Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Stuff All Around

Took a couple days off to go to the Bay Area with Monica. Watched her play a game using her new leg pads (new to her… but still used). Here’s a shot of her protective big brothers.



And here are some of the new items. Colorful bracelets that work year round and a “House of Elliot”-inspired rope-length necklace. (Click on a photo for more details.)







Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Copper Etched Pendants and A Couple Gemstone Charm Bracelets

I recently posted two new charm bracelets. These ones feature gemstones.





Stay tuned for two more charm bracelets coming soon that feature vibrant resin beads.

I love how this next piece turned out. Sometimes, when a design is very simple I worry that the piece will get lost in the crowd, but I’m not worried about this one being passed over. Alex’s Lampwork beads are beautiful and the copper wire-wrapping really meshed well with them.



Listed a couple of hand-etched charms in my Etsy store.



And I think I’ll that for the upcoming holiday season I’ll be offering custom portrait jewelry, similar to this piece I just made for my daughter’s friends.



And for some hockey moms a few years back.



And yes, I plan to put the tutorial for this process in the book which I’m desperately trying to complete before the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Enameling Experiments and New Copper Etched Pendants

Tried out sgraffito (an technique in enameling) the other day and ended up with some double-sided earrings for myself… yay!



Then a day or two later while the kiln (and the enamels and what not) was still out, I decided to do a little more enamling experimentation.

Did blue and green on a cheap metal filigree bead, practiced some more sgraffito, and tested out my ability to wet-pack.



Then I did a reversible pendant that I listed (click on the photo to see the listing).



Last week, I did some copper etching. I used designs that are ancient Japanese crests for these one (click on a photo to see more info):





Then I did some of my own designs for these ones…





Took Mom and Monica to Calistoga yesterday for an afternoon in the hot springs. Here are two photos from a little walk we took while up there.




Okay, hope to have word on an exciting new etching project by the next time I blog.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just Catching You Up On Some of My Jewelry Creations

I’m WAY behind in showing you the new creations.

Let’s start with one from the Ancient Artifact line. I saw a rough sketch of a piece of jewelry found in Szilágysomlyó, Transylvania in Romania. It was quite old and inspired me to take a flight of fancy and create something that could have belonged to Elizabeth Bathory (Bathory family owned the property where the original jewelry was dug up).

Elizabeth Bathory is believed by some to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Anyway, I made a few of these “caged” stone necklaces…







Made another Swarovski crystal cuff bracelet, but due to the fact that I can’t get the sparkle to show in photographs, I’m going to lay off any new crystal creations for my online shop and only sell them in person. They really look SO different in person.



Every once in a while I feel the need for some simple wire-wrapping. Made two pair (the Pyrite ones sold right away). This pair is Lapis, Aventurine, and Prasiolite.



And still having fun with creations inspired by ancient jewelry, here’s a pair of silver and gold earrings that was my take on a pair excavated in Bulgaria. The original earrings featured a Serbian coin where I have chosen a plain disk that reminded me of a battle shield.



Coming up, experiments in Etching and Sgraffito Enameling.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Learning to Etch Sterling Silver

Etching sterling silver for the first time. A few things to purchse and a lot to learn.

Had to order silver nitrate (ground shipping only), stole one of the cats’ stainless steel food bowls (don’t worry; they won’t get it back), picked up coffee filters, aluminum wire, and more protective gloves.

I cut my 2-inch square out of the only piece of silver sheet I have then decided to experiment on a bead-cap size silver disk first.

The problem arose instantly… black gunk coming out of the etching project and blocking the connection of electricity to silver disk. My aluminum wire, apparently.

So I have to wonder… is my wire not really solid aluminum (although the package just states “aluminum” so I think that’s what it is) or is aluminum NOT the best conductor when using silver nitrate?

Small flat disk came out okay so I domed it and am awaiting a round of patinization.

Took the leap and tried the larger silver square next. Taped and nail-polished over most of the aluminum wire for minimal gunkitude.

The silver, however, still makes quite the mess on the face of the piece as it’s etching. Enough to interfere with the etching process. Not sure what if anything can be done about that. I took the piece out and rinsed it twice, but there still seemed to be stuff adhering to the places I wanted etched. So then I took a brush to it and (as expected) some of the resist started coming off. At that point I decided a shallow etch was better than a crappy etch (my silver sheet is only 26 gauge anyway so maybe shallow is best all around).

Cleaned the piece up and see some pitting where the more solid places of resist were (PNP) so will go over those areas with nail polish next time.

Won’t really be able to form an opinion until I file and patina these guys.

So for my special project I have the same design in copper (and one in reverse on copper), one in bronze, and one in sterling.

Since this is a design I was commissioned to make for a company, I’m not sure I can show you photos of the finished products, but I can show you the bead cap (after I patina it).

Well, have to try to get to bed now… long day tomorrow (driving to San Jose rink and back).