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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Featured Artist Nicola or Murano Silver, What I'm Working on Currently, The Hockey Boys Sing at the Airport, Humble Beginnings with Enamel


Today’s featured artist and piece of jewelry are:

Nicola of Murano Silver and…

Isn’t that a fabulous piece?! I’m so totally in love with it. Take the breath-taking beauty of it, combined with the name/inspiration, and wow!

Here’s the listing for it.

Anyway, this is Nicola’s shop on the Etsy website. She also has her own website, but seems to have more jewelry listed on the Etsy site.

Here’s another one of Nicola’s creations that caught my attention…

Check that one out here. But at 1003 views and 16 hearts already, I’m obviously not the first to admire it.

BTW, I was totally tickled when a friend emailed me and said that she saw Beau’s shop featured on my blog the other day and consequently bought her first Evolving Creations Lampwork bead. Yay! Win-win all around.


I’ve got two new pendant necklaces sitting here in front of me, waiting to be photographed. I hate setting up the photo stuff for two items… I should finish some of the pieces I have that are half done. Ha ha ha!

Maybe I’ll take a break from experimenting with enamel and get some jewelry under my belt.

Although, being sick and resting (actually IN BED!) took a few days out of my schedule too.

Oh, I did take a gorgeous set of Toni Lutman’s boro beads (can’t wait until she starts listing her boro sets on her website!) and started something unusual (for me, anyway). I’m taking sections of 16 gauge fine silver and forming a shape around each bead which is linked to the next. It is supposed to be a necklace… but I never pigeon-hole my pieces until they’re actually finished. They’ve been known to make sharp left or right turns along the way.

BTW, I think I’m going to combine Going Green Jewelry and this blog.

But boy, that gets me anxious to get back to using up some of the gorgeous gemstones I have… that I always see when I’m looking for something else and go, “Oh, I’ll have to come back and use those sometime soon.”


Coach emailed this link to all the parents so I’m assuming it’s okay to share. :-) Looks like the boys, at the airport… waiting for their luggage.

ENAMELS (still struggling with them)

Before strep throat hijacked me, I was experimenting with enamels.

Things I learned so far:

1) My respect for anyone who does enameling well has climbed a hundred-fold from its already very high place.

2) Enameling on a small piece of PMC with a Blazer micro-torch isn’t the same as using the same torch on fine silver wire. One won’t melt no matter how hard I try, the other dissolves before my eyes. Sigh…

3) Sometimes enamel doesn’t stick (fuse?) to the base metal piece. I don’t know why and/or what I’m doing wrong… yet.

I think part of my problem is the lack of technical knowledge (I realize this is a sweeping statement, but bear with me). For example, I’m perusing an enameling website and one page sells “Gilding Metal”. I don’t know what a gilding metal is nor if it’s something I may need as I start out. Shrug.

Here’s another: “Spun and Stamped Metal Pieces” Okay, I get the metal and the stamped part… but what is “spun”?

Then there’s a page with enamel supplements. What’s “Easy Scrolling”?

Okay, back to my experiments. As usual, when things start messing up, I go further back into basic territory.

Enameling was working on the pennies… so I went back to those for now. I designed a necklace that involves nine pennies plus two more for matching earrings. The concept (showing the phases of the moon) is not a new or original one, but it’s something I should be able to do and that’s all I need at this point. Some amount of success.

I went to my library and picked up my copy of “The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration” by Linda Darty (not my local library… my living room library).

Click on the book cover to see the Amazon listing.

And THIS TIME… I started to READ it rather than just looking at the pretty pictures (hey, I have a lot of books, what can I say?).

Wow! Talk about a wealth of info! In just the first few pages, here are some of the important things I’ve learned:

When you add water to enamel powder, don’t stir it… this creates air bubbles.

If the piece is on your fingertips when you sift the enamel on it, you don’t run the risk of wrecking the edges when you pick it up to transfer it to the trivet. With it on your fingertips, you just transfer it immediately after sifting.

Linda suggests sifting in a spiral (circular) motion starting from the outer edges of the object, working your way inwards.

The purpose and method for washing enamels.

Well, there’s a ton of info. A highly recommended book if you are interested in the subject.


About the price of most tutorials I see online… and we’re talking 176 pages of GLORIOUS photos, hundreds (if not thousands) of useful tips, clear instructions, and more. Just amazing.

So here’s how I see my recent… issue. I took a class in torch enameling at BABE. It was a fabulous class… but so fabulous that I came out of there thinking I was good at enameling. ROFLOL Well, not really, but the class definitely made me feel like it was doable.

But I tried to jump right in… without knowing anything. And unlike some mediums, enameling has a lot of science and technique involved that must be understand and/or adhered to.

I want to do it, though, so I’m really going to try to learn it properly. I will give it the respect I feel it deserves and I will work hard at it.

Anyway, I recently got some things I’d been needing (liver of sulfur chunks, penny brite, etc). But there are a few things I’m still in need of (silver disks, tubing, CMC, etc).

AND… before I got sick, I was going to purchase some sterling chain… I’m very short of that right now. I need to get on it.

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