Friday, February 27, 2015

So Many New Directions!



It became obvious when I was in Hadar’s metal clay class in Tucson recently that there are so many new directions I can take my designs.  I think the fact that I have always wanted to learn new techniques makes it difficult to focus on making a cohesive ‘line of jewelry’.  And here I am again learning new ways to experiment.  Eventually it may become important to focus but right now I’m having a great time playing!

I love the patina on this one!
The class was fun because of the easy flow between students and Hadar (the teacher), Lyle Rayfield’s great studio and patio area in the beautiful Tucson mountains, Barb’s terrific meals and all the new ideas.  Even with me getting up and down often, exercising often and icing my knee through lunch, I managed to produce several pieces that I am sharing with you.


We used Hadar’s Friendly Brilliant Bronze clay and her special inlay powders.





One of my largest pieces did not get fired in class so I brought it home and finished it. I practiced the polishing on my JoolTool and it did a wonderful job.  I can’t wait to make more pieces and maybe set some stones in them. 

front (hollow form)
back

 I want to make more stone inlay pieces with smaller stones but I really like the scale of this one!

Amethyst and Jade

It's hard for me to believe I made all these pieces in 3 days.  These are hollow forms.

4 sided Hollow Pendant


Hollow Form - evolution in texture
 

If you get a chance, take one of Hadar’s classes!  

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Fun at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2015



 http://theafghangemjewelry.com/

Last week I was able to go to the last day of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  My two friends, Sandy and Jennifer, were patient as I walked through one hotel lobby.  My new knee is giving me problems in the bending/walking area and it will be quite a while before I am able to race through more than a few vendor's setups…..but next year watch out!  


Eye Candy!
One of the booths had spent some time color coordinating their beads. I spent quite a bit of time enjoying all that beautiful color.  At another booth, I found petrified bamboo.  I’d never even thought of what petrified bamboo would look like and it was lovely.  Sorry no photo.  http://www.manizone.co.uk/spiritual-exercises-understanding-spiritual-gifts-spiritual-p-1275.html

The other excitement was finding Australian black opals.  My Dad always wanted to go the black opal mines and I thought it would be cool to have a stone since I've recently been to Australia.  Sticker shock set in and I gave up on the idea…until I stopped at ‘Poor Boys Opals’ and selected 3 natural stones that may or may not be beautiful when they are cut and polished.  I could afford the uncut opals and thought how proud Dad would have been if I really could cut and polish a decent piece!  And if it doesn't work I’ll have the experience and adventure of trying.  



Now I need to invest in the stone cutting/polishing discs for my Jool Tool.  That is on my wish list and now it is a little more important.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Trials of Setting a Stone in a Bezel or Success is Sweet

Front of Pendant or Back of  Failed Pendant Described Below

This is a story about my trials, frustrations and successes of making a pendant from Goldie Bronze metal clay and setting a stone in bronze bezel wire. Many of you won’t be interested in the details here but I’m hoping it gives you an idea of all the stages and work that goes into making a piece. 

Last weekend I decided to make a pendant, finish it and then solder a bezel for the stone.  I practiced wrapping the bezel wire around the stone, cutting the edge straight and soldering the edges together.  Then I practiced soldering a bezel on a piece of sheet metal with my acetylene torch.  It melted the bezel.  I changed to a butane torch and that worked. 

I tried to solder the bezel to the finished bronze pendant with bronze solder and melted the bezel.  

Next I moved to silver solder and that did not work either.  It was time to go to FaceBook and ask my jewelry buddies for help!  I finally decided (right or wrong) that the bronze from the clay was too porous and I just needed to embed the bezel wire into the clay and fire it in place. 

The picture above is the finished pendant with no bezel and no stone!  I’ve learned that sometimes I can salvage one of my experiments by thinking ahead!  This time I textured one side (originally to be the back) and was able to use it as the front of this necklace. 

Back of the new pendant (or front of the failed pendant - no bezel and no stone)
Monday night I started on a new pendant.  This time I placed the bronze bezel in the clay being careful not to push it all the way through the clay. I detailed with flowers and vines, made a plaster place holder for the stone so the clay did not shrink too much. 


Bronze bezel wire, place holder, stone
 Everything was dry and I placed the piece on carbon to fire for 30 minutes.  When it cooled I covered it with another layer of carbon and fired it again for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Tuesday morning I took the piece out of the kiln and the clay shrank pulling the bezel away from the clay.  I removed the center and the bezel and am wondering how I will use what is left! 

No Bezel and No Backing for Stone
How to use this?
Not one to give up easily, I started on another pendant Tuesday night.  This time I set the bezel wire, detailed the piece and placed the dry pendant on another layer of clay.  Put the place holder in and repeated the Monday night process.  This time it worked! 

Bronze Pendant with Mojave Stone

Success is sweet!

Friday, February 27, 2015

So Many New Directions!



It became obvious when I was in Hadar’s metal clay class in Tucson recently that there are so many new directions I can take my designs.  I think the fact that I have always wanted to learn new techniques makes it difficult to focus on making a cohesive ‘line of jewelry’.  And here I am again learning new ways to experiment.  Eventually it may become important to focus but right now I’m having a great time playing!

I love the patina on this one!
The class was fun because of the easy flow between students and Hadar (the teacher), Lyle Rayfield’s great studio and patio area in the beautiful Tucson mountains, Barb’s terrific meals and all the new ideas.  Even with me getting up and down often, exercising often and icing my knee through lunch, I managed to produce several pieces that I am sharing with you.


We used Hadar’s Friendly Brilliant Bronze clay and her special inlay powders.





One of my largest pieces did not get fired in class so I brought it home and finished it. I practiced the polishing on my JoolTool and it did a wonderful job.  I can’t wait to make more pieces and maybe set some stones in them. 

front (hollow form)
back

 I want to make more stone inlay pieces with smaller stones but I really like the scale of this one!

Amethyst and Jade

It's hard for me to believe I made all these pieces in 3 days.  These are hollow forms.

4 sided Hollow Pendant


Hollow Form - evolution in texture
 

If you get a chance, take one of Hadar’s classes!  

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Fun at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2015



 http://theafghangemjewelry.com/

Last week I was able to go to the last day of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  My two friends, Sandy and Jennifer, were patient as I walked through one hotel lobby.  My new knee is giving me problems in the bending/walking area and it will be quite a while before I am able to race through more than a few vendor's setups…..but next year watch out!  


Eye Candy!
One of the booths had spent some time color coordinating their beads. I spent quite a bit of time enjoying all that beautiful color.  At another booth, I found petrified bamboo.  I’d never even thought of what petrified bamboo would look like and it was lovely.  Sorry no photo.  http://www.manizone.co.uk/spiritual-exercises-understanding-spiritual-gifts-spiritual-p-1275.html

The other excitement was finding Australian black opals.  My Dad always wanted to go the black opal mines and I thought it would be cool to have a stone since I've recently been to Australia.  Sticker shock set in and I gave up on the idea…until I stopped at ‘Poor Boys Opals’ and selected 3 natural stones that may or may not be beautiful when they are cut and polished.  I could afford the uncut opals and thought how proud Dad would have been if I really could cut and polish a decent piece!  And if it doesn't work I’ll have the experience and adventure of trying.  



Now I need to invest in the stone cutting/polishing discs for my Jool Tool.  That is on my wish list and now it is a little more important.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Trials of Setting a Stone in a Bezel or Success is Sweet

Front of Pendant or Back of  Failed Pendant Described Below

This is a story about my trials, frustrations and successes of making a pendant from Goldie Bronze metal clay and setting a stone in bronze bezel wire. Many of you won’t be interested in the details here but I’m hoping it gives you an idea of all the stages and work that goes into making a piece. 

Last weekend I decided to make a pendant, finish it and then solder a bezel for the stone.  I practiced wrapping the bezel wire around the stone, cutting the edge straight and soldering the edges together.  Then I practiced soldering a bezel on a piece of sheet metal with my acetylene torch.  It melted the bezel.  I changed to a butane torch and that worked. 

I tried to solder the bezel to the finished bronze pendant with bronze solder and melted the bezel.  

Next I moved to silver solder and that did not work either.  It was time to go to FaceBook and ask my jewelry buddies for help!  I finally decided (right or wrong) that the bronze from the clay was too porous and I just needed to embed the bezel wire into the clay and fire it in place. 

The picture above is the finished pendant with no bezel and no stone!  I’ve learned that sometimes I can salvage one of my experiments by thinking ahead!  This time I textured one side (originally to be the back) and was able to use it as the front of this necklace. 

Back of the new pendant (or front of the failed pendant - no bezel and no stone)
Monday night I started on a new pendant.  This time I placed the bronze bezel in the clay being careful not to push it all the way through the clay. I detailed with flowers and vines, made a plaster place holder for the stone so the clay did not shrink too much. 


Bronze bezel wire, place holder, stone
 Everything was dry and I placed the piece on carbon to fire for 30 minutes.  When it cooled I covered it with another layer of carbon and fired it again for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Tuesday morning I took the piece out of the kiln and the clay shrank pulling the bezel away from the clay.  I removed the center and the bezel and am wondering how I will use what is left! 

No Bezel and No Backing for Stone
How to use this?
Not one to give up easily, I started on another pendant Tuesday night.  This time I set the bezel wire, detailed the piece and placed the dry pendant on another layer of clay.  Put the place holder in and repeated the Monday night process.  This time it worked! 

Bronze Pendant with Mojave Stone

Success is sweet!