post. Thus far I'm not doing very well.

Aside from that, though, I have plans for a couple of old pieces that need some work. One ring I've been planning on inlaying myrtle wood for about 5 years. The other is a plain, medium-width band that has a flattened top and told me it wanted a stone and some silver added on. It's funny how some old pieces are coming to my attention now; before this I had mostly given up on them as attempts that didn't quite make the cut. However, I LOVE recycling my materials and hate wasting metal. I think it adds a nice challenge to the work and something different if I make myself use up my scraps. That's kind of how the cuff bracelets came along and they seem to be popular with several people who have seen them (pictured above).

I plan on listing some pieces by the end of this weekend, even if they are not new. This includes the cuff bracelet above. I am so excited about the etsy community and I really hope that when I get things going I can become more involved; maybe even join a street team.
Lastly, silver tubing has so many uses! Bezels, bales, (bails? I have seen both used quite a bit, but I can't figure out which is the correct spelling), making circle cut outs, etc. I am going to have fun with this material.

Friday, November 7, 2008

grinding away

I have been spending the few hours of free time here and there finishing my recently cast pieces. It's a long, arduous process, made even more so by my lack of equipment. I am definitely missing the grinder and the dremel I had at my disposal in college. I'm slowly building up the calluses as well as slowly destroying my recently manicured nails. I'm not giving up on them yet, though!

The most exciting bit of news is that I'm getting a torch set up sooner than I thought! When my order arrives and I have solder boards I will have a small space in my dad's garage for my work bench. This means adding stones to the rings I created with that intention as well as the pendants, and fabricating work! As much as I like casting, I've been feeling extremely limited lately working only in wax. It's a much different mindset to create a sculpture by taking away rather than building up. I like building better. I could never be a stone mind just can't plan ahead like that.

There are still a lot of things I want to make, not limited to:

1. Wide variety of stacking rings
2. " " bracelets
3. More organic bezels, bezels that are part of the piece instead of just sitting on top of it
4. Bezel set faceted stones using SS tubing
5. soft square rings
6. Incorporating textiles
7. Incorporating copper
8. Earrings! Post earrings, hoop earrings, ear wire earrings. This is more for the business side of things than anything I know that most people like earrings and they are something I could potentially sell relatively cheaply and make fairly easily. Watch me eat my words as I try for hours to solder earring posts on.

Right now I want to play with simple and small and fun. That is likely because the majority of the pieces I'm working on finishing right now are big and bold and I'm recognizing that big and bold is not for most. Before I can really work small, however, these nails need to be significantly shorter. :P

Monday, November 3, 2008


I finally ordered my supplies from Rio Grande. Unfortunately prices have gone up significantly since my last catalog (2004, I believe), so my birthday money did not quite stretch as far as I had hoped. But it should be enough to get going with the finishing steps. A polishing kit is on its way, along with steel shot cleaner for round 2. Pickling Acid for cleaning after any torch work, though I still need a crockpot to put it in! I also ordered a few things for stone settings, including some new itty bitty cabachons (3mm - carnelian, citrine, jade) and a burnisher to set them.

I also got a few soldering boards. My dad has a torch that I am crossing my fingers has enough power to heat up the rings I want to put the stones on!

My copper tongs and burnisher are on back order, however, so that's too bad. I can't use the pickle without the tongs, so hopefully it won't be long.

Last thing on the list is a strainer for the shot and I will be good to go.

I have so much that I want to make right now and so many ideas from magazines and other jewelry makers that I need to start DOING. I have drawn designs and saved all sorts of pictures on the computer to the point that I don't think I can process anymore until I get some of them out...need to make room!