Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Fire Power April 9, 2015

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Spoiler alert! This is a rather long post…but please stay tuned for the surprise ending!

First up. A milestone reached…  I’ve finally graduated from bezel setting stones in a classroom environment to my own home. This required the purchase of  a couple of helpful tools…a bezel rocker( also known as a bezel pusher) and a burnisher. Both inexpensive, but necessary for this work.  And both were available at a downtown jewelry supply store…San Diego has a historic eight story jewelry building with a couple of supply stores open to the public, watch repair, showrooms of diamond and pearls suppliers, wax casting services…so fun exploring each floor. Very sparkly.

tools

This latest piece went together pretty easily. So excited for find an inexpensive strand of turquoise chunks at a local bead store that went perfectly with this pendant stone.

I was able to solder the three bails quickly with my new Sterno torch.

turquoise necklace2

turquoise necklace 3

And here’s a little side story…I purchased a Sterno Candlelamp culinary torch about a year ago because I wanted something with a little more fire power for copper and larger pieces of metal. It worked great…loved its ease. Then one day it wouldn’t light. After searching the web for troubleshooting ideas, I contacted Sterno directly and  was nicely referred to their company communications manager and executive  chef Thad Smith. What a wonderful experience…not only did he offer to replace my torch, but when he found out I have a jewelry blog, Thad sent two additional torches for me to give away! Wow!

                                                                     Double Wow!

50114-132x132                           50114-132x132

So, blogger friends, here’s the fun for you…I’m giving away two Sterno torches. A few things to consider before you throw your name into the hat…

And I am holding off until Monday, April 13, for the giveaway, so folks have time to do a little research and thinking about it. May or may not be what would fit your needs and desires in a torch. Sadly, due to unruly foreign postage, I am sorry to limit this to U.S. readers.

First this giveaway is just the torch. You will need to purchase a canister of Sterno butane that fits the torch. I’m not brave enough to send this through the mail. There happens to be a Costco in my city that caters to restaurants and cooking needs…amazing, I know…so I was able to purchase a 4 pack. Cheap. This will last me a loooong time. Also saw that it was available at my local Sam’s Club…4 pack for under six dollars.

fuel

You might also wish to watch this little video with Thad Smith demoing the torch.

Remember the giveaway of the torches will start with on a new post on Monday. I’ll leave it open for one week and then draw two names on Tuesday, April 21st, so be sure you leave an email contact with your comment. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

   Thanks again to Thad Smith and the Sterno company

for this wonderful opportunity to share with you all!

                                                                                       Lynda

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Another One Done ! March 14, 2015

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Not doing much in the way of jewelry making these days, but definitely need to pick it up again…another crafty affair on March 28th. Since I live in a very large urban-suburban area, I am trying out a couple of different locations to see who’s buying.  This one is about 20 miles away on the coast and will benefit a high school’s athletic program.

We shall see…

The one project I did follow through on was finally finished up today. I knew it would involve some leather. Pretty happy that I didn’t scrap the project, even though I came close a couple of times. It’s all about the learning. And sometimes things just don’t end up how you thought they would, but they are still fine and dandy.

Here’s a look…copper bezel 2

copper bezel front

Copper bezel back

Copper bezel 1

copper bezel 3

I like the fact that the beading and leather slide strap compliment a rather large (for me) bezel setting. Enough details to keep it interesting, but not a distraction.

And that it is adjustable! Full length is 32 inches, but can be almost any length you wish.

So on to the next one… here’s a peek. It may involve copper or sterling leaves.

Just beginning to play around with those.

copper leaf

 

Done… February 14, 2015

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This piece has been in process for many weeks…and today, it is finished. Last step was three hours in the tumbler…after oxidizing and hand polishing. My nails are a total mess, but I’m happy-hearted.

This is by far my most challenging piece of jewelry.

lapis agate necklace

lapis agate necklace 2

And on to the next project…another pendant necklace. This time I wanted to use an etched copper back plate. The ocean jasper will first be soldered to a sterling silver back plate. Trimmed to leave a bit of silver edge showing around the stone. I’m going for a layered look. The small green agate will hang below the pendant.

          In my mind at least, this is how it will look.  We shall see…

in process ocean agate

ocean agate pendant

 

Quick Post of New Work January 23, 2015

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m still getting components and finished jewelry ready for the February 7th event…

With over 60 crafters, really feeling like I really need to bring my A game.

Just finished up this butterfly necklace with some lovely pearls.

Butterfly and pearls

Next are just a few earrings…

abalone pearls

Feather etch

flower etch

Flower etch with turn

 I hope that what sets my jewelry apart is that most all the components,

ear wires and headpins are hand made with lots of love and care.

And finally, a little progress report on my bezel setting work with this lapis agate.  I used a the sweat soldering technique to attach the ball details and bail. Which means melting tiny pieces of solder on the back of each piece first. Then hitting the setting from underneath with the flame to ‘remelt’ the solder to attach these pieces to the backing. Last steps were to set the stone and then a good polish and tumble.  My plan is to make a wire wrapped beaded chain with these beautiful little lapis lazuli stones I purchased at Lost Cities.

lapis agate pendant

Lapis agate with strand

Hope your weekend is a great one !

Lynda

 

Hard Work is Good January 16, 2015

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I am beginning the new year with some challenging work. And although there are some definite frustrations going on, it feels really good to try something hard. Before Christmas, I took a class on tinning pendants with a soldering iron…Always wanted to give this a try. It seemed pretty easy under the watchful eye of the instructor, so I sent in a last-minute request to Santa for a soldering iron and jewelry quality silver solder. And just in case Santa heard my plea, I mailed away for some glass slides.

Super excited to give this a try. However, neglected to read up on tinning the soldering tip before tinning a piece and think I ruined the tip. Luckily there was an extra couple of tips in the package and I realized I’d better do some internet investigating on how to do this. Better luck the second go round. Still learning and my efforts were a bit gloopy, but think I’ll get the hang of it with more practice. Adding the jump ring required several tries and a third hand tool.

paris ornament

             Eiffel Tower ornament made in the class.

                       Love the touch of silk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also gave tinning a try one of my polymer clay hearts,

just to see if it would work.

Might make some cute Valentine necklaces.

soldered heart button 2

 

This is my first and only attempt at home with my new Christmas present…pretty rough edges, so I decided to add some silver blobs at the top corners and make it look “organic”, “rustic”, and “artisan”.  Covers a lot of imperfections, I hope.

Tinned pendant

 

Hard Work, part two…I enrolled in the adult school metals class again, mainly to work on bezel setting stones.  I have been inspired by the work of  Deborah at Cold Feet Studio. Love the flowing, organic look of her pieces. She paints, quilts, doodles, and writes, too. An amazing artist.

So, instead of just the bezel and stone, I am trying a little bit of detailed work. I mean a very little…just a few silver blobs and a vine-looking bail for a pendant. Here’s a peek at my progress.  These were my choices for the stone. I chose the lapis agate. It took me three tries to successfully solder the bezel. Grrr…

Three stones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bezel is now soldered to the back plate, but these details are just sitting there for this photo. Next week, I’ll attempt to attach them. Then, there’s the finishing work of setting the stone and filing and sanding the back plate. Not sure if I’ll antique the silver yet, but I definitely want to hand make the chain, with perhaps some silver wrapped lapis beads. The best news so far was an easy-peasy sawing experience for the back plate.

Not one broken blade!

Lapis agate 2

 

I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress. Wish me luck !

 

February Wrap-up February 26, 2014

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So it’s the end of the month and time to post a little something about my year long Personal Pinterest Challenge…Don’t Just Pin It, Make It.

I made a deal with myself to try one new recipe and one crafty pin each month.

So here it is for February.

Crafty me…I knew this was something I wanted to try the moment I laid eyes one this.  Painted wine glasses.  I pinned so many great tutorials on how to do this, I had to create a new board for them all.

I chose to go the quick, easy, no fail polka-dot route, using some round sponge stamps from Martha Stewart (a deal at Michaels with coupon).

If I had used only basic acrylic paints, it would have been even faster with a low temp heat curing in the oven. However, I loved adding some transparent glitter paint with the turquoise and needed to go the loooooong, 21 day air dry method.

But so worth it, because I looooove them!  I now have a set of four.

glasses

Here’s the tutorial.

Now, on to the recipe and it’s a good one!

This was a recipe for Parker House Rolls from an episode on Martha Bakes.

One of the grands, Jenna, had seen it and asked me if we could try it out.

How could I refuse?

Sadly, I did not have the presence of mind to snap photos during the process, but let’s just say there was lots of flour flying around the kitchen.  AND, there is butter in the dough, between the layers, and brushed (we drizzled) over the tops when they came out of the oven. Now, that’s a dinner roll!

Here’s a pic of the finished product and too bad for you that this blog does not have smell-o-vision, because it was divine.

The aroma lingered in the kitchen for days…which was a lot longer than these rolls lasted.  Yum!

Jenna's Rolls

Jenna and the Parker House Rolls

T and J Rolls

Taylor and Jenna patiently waiting for them to cool a bit.

Yes, these were a lot of work and time.

I don’t have a fancy mixer with a dough hook, so lots of kneading by hand.

But, the final result was so satisfying in many ways,

especially the time spent in the kitchen with ones you dearly love.

And because this is after all a jewelry blog, here’s a look at some cool copper buttons made in my adult school metals class this session. Made from 24 g. sheet metal…cut, file, sand, texture, patina, polish, seal, and more polish.

copper buttons

And a bracelet made with one of these guys…

     with chalcedony and two of those gorgeous lamp work beads by Studio Juls.

Meantioned Juli Cannon’s bead work before, but it’s well worth repeating!

Lovely beads to design with for sure.

copper button bracelet 2

 

 

And an embossed and bezel set copper pendant…with a t-i-n-y opal.

 Teacher Charlene and I dug through every box and bag of stones in the cupboard to find a stone small enough to fit the bezel cup.  NEXT TIME, I will have the stone first, before I start the project!

Opal set pendant

Next week I hope to share a bit about our metals class challenge project

                                                        …and boy, is it interesting…

 

Creating with Cabochons Challenge REVEAL ! September 17, 2013

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The multi-talented Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime,

threw down the gauntlet about 6 weeks ago.

 Anyone care to join her in designing jewelry with those sometimes

tricky ‘hole-less’ wonders known as cabochons??

Having some recent, but limited, experience with bezel setting a couple of these stones,

I thought I would love to try some more techniques.

First realization was that there is a huge variety of cab materials…stones, of  course.

 But also metal, poly clay, glass, shell, resin, plastic…you get the idea.

If the piece doesn’t have holes and you can figure out a way

to wrangle it into your jewelry design, then it must be a cabochon.

Next ‘aha’ was all the ways one could ‘attach’ the cab to the design.

There’s glue, wire wrap, beaded bezel, metal bezels,

and tab or prong setting.  And maybe more.

 I decided to try out a few of these, starting with good old hypo cement glue.

First up is a glass pebble cab I made with a piece of scrapbooking paper…

some kind of old postcard stamp design.

I call him “Artie” for his art deco look.

Glued the cab to a filigree component, then glued a ring of seed beads to add some pizzazz.

stamp cabachon

Leaping Man

seed bead cab 2

Next, in keeping with the glue theme, I attached a stone cab

to the center of a brass filigree butterfly and gently folded the wings over to keep it safe.

I was a bit surprised to find that it looked like a scarab,

but the back of the piece gives a hint as to its origins.

cabchon 1

cab 2

cab 3

butterfly cab 2

My final technique was to work with a piece of amber beach glass

that I’d picked up at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA one summer.

Always intended to try my hand at drilling a hole, but never did.

For this cab setting, I textured a piece of brass and made holes with metal punch pliers.

Using 20 gauge gold wire, I cross wrapped the glass to the brass plate.

Wasn’t sure how to finish off the back, but I think this simple, tucked-in twist works.

crossed wires 2

 

crossed wires

beach glass 1

A side note:  I did try a prong setting with this little copper piece I had,

but there are too many tool marks from my attempts

to wrestle it into place for this to be used.

prong cab

prong cab 2

You may have noticed that seed beading a bezel was not one I attempted.

I tell myself that I just don’t have the patience.

If you are interested in this technique that produces a gorgeous setting for cabs however,

Sally posted a very thorough tutorial on her blog.

And if you are one who either never thought about using cabs in your jewelry work,

or wanted to and didn’t know how to go about it…

I do hope that my few explorations makes you think, “Hey, I could do that!”

I hope you’ll enjoy the many other designers that are participating

in this Creating with Cabochons blog hop. Please go to Sally’s blog for the links.