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Friday, May 1, 2009

Photographing Jewelry, Bronze and Copper Clay, Funny Cat Pictures


Okay, time for s'more info.

This (btw, all these photos were with my cell phone... sorry, I haven't been home in days)…

... is a bracelet I made that has many flaws, but it was a learning experience.

You may recall, these are what the sections looked like straight out of the kiln…

They are bronze with copper inlay.

So here are some of the things I learned:

1) The inlay parts need to be more pronounced and/or more prolific. An especially bad design flaw is that one of the center pieces (most seen) barely has any copper on it at all.

2) Because of the way these types of bracelets are, the main way to connect the segments will be very large jump rings. If your segments are small (like these) they can be visually swallowed up by the jumprings. Look at the bracelet… don't you think the jumprings totally overpower the segments? Will make larger segments next time. Monica made one, but I haven't gotten any photos of it yet.

3) I really have to work on … what's the word?... ending up with a smoother finished product.

Take a look at a close-up of one of the bracelet segments…

I have no desire to have my metal clay pieces look like cellulite. Where can I do the refining? Before baking, after, both? Most likely both.

I wonder if I should just throw a bunch of scratchy texture on these pieces, kind like it was before I did the sanding…

Anyway, this is what the bracelet looks like on. See what I mean about the jumprings?

Remember those pieces of Monica's that I showed you (in the background) in this photo... this is after baking but before anything else.

I finally got some tools and we got to sanding.

This is (sorry, again a photo taken with my cell phone) what it looks like now and Mon's given me permission to list it for sale (after I take decent photos).


Those who've heard me gripe for years now, know that taking photographs is one of my downfalls. I do need to spend more time experimenting with other techniques, but sometimes I don't even know what to try next.

I have a lovely necklace ready to list… except that I can't get decent photos. For me, necklaces are one of the toughest things to photograph, second only to earrings.

Here's a picture of the necklace on my mannequin…

I'm not thrilled with this photo, but it will do because when I show my jewelry on a model, it's more so the potential customer can get an idea how the piece lays and what it looks like on. This can be very different than how a piece of jewelry looks when it's flat on a piece of paper. Jewelry has to be more than a combination of nice-looking beads. It has to have balance, instant aesthetic appeal, comfort, etc.

This is the only salvageable photo of the necklace not on a model…

It's not terrific, but it's passable.

Dreadful, however, is what I ended up with when I decided I wanted a shiny black background to photo this necklace.

I typically use (recently, anyway) a black to white (gradient) background. Not overly shiny.

But when I see something (else) I like, I want to try emulating it. Actually, there WAS something I could purchase as a background, but I was taking the shorter (faster… and apparently more disastrous) road instead. I went to Tap Plastics and had them cut a few options for me. I have not gotten one decent photo on any of the backgrounds. Hmph!

In this photo, the focus is completely off. I can't seem to ever get ALL the dust off the background. The top of the photo cube reflects in the background. The colors are dreadful. Anything metallic gets totally washed out. ARGH!

The only thing I like about it is the one reason I wanted to shoot on shiny black in the first place. See how the reflection is pretty prominent? I like that. I do NOT like when people photograph on mirrors, however, because that makes the jewelry look like twice more than what it is.

I'll obviously keep experimenting. I have to reshoot that necklace.

These earrings…

These earrings...

And... a bunch of other stuff. Sigh…


Since I've shared some of my favorite cheezburger cats with you…

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions


  1. I cracked up over the cellulite comment. It's not cellulite...it's texture. It adds dimension. :) I wonder if you tried flattening the jump rings into ovals if they wouldn't be so overpowering?

    Regarding the photographing on shiny black, did you line the top of your cube with something black? The shiny black surface will reflect the top of your photo cube.

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