Saturday, April 19, 2014

Commissioned Necklace

A commissioned necklace this week - with a gorgeous sterling silver clasp bought at Clasp On Clasp Off while at Spring Bead Fest in Philadelphia last weekend. Then necklace idea came from the fused fine silver peacock bracelet I made last week.

beautiful sterling silver and onyx clasp

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fun in the Kitchen

Have studio (tools, silver, etc) will travel.  Last week I worked at the shop and today I worked in my kitchen.  I will conquer this "no studio space right now" thing for sure!

I belong to a mailing list for Beaducation - if you haven't seen their YouTube vidoes I highly recommend you go check them out - they have everything there and their videos are very well done.  They have a number of different instructors and they teach everything from beadweaving to riveting to fusing.  Go check them out.

Last week I got a link to one of their videos - "Fused Fine Silver Peacock Chain Tutorial" and I really wanted to try it.  I have been working with fine silver for a while now - I prefer it because it fuses with no need for solder and it doesn't get firescale the way sterling silver does - cuts WAY down on the clean up.

I watched the video through once - (wonderful instructor - Iris Sandkuhler - kudos for such a detailed video) and because the instructor went into so much detail she made it look manageable - and not at all scary.  It's not that I am afraid of the torch, after all I do torch enameling and LOVE it, rather it's a fear of melting the silver when I try to fuse it.  And this project calls for 20 gauge fine silver (although I used 18 gauge and am very happy with the results) so that made it all the more intimidating.

I laid out all the tools and followed along with the video - and I can definitely say I will be making this chain a lot.  It was fun to do and makes up fast (I used a 3/4" copper pipe and 18 gauge fine silver).

the links

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New from the Bench

I do not have a studio right now - through moves and job changes I have a pile of boxes that have to be unpacked and no where to use a hammer and my beloved power tools.  That is until I realized I could "borrow" a bench at the shop (where I work) and hammer to my hearts content.

I wandered the shop and looked for things that would help me with my project - copper bangle bracelets with "organic rose shapes" as a focal.

Of course, wire, some cutters, needle nose pliers, and files...............then I had to find something to use as a "mandrel" -

............and I found this part that is the perfect diameter.  Using 12 gauge wire on these - I wrapped the part 

and then kept wrapping to form the rose shape

Once the wire was wrapped as much as I could wrap it, I took it off the "mandrel", finished the wrap using my tools, then filed the ends.  

I wanted the bangle part to have a hammered look - (I found this piece of steel at the back of the shop - cleaned it up a bit and it was perfect for what I needed!)

I found another part in the shop that I used as a sort of working mandrel - the part was secured in the vise and I just moved the bangle around while hammering the outer edge to give it a hammered look.

I tumbled them and now I just have to decide if I am going to add a patina to them or not.

It was a very enjoyable day "in the studio".