Just a quick post to share one resolution from the last post a couple of weeks ago. The other piece is still ‘under consideration’. That one’s going to take more time to resolve its problems.
What started out as a bracelet focal has become a simple necklace. I did add a pale blue Swarovski crystal dangle as an accent to the glass opal in the setting. Sweet and simple.
I did want to share this piece that I started in last week’s class, but finished this afternoon. About a year ago, I purchased this polished ammonite slice for it’s intriguing spiral design and gorgeous deep brown tones. Had no idea what to do with it until now.
Deciding that a wire prong setting was the best approach, I began playing with 16 gauge wire and shaping to conform to the shape as best I could. A bit tricky with the uneven shape for sure. Persistence paid off. This setting really went together easily and fast. Not bragging, just amazed and grateful. The last time I tried a prong setting, two prongs kept breaking off when I was setting the stone in. Grrr…
Finished up this piece with a strand of polished faceted agates in a matching color palette. The sterling spiral clasp seemed an appropriate closure.
Is there ever a time when something grabs hold of your attention and won’t let go? I’ll be honest and say that this necklace owes everything to a design by the fabulous Lorelei Eurto. I wonder if it’s too much of a copy. Can’t say. I can only be honest about what I know about its inspiration with you all. And honest about how happy it made me to put it together. I hope you’ll visit her blog and see why I’m so gaga over it.
Her recent blog post showcased some new beads by Halcraft (available at Michaels) that just smacked me between the eyes…looked like bleached wood ‘potato chips’. I could barely finish breakfast, before running to my nearest Michaels and buying the one strand they had left. They have three more on order and I’ll be calling on Wednesday to see if they have arrived. Promise I’ll leave some for you all.
So here it is…after that confession and all…
Besides those cool bleached wood chips, there some shiny agates…just like the ones you’d pick up on the beach and put in your pocket… and a gorgeous lamp work bead by Ikuyo Yamanaka. You can see more of her impressive work here.
This one seemed perfect as it looks like a tiny little tide pool for my beachcomber necklace.
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.
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.
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.
Then, here is what you get…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
And just to show how lovely these are on…
(Thank you, dear Tay, for being my model for this shot )
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…
Hi, My name is Lynda.
Exploring the wide world of jewelry making in my retirement from teaching. I'm grateful to be a part of this worldwide community of jewelry bloggers, where I receive encouragement, inspiration, and sometimes...a kick in the pants to take a risk!
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