Sunday, December 21, 2008
First we put a piece of sheet metal down to protect the workbench. I have read that ceramic tiles work well for this purpose and some added to the back board improve safety. We then got out not one, not two, but three fire extinguishers and read how to work them. No need to have Fire Marshall Bill show up.
Jeanette owns the Eurotool Max Flame $38.50 on the left and Andria owns the Blazer $85.00 on the right. Both torches use high grade butane that is purchased in a tobacco / cigar shop. They preformed equally well and balled the metal to make head pins. Right now I'm not ready to buy a torch, since I am focusing on cold connections. However, there will come a day that I will shell out some dollars, because I'm a tool junky. At that time I will go for the Eurotool and save myself a few dollars.
There are lots of articles on the web about the many types of torches. Some say you can even use a kitchen torch that is used for creme brulee and costs only a few dollars. For those who want to melt glass there are some big dollar high performance torches. So shop around and do a lot of research before diving in to make sure the torch you get serves your purpose.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
For those of you who haven't use liver of sulphur be warned! This stuff stinks. It stinks a lot! So I was outside in the cold, so the smell wouldn't overtake me. I'm sure my neighbors must have thought I was a bit weird. But I think the few minutes in the cold was worth it. Al tho, it would have been smart of me to have put on a coat. Dah!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
These Swarvoski crystals are named ruby. I have always associated ruby with a deep red, but apparently those wonderful folks at Swarvoski headquarters think ruby is a bit more violet.
These crystals are surrounded with a silver filigree cone that was originally created as caps on multiple sting necklaces.
I am using a different photo editing software and still need to master the effects of silver, the details of the filigree are so much prettier in person.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
One tip that I really am excited about is titled 'Reconsider your discards'. This tip really is a hit with me. It reminded me that every piece of jewelry, no matter how ugly or imperfect I may believe, is a potential sale. Or, as they say 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. It confirms that not every piece of jewelry that is made is perfect.
The tip goes on to say to sell these not so perfect pieces under an alias and not your name. Then put them up on eBay and let the bidding begin. Go for it! Get that unwanted inventory out there and some cash in your pocket.
You might want to read this article, as well as some of the past and future business articles. Check with your library or local book store and see if they carry it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Since I have been spending so much time learning and practicing new techniques I have not taken the time to get new items into my Etsy shop. But that has finally been accomplished. I'm on my way to stocking my inventory. My new goal is to stock new items in my shop every week.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Now back to wire.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
There is so much art. I had a terrific time looking. There are a few sources, but the most impressive is the Garrett County Council for the Arts. They have a gallery in town with many works of art hung on the walls; oil, acrylics, water colors, pencil and metal hanging sculptures. The counters and displays were full of glass, wood and my favorite cold connected wire jewelry. Here's their link http://www.garrettarts.com/index.html
The area is also the home of Spruce Forest, http://spruceforest.org/ with its many artists and their studios. Unfortunately for me, but lucky for them, the studios are closed on Sundays, so I couldn't visit them. But they are the very first item on my list for my next visit to the Appalachian Mountains. Some of the art that is offered includes painting, metal sculpturing, wood working, print making and yes indeed, cold connection jewelry.
Here I am checking out the Historical Society Museum. No jewelry to be found, but there is a lot of historic artifacts and history of the region. However, I am wearing all handcrafted jewelry so that counts for something.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I wore it Saturday to a wire working jewelry class and received 2 compliments. Jeanette liked the color. I have sent her the link to the supplier. Another lady taking the class liked the coil.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Jeanette is teaching the same Egyptian coil bracelet class this coming Saturday in Reston, but I already have a comittment. This technique is very precise and requires lots of patience and practice. Anyone new to jewelry wire working would be wise to have captured the knack of making coils. From there it's all about being exact with the measurements and precise with where the bend for the link is made. For myself the bend at the right place was challenging, but this will improve and be perfected with practice.
I didn't complete my bracelet during class, but once I have it finalized I'll post a picture of it here. You can see a picture of Jeanette's bracelet at any earlier blog post.
Sunday, while waiting for tires to be installed, I sat in the waiting room and practiced making the Eyptian links. I plan on doing another practice batch later this week. I am determined to master this technique. The end result is a beautiful bracelet.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I took these pictures with very little time left before I needed to leave for work, so I just couldn't decide which background I liked best. So you get to see the same bracelet twice.
I made this late last night. I had an 'ideas' for the large link. Of course what I had in my head came out in wire a bit different. This link has a lot of possibilities. First to correct what I created. This link should be about an inch or 2 inches wider so it wraps around my wrist a bit. Also, it needs to be formed over a large mandrel to form more of a curvature before I work harden it. Lesson learned. The 'long' links on the sides with the wrapped wire around the center needed to be longer. It would add a bit more appeal and then I could leave out some of the jump rings. Guess who didn't measure. You know what they say 'Measure twice, cut once'. Well that goes for wire as well as wood.
The link has a lot of possibilities. Add some wrapped wire here and there; maybe some seed beads on the wrapped wire; maybe more charms; maybe wrapped wire and over wrap it with small beads on the rim. Oh, or I could add copper or bronze wire as the wrapping to add contrast. The other idea I had was to use the link as a hair clip, just add a chop stick through the end rings to hold the hair in place.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Last night I assembled all the components that I had made. I have a few tweaks to make, because it doesn't drape well. Jeanette has let the students know to bring our bracelet to class tomorrow and she will assist us with the final adjustments. I'm really happy with this bracelet and I feel confident that the next one will be perfect. I really need to work on those jump rings and death grips on the tools. With more practice I'll be able to keep from marring the metal.
Tomorrow we are learning to make wire wrapped chandelier earrings. We may have enough time to make them in copper and in sterling silver. As always I'm really looking forward to another class. I've also ordered a rawhide mallot and step wrap pliers. The investment in professional quality tools is worth it and makes is a lot easier to work.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I've taken over an unused bathroom, which is next to my studio. I placed the cloud on a chest to bring it up to a workable height. My jewelry goes into the cloud (the front cover comes off and on with Velcro. My camera is on a Walmart tripod (the good tripod has my plein-air painting easel on it) Then I put a bunch of spare lights around it and they all are plugged into an extension cord. I plug it in when in use and make sure it's unplugged when I'm done because things get too hot to leave unattended.
I need to fix one of the spiral bead caps, because I caught the end on something and it has pulled away from the the spiral. Not a big deal. A pair of pliers and it'll be corrected in 15 seconds.
Friday, August 8, 2008
For those that need numbers, I was using 20 gauge and wrapping 24 gauge around it. But these gauges change depending on what the project calls for at the time. This gizmo is very helpful when making a boat load of double helix coils.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Here's a picture of Jeanettes bracelet. ------------->
Oh, drat! I just realized I have a calendar conflict on the 20th. I have already committed to participating in the Spiritual outdoor event on that same day. Who knew that this would happen so early in my wire wrapping chapter. Now what?! I'm disappointed that I can't take Jeanette's class, yet very excited about the creative event I'll be participating in.
Great News! I spoke with Jeanette and she is teaching this class in Alexandria. So, I'll call and enroll. This makes me very happy.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Yesterday I received my photo cloud/tent. This qizmo is to help me take better pictures for the web, by enclosing the jewelry in a cloth 'box'. The light shows through the tent and keeps the glare of the lights from reflecting. So I'll experiment this weekend and take some cleaner pictures for the blog and of course for the slideshow.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Once I have mastered the technical side, the blog will be have an element that I believe will be visually interesting and maybe even entertaining. All I have been able to create so far is frustration. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe I can ask my friend Amber for her experience. After all, she is now mentioned on my blog so that makes her internationally known.
Amber - plllllllllllllllllease! Would you help me?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I am thrilled and grateful to be invited to help to plan and participate in this event. I’m excited to meet the other people who will be part of the program. It’s so much fun to see and hear what other people are doing for their creative expression. The day sounds perfect. All surrounded by Mother Nature and the changing colors of autumn in the great outdoors.
I’m waiting for a call back to let me know more of the details and I’ll bet there are meetings planned. There are always meetings. What would we do without meetings? I think they can be viewed as another form of creative expression. Add some humor, refreshments and there’s a party!
It is helpful to have someone close by when a new technique is being learned. The hands are attempting to do what the ears hear and the eyes see, and of course Jeanette is excellent not only with her verbal instructions, but with her demonstrations. But, sometimes, at least for me, it can be a lot to take in and have the hands coordinate. I can’t wait to learn to do this bracelet and then to help others to make it.
Here is a picture of Jeanette’s bracelet that she made. You can see more of her amazing work at http://www.jeanetteblix.com/.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
As I promised during an earlier post I have finished this herringbone earring and pendant set. The beads are rose colored rondells that were left over from a wire working class I took with my favorite and very talented teacher Jeanette Blix. Her web-site has lots of eye candy http://www.jeanetteblix.com/
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Bead on a Wireby Sharilyn Miller is my favorite wire book. I love looking at her designs. She is an exceptional teacher and writer. Her instructions are very clear and easy to follow. She offers suggestions on which tools to use, wire and their different charateristics. Her turtorials are specific and have step by step pictures from start to end. The only thing you will need is patience and a desire to learn. I have the desire, but sometimes my patience runs thin, but that's not a reflection of Sharilyn Miller, that's all me.
Now what to do with all those misfits that aren't presentable....I guess it's time to clip the wire off into the trash (sad) and put those lovely beads back to use again.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Today I learned how to link the pictures of my Etsy listings to this blog. I feel so technical. But, as anyone can tell you, that is not the case.
I had a lot of success with www.bannerbee.etsy.com We worked together to get my Etsy banner finished. I love it! Go take a peek if you have time at www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com
Thursday, July 3, 2008
So check out http://www.etsy.com/ and of course my little shoppe at http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com/
Oh, and enjoy the 4th of July!