Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Results and Redesign

Much Thought and Trouble and This is What Happens

Still experimenting. Temperatures, products. Timing and order of process.
Will glue a pin/pendant hanger on this. One inch by one-and-a-half inches in size. Reflects light like a mirror in a window. Lots of texture in the image, some unintended. Very clear top and very smooth black back and sides.

Have a few more ideas to test.

Created some small images to put in handmade settings to use as earrings. Getting the steps down, consistent results.

Probably won't put on Etsy. Very difficult to photograph, because of the reflectivity.

Working on these for the magazine article assignment, for the summer issue.

Need to be sent out by Jan. 15, should have four pieces completed by then.

Learning curves and sudden breakthroughs.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stages Of Show

The Big Top

Have scheduled a Main Showcase tomorrow. Trying to tidy up the Etsy site, like cleaning house before the guests arrive.

Spent the morning trying out new things with the glass and engraving, now the trick is to get good photos.

A little nervous. Feels like going to the Etsy superbowl or something.

The soldering workshop is in a different room than the jewelry assembly station. There are glass chips and fumes, better to keep away from the main living space.

Very windy out today, have to crack a window while soldering to draw the fumes outside. Could hear the gusts.

Trying not to lose sight of the project for the article also. Transferring some images to polymer clay. Lots of things midway, need to wrap up a few.

Should go cut and layer some glass to start fusing. Love the dichroic on a black glass background, reflects the light right back up through the cabochon.

It's good to have bread in the oven, glass in the kiln and jewelry pliers in hand.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tool Bench Bonanza

Working Between Chores

Got the old soldering iron running today, haven't unpacked the new one with the small jewelry tip. It looks so clean and new and nice. Maybe later this week.

Big sponge full of water to wipe the tip and sal ammoniac bar nearby to keep it all coated and tinned. Protects the tip.

The coffee lid with blue folded paper shop towel is full of oil, and the pliers and other tools go into it.

The flux is hard on the tools, so keeping them in the oil and rubbing occasionally with steel wool helps clean them up.

There are the glass cutting and breaking tools, stainless steel ruler with cork on the back, and a Sharpie pen for writing on glass. Under them is a heat resistant ceiling tile, good for keeping glass shards from going all around.
Usually have more lighting, turned some off for the photos.

Don't keep any good tools in the soldering station, only the old pliers, scissors and jewelry tools. The flux is too hard on them to use the good ones.

Experimenting today with new ways to create settings for the fused glass cabochons. Want something that shows them off with a nice style to them.

Liking the results. Something new, will have to photograph for putting on Etsy.

Need to melt more glass, have to put kiln wash on the slumping forms. Takes several coats and has to dry completely between each one. Want to slump some small plates, and make more jewelry cabochons tonight.

Have dinner and a movie also - some things can be drying, fusing and cooling at the same time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pieces and Bits

And the results are like this. Here are photos of the pieces after polishing and before assembly. Then photographs, and up on Etsy later today. These are the back sides of three of the Victorian style focal pieces.

The hanging loops have been added and patina applied to the metal. These pendants are about an inch to 2 inches in size. Some of the metal has a darkened silver finish and some has a copper tone finish. Here are the rights sides of the same three pieces.

The small rectangular charm is one of my favorites. It says 'Contiuum d'Art Soiree, La Cinquieme Annee" in french.

The faux cameo has a soft pink color background and the lacy back is white.

When the buffer is running, a close hold has to be clamped on these small pieces, so the buffing wheel doesn't grab them and fling them across the room. One piece is missing right now, it went flying and so far hasn't been found.

These Victorian stype pieces include some larger sized pendants.

The Wheat Dove piece is 2 1/2 inches tall. Plan to use wrapped pearls and a shaped chain to attach to it. Some have holes drilled for wire wrapping and others have loops attached.

When planning the pendant an idea is there - how will the finished piece be created and how does the focal piece need to be created to work with that idea.

Two types of designs were made, the Victorian style and a more Asian style. The asian pieces are large in scale and very distinctive in style. Made one that looks like a dragon or a gargoyle.

The fronts are in the photo on the right, the backs in the photo on the left.

Attempt to make sure that the backs are as interesting as the fronts, to make the pendants reversible if that is a preference, but to make sure that if the pendant rotates the back view is as finished as the fronts.

Most of the pieces have holes drilled for wire wrapping, but a few have loops added. The piece to the right is one of my favorites, the coloring and detail on it turned out so great. It has a hole drilled through the top. I don't know yet if I will list it as a bead or make a pendant necklace with it.

Can't wait to get the pieces assembled so they are finished and photographed for Etsy.
(to see more polymer clay posts, click on the 'polymer clay' label)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Next Act

The creativity room is open

Making new molds today, to create new focal items. Have been making sketches all week on napkins, on notebooks and everywhere to preserve the ideas as they come. Will share some photos of the process.
Dedicated to creating not cooking, the calibrated toaster oven and timer sit on the table next to me.
The buffer is ready to put a polished sheen on the pieces.

The dremel is there in the background for drilling, cutting and polishing.

The pieces look like lumps of coal at first, baked and blackened. Like they were dipped in tar, down into every crevice and corner.

My left hand, the hand that holds the pieces, is the same. Fingernails embedded with dark color. But no reason to clean up now, until this stage ends.

Highlighted with silver, gold and topaz to embed the color in strategically.

The pasta machine and roller, ceramic tile and plastic grid are ready on the rolling file beside me. Odd how much of the equipment for creating the pieces are equally at home in the kitchen, but now dedicated solely to creating in another way.

Next comes the scrubbing and sanding to enhance and smooth the surface, using an old tupperware bread container to hold the water.

Having hands in the water to scrub and sand will help remove the dark embedded under the fingernails.

A process with numerous steps, the pieces change and take on their individuality during the process.
Beginning as an idea or thought, they develop a reality of their own that emerges under my hands.

It's fun to watch them become finished, and to let the ideas form for what they will be part of and be worn.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Replica Instruments and Instructions

Astrolabes and Scopes

Mariners use the astrolabe to find their positions in relation to the sun and stars in the sky when on long sea voyages. In use since the middle ages, they facinate me, like other instruments such as compasses and scales.

Want to make a replica instrument, not duplicating the function of an actual astrolabe but imitating its spirit. A tool for finding current location and identifying future destination. Wouldn't it be great to have something like that for life, to see ahead and plan.
Could be made in metal, with images and gears and directions for life. Looking worn and well-used.

The idea facinates.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Glass Houses

Tiny Charms for Christmas Ornaments To Be Polished

Made these engraved glass panels this morning to put in for the 10% sale on Etsy for Christmas ornaments. The ones on the right haven't been polished and buffed to a sheen on the silver yet.

The engraving on the glass is subtle, will be hard to photograph.

Plan to offer some embellished and ready to hang in the window or on the tree, and some just as panels if others want to use them for jewelry components or to create their own ornaments with them. is doing very well, the portfolio there is getting some attention and the feedback is very helpful. Lots of talented and impressive people of all genres on that site.

The Etsy-Bloggers Street team are offering 10% off, and these little ornaments are my contribution to the Etsy Street Team Christmas sale.

Love these little pieces, very fun and new to make.

Finished off with a crystal dangle and a tree hanger with an ornamental bead.

This one is going on the tree downstairs, hanging right in front of one of the lights on the tree.