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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ring a Ding Ding

Today I took a metal jewelry class and learned to saw and form a ring.  I took the class with Charles Agel. He is an awesome instructor.  He communicated clearly, is very knowledgeable and has a warm personality. I like his teaching style and design style, so much that I have already registered for another class that is scheduled for the end of April.

First I'll show you the rings' glamour shots. Later in this blog post I'll show you the ring being created.

'No blades were harmed in the making of this ring!' (giggle)

Here she is making her blog depute "The Shield Ring"

It is really comfortable on my hand.

A side view to show how it is formed.

I love how the texture and color turned out.  I used a hammer with small squares on the head to get the texture and then torched the metal before I shaped it on a ring mandrel to my ring size.  The torch gave it a lovely red patina.  Then I used fine sand paper to bring out the highlights, a polishing cloth for shine and Ren wax to seal it.
This shot shows the smoothness of the inside.

I cut out a practice shape from a piece of 20 gauge copper sheet, since I've only sawed once (during last weekends classes).  I didn't break the blade, which is pretty remarkable.

The pattern was drawn on paper and then glued to the sheet metal.

Here my form has been cut out of the sheet metal.  Look at that saw blade!  Still unbroken!

Some more metal needs to be sawed off, since my ring form was unbalanced

Here the ring form is in balance and the saw blade is still in tack.

After the edges were filed, filed, filed (yep, I forgot to take a picture)  I then sanded, sanded, sanded.  First with 180 grit, then with 320 grit.  I could have sanded with another finer grit, but it wasn't necessary, since I was going to texture the metal.

Once the form was sanded, I annealed and added patina with the torch.  Then a bit more sanding and polishing.  I just had to wear my new ring home.

Working and creating with metal isn't as hard as I had believed.  I encourage you to give it a try.  

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope that you have a joy filled and creative day.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

More, More, More Facebook Pages, Oh My!

Just a short update about my Facebook world.  Today, I created yet another Facebook page out of necessity.  My friend Ashlea brought to my attention that there is a Facebook business page titled ArtyZen Studios - note the s on the end.  She wanted to know if I was aware of it and of course I wasn't.  It turns out that this company is not in the same business as me, so that was a relief.  But, it did make me realize that one of my business names (Linda Sinish and ArtyZen Studio) may be in jeopardy of being claimed in the future in Facebook land.  So, I spent my morning putting my goals on hold and went about creating yet another Facebook page named ArtyZen Studio to match my blog name.

There is hope for me!  I am NOT alone!  There are many Pinterest, Google and Youtube links for other multi-Facebook page creators.  I have hope!

Yes, I do have 'other' Facebook pages.  They have been created based on what I thought was logical at the time of creation and based on what Facebook was offering over the past years.

1st, I created my personal page...Linda Sinish.  This page needs you to request to be my 'friend' in order to view my postings and read the conversations between myself and my friends.  Pretty much anyone who requests a 'friend' from me will be accepted.  Just as long as your not an ax murderer.

2nd, I created a business page...Wire Wrap and Metal Jewelry by Linda Sinish.  The title was created so people who search for wire jewelry could find my page.

3nd, I created a page...Linda Sinish Jewelry Artisan.  Again, so people could search for me for business reasons and I wanted to claim my name, even tho there aren't that many people on the planet with the last name of Sinish.  But, claim it I did.

4th,  Today I created a page...ArtyZen Studio.  As I mentioned earlier, this page was created to claim my business name.

Now anyone in there right mind really should not have this many Facebook pages. I am putting on my thinking cap and doing some research to streamline this insanity!  There's a function in Facebook that will allow me to merge pages.  I want to make sure of all of the facts before I press that button.  I don't want to lose any followers or friends or postings, so I really need to read, read, read.

Please let me know if you know anything about this merge feature.  I'm also going to ask my Facebook friends if they have any knowledge.  For now I am a collector of Facebook pages.

Have a joy filled and creative day!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My ARTbliss Weekend Part 2

Well, somehow I pressed the publish button on my last post before I was finished.  So, now I'll write a bit about the cuff bracelet I made from Deryn Mentock's class.  The other day I was very tired and posted a brief blog about this cuff.  Now, if I can keep myself from pressing the publish button before I'm done maybe I'll get some info typed out.  At the end of post are some pictures of the cuff under construction.

This is a better picture of the cuff I published the other day.  Today's lighting was helpful for a picture with clear colors.  The base cuff is made from nickle.  The entire edge was textured with a hammer with a sharp straight edge.  The patina from annealing in the torch added the contrasting colors. I used some sand paper to bring back the nickle color from the high spots.  All of this was done, before I attached the stone and the copper cuff.

From this angle you can see the copper sheet top layer of the cuff.  It doesn't fit snugly.  Some might say it's okay and looks artsy.  I would like the copper edge to meet the nickle.  The stone in the center, which is under the copper, is the reason for the edge gap.  However, Deryn's wasn't like this, so the bottom line is I need more practice and need to tweak it. 

See that turquoise stone in the center?  It's my 2nd stone.  The first cracked completely down the middle.  I was being careful not to apply any force, but either I wasn't careful enough or I suspect the turquoise had an inclusion in it and the crack was destiny.  As a result the 2nd stone isn't as large as the first.  I had already cut the center eruption area for the larger stone, so there is now a bit of an opening around parts of the 2nd stone.  No one will really notice, but me.

From this angle you can see the colors in the copper that were created from the annealing.  I'm not totally happy with my rivets, so I'll be pulling out the hammer to seat them a bit more.

Here's a side view.  You can see that the edges of the nickle cuff aren't straight. Hmmmm

The other side view with more waves in the nickel.  We used brass rivets, because they were supplied in the kit fee.  I personally would have chosen copper.  We also learned to fold form texture on the copper and we used various dimple pliers to add the 'bubbles'.

Here are a few pictures of this cuff under construction.

Here I have annealed the copper to soften.  The annealing added some color.  I then did some fold forming and had to anneal again, which added even more color. 

Here's the first turquoise stone that eventually broke.

Here I am fitting the stone to the opening in the copper sheet.  Later, I removed the stone, shaped the copper in a cuff form and placed the copper over the nickle with the turquoise in between.

I hope this was of value.  I certainly learned a lot from this past weekend at ARTbliss and I met a lot of fantastic people.  The only thing I would change...I'll get a room at the hotel.  The drive was doable, but I was so exhausted from 2 days of continual metal technique.  I think a short elevator ride for a reasonable hotel fee is worth the time.

Thank you for visiting.  Have a joy filled and creative day.

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My ARTbliss Weekend Part 1

Prairie Pearl Pod Pendant

I finally spent a full weekend at ARTbliss.  When I lived in West Virginia, it was impossible for me to make the trek over the mountains and through the woods.  I signed up for both metal classes being taught by Deryn Mentock.  What a pleasure!  She's very talented and an excellent instructor.  I have been wanting to add metal designs to my jewelry for quite some time. Youtube videos and books are fine, but I couldn't ask questions.  No matter how clear a video is, I always seemed to have questions.

Here's a side view so you can see how the metal forms around the pearls.  And, that wonderful texture and color.

 I started out thinking I was going to use some green colored pearls.  They are lovely and would look exceptional next to the copper color.  Plus, I like the idea of the green color mimicking actual peas.  But, when I laid them onto the pattern, they lacked the 'wham' I wanted.  I'm sure it was because the green pearls were smaller in size.  So I dug out the larger white pearls.  I was following Deryns sample and loved how she addded some bling.  I mumbled out loud that I wanted some rondells and Cindy Wimmer came to my rescue. How blessed I am to have 2 rondell crystals inside my pod. from her antique necklace.  They are perfect.  I added a few Swarovski round crystals for even more bling.

The first thing we did was anneal our sheet metal and hammered it to add some texture.  I used a hammer with a straight edge for the edge of my piece of metal.  Then I used a hammer with some tiny squares all over the center portion.  When I placed it back in the flame to anneal again, since it was now rock hard, the metal turned some very pretty colors.  I wish the picture was better, because there are some vivid blues and greens in the metal.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Have a joy filled and creative day,
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

ARTbliss Day 1

I'm taking 2 days of intensive metal training at ARTbliss.  I am learning a lot and having even more fun! What a lovely group of ladies.  I'm exhausted, so I'll only post a picture of today's project.  There's still some work to be done, but this picture will give you an idea.  I'll write a blog with lots of good pictures later in the week..  This picture was taken quickly in very poor lighting, so the colors aren't at all true to reality.

Bad, bad, bad picture.  This was taken when I was exhausted and it was late at night.
Better picture.  I took this 3 days later, after some much needed rest.  I came back and posted it here on this blog post. I'm going to write a detailed blog on the entire weekend.  Most likely in the next couple of days.

Thank you for stopping by today and for understanding the poor color quality.  Now, to get some much needed rest.

Have a joy filled and creative day!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Celebration Coffee!

I sometimes think that some folks that aren't professional artists or artisans might think all we do is have fun. Yep!  Just hanging out in the studio and playing with colors.  That's what I personally 'used' to think and believe.  But, dang!  There's just so much more to do that is unseen or even unspoken in order to touch that golden ring of success and even more to actually getting the golden ring.  And, then again, the reward of all that 'non' play time is justified and rewarded once we finally, after lots of determination, work and patience, accomplish a victory.  Today, I accomplished a victory!  I have a new signed consignment contract!

The walk down the brick side walk, along with my jewelry and displays.

As some of you who have been reading here on my blog about my ups and downs of my jewelry business, 10 months ago I moved back to Northern Virginia.  That meant closing up a successful gallery location and restarting.  Well how hard could it be? Right!?  After all I did it once.  It should be simple.  Wrong!  No matter how much experience there's a ladder to climb, make that a mountain to climb.  There's competition to address.  There's a different perception of the skill behind the work.  There's different types of venues. There's different type of shoppers.  Who knew?

During this past 10 months I have been non-stop!  I mean it!  Everyday I've searched for new venues for my jewelry.  When I wasn't researching and contacting a new venue I would be making jewelry.  During my researching I came across a newspaper article that said a local museum was opening a gift shop to support the museum expenses. There were a lot of restrictions.

  1. The first was all of the products in the shop must be made by a resident of Fauquier County.  Yippee! That's me!  
  2. All of the products must pass the jury process. Yippee!  I passed the jury process. 
  3. All of the products had to be in a certain price point.  Yippee! That's most of my jewelry.  
  4. If accepted, there is no room for under stock, so the artisan must be able to come to the shop quickly to restock.  Yippee!  That's me.

So I began the journey.  I first read the news paper article back in December 2013.  I then stopped by the museum to make sure it would be a good fit for me and to introduce myself. Several months passed and I was invited to bring my samples in for the jury process.  Once I was accepted and confirmed that I am a local resident I was invited to be 'the' jewelry artisan.  Did you catch that?  'The'  Yep!  Since the shop is restricted in size and they want to carry a variety of items, I am 'the' only jewelry artisan.  My jewelry will be among some other fantastic local artisans, to include a wonderful local potter, a wood worker, a folk art painter and some others.

The back of the Honda is filled with inventory and displays  Oh, the memories this vehicle could share.

A path to remember.

As I approached the magnificent court house.

This court house has been featured in a film directed by Clint Eastwood.

Close up of the court house steps.  I'm not sure what that building is in the background.  
I'll be sure to check it out.

Here's where history was made and the Sheriff and his wife lived and the prisoners were kept.

This area has recently been renovated for the gift shop.

Another view of the shop that is still being organized.

My jewelry is now in it's preliminary staging.  There's still a lot more to be installed.  I'll be sharing the space with a fantastic potter and wood worker.

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking this journey with me.

Have a joy filled and creative day!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Expecting Spring Time

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm ready for spring.  Here's a bit of hope and a dash of reality.  Just about 30 minutes ago I was invited to celebrate a week of spring at a beach front resort in Florida.  The next 5 weeks can't get here quick enough.

Just 2 days ago, the lawn gave birth to spring with these lovely crocus.

Then this morning from my studio window Mother Nature reminded us that she was not finished with winter.


So in retaliation I trumped Mother Nature with some spring time hopeful birdie earrings.

And to raise your curiosity and to beg your pardon, if I appear boastful.  

I have a new venue for my jewelry.  I'll let you in on all the details, just as soon as the contract is signed and the shelves are stocked.  Heeeeee Haaaaa!

Another contract is on it's way to me via U.S. Mail.  I'm excited!  No it's not a book deal - yet!  (insert giggle), but it's good.  It's really good.

In the meantime, next weekend I'm spending two bliss filled days at ArtBLISS taking two fantastic metal workshops and of course having a lot of fun with the bestest artisans in the land.  I'll fill you in on the details early next week.

In the meantime,  Have a joy filled and creative day.

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