Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

From This to That… December 4, 2015

Yesterday morning was spent making a very nice stash of new copper etched components. I’ve had several people request a tutorial for this process. However, I do not feel nearly competent to a) explain it thoroughly enough or b) do an equal or better job that many already out there on the internet.  I searched many jewelry sites, like Rio Grande, for tutorials on the method I wanted to try. And did a search with “etching with ferric chloride tutorial”. You’ll get some for computer uses, but keep digging. And watch as many as you can before trying this…it does use a hazardous waste material…and one needs to be savvy about precautions. That said, it is addictive…No, not to the chemical, silly…the gorgeous things it does to copper.

 

I thought today I would give you a quick run down of the steps in the process. So you’ll know why my hands and nails are trashed, mostly from all the sanding and filing. Plus, I’ll admit I don’t usually use gloves for the LOS.  I’m too embarrassed to even go get a manicure.  Anyone else know what I’m talking about?? I’m not even going to show you a picture of my hands.

So how do I get from this…

Copper sheet metal I buy by the pound at an industrial metal supply. This is about half of what I purchased. It’s maybe 12×12 inches.

DSCN4711

 

Then…

Punch out circles or hand cut shapes.

File, file, file, sand.

Punch and file holes for ear wires or attaching dangles.

Apply stamped design with StazOn ink.

Etch…this is where you might view/read tutorials.

After neutralizing in baking soda solution, clean off ink.

Sand lightly with 0000 steel wool.

Oxidize.

Clean and buff with wet/dry sand paper and steel wool.

Use dapping block to create nice curves.

Tumble for two hours.

Apply two coats of Renaissance Wax.

Last buffing.

Then, here is what you get…

 

etched pendants

 

etched rounds

 

etched pieces

 

I also threw in a couple of pairs of hammered pendants.

 

Here’s a peek at a few earrings I made with some components

last week for the new shop in Hillcrest.

 

copper hearts

 

copper pendants

 

etched pendulums

 

So, that’s how I get from this to that.

If you haven’t already given etching metal a try,

I hope you are encouraged to at least add it to your jewelry bucket list!

 

 

October’s We’re All Ears Challenge… October 16, 2015

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moniquelhuillier_fall2015_2

Thought I’d start right off with this month’s inspiration photo

from the Earrings Everyday blog …

Some rich, luscious creations from the Monique L’huillier Fall collection.

While I’d like to think I could rock the third look on the right,

I’m sure I’d more likely be wearing the first dress (in my dreams ).

How about you ?  See anything you’d like walk the runway in?

Erin, who hosts this challenge, thinks there is a serious lack of jewelry here.

I agree.

So we were asked to design a pair of earrings for one of these looks… or all of them.

I knew I had just the right colored beads for this and what I wanted to do with them.

Love these flower beads…reminds me of hibiscus blooms maybe?

Added a dash of old gold glass rondelles and faceted glass crystal brios,

all wrapped up in my prepped copper wire.

My biggest problem was in photographing them to show off that gorgeous deep plum

 purple in the Czech glass flower.  I tried several locations in my yard to get the sun to

shine through them. Came close, but just could not capture their real beauty.

So I leave you with all my attempts…

save 2

This next one is probably the closest to their true beauty.

Save

save 3

A fun challenge for sure! Hope you can get over to Earrings Everyday

and see what the other designers have created for these looks.

 

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

 

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

 

Nebula November 20, 2014

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Earrings Everyday has a monthly earring challenge that I occasionally participate in…

love that it’s a quick turn around time, so if I decide to jump in on a particular month,

then I need to follow through quickly.

This month’s inspiration was just too cool and out there for me to pass up…

a student short film from Gobelins, l’ecole de l’Image,in Paris.

This 3 plus minute wonder struck the creative nerve of Erin Prais-Hintz who took charge of

November’s We’re All Ears Challenge.

Kudos, Erin, for sharing this with us. Loved it!

I was struck by the gorgeous imagery of mist and water…

the transformational power of the water in that other-worldly creature.

My earrings are made from 18 gauge sterling silver wire,

formed into beautiful swirls…dripping with opalite droplets.

nebula 1

Nebula 2

And just to show how lovely these are on…

(Thank you, dear Tay, for being my model for this shot )

Opalite Swirls 2

   A side note: I looked up the meaning of the film’s title, Nebula…I kind of had an idea, but not really.

A nebula (from Latin: “cloud”; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature, or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way.

So, I went back and watched this little wonder again with a new appreciation…

 

Doesn’t Feel Like Fall… October 4, 2014

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So I’ve been whining a bit that even though the calendar says it’s been officially Fall for several weeks now, the thermometer says otherwise. In the upper nineties again and likely to stay that way for a while. (Beg forgiveness from those who suffered last winter’s severe storms.) Meanwhile the media and internet sites, (cooking, clothing, jewelry) that I follow are chock full of gorgeous Autumn colors and flavors. I want to make big pots of soup, wear thick sweaters, and (pay someone else) to sweep up the giant piles of lovely leaves from our liquid amber trees in the back yard.

Meanwhile, regardless of my personal feelings about the current state in the weather, I need to get moving on some jewelry making. These two Autumn inspired necklaces have been finished recently. The first one sits up high with the copper leaf falling just under the collar bone, using copper chain and waxed linen cord.  The leather strap and brassy chain piece is 35 inches in length, more with the focal piece of Rainbow Agate and Turquoise drops.

copper leaf necklace

copper leaf close up

Leather strap necklace

This one is an add-on today…I’m apparently on a roll! Finally!

chunky citrine 2

Again with a leather strap and brass findings…

stones are rough chunks of citrine, I think. Someone help me out?

Chunky citrine

How is your Autumn going?

Any jewelry inspirations from this season?

Love to hear what you’re up to !

 

Tiny Totems August 19, 2014

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If you’re looking for the artisan-look ear wire tutorial, go HERE.

 

As I sat this morning looking at the total mess of seed beads

strewn all over the work bench…

(I am definitely not a neat-nik when it comes to making jewelry)

My eyes spied those silver plated ball head pins I used in yesterday’s tutorial.

Inspiration hit!

What a lovely time I had stacking beads to create these mini-totem earrings.

Looking at the gorgeous pile of beady sticks is mesmerizing…

matte, iridescent, bright, subtle, faceted, smooth…

I could hardly go wrong with the mix and matching.

I mostly stacked up one earring, then flipped it upside down

to follow the pattern for the second earring.   Easy random designing !

 

Totems 1

 

Totems 2

 

Totems 3

 

Now I just need to go make a bucket full of those handcrafted ear wires !