Friday, February 14, 2014

I've moved to

Things have been a bit quiet here metal wise. I've been in a creative slump this year with my metalwork, hence the lack of posts.

Fortunately, It's been calling out to me lately and I hope to be dusting off the tools very soon  :)

I've been keeping busy with other crafts though, mostly papercraft and cardmaking - I got a new cutting machine last year (Silhouette Cameo).  I enjoy designing in the software and it's something I can do in the evenings while I watch TV.  I started a new blog for all that as I feared it wouldn't interest my metal followers but I've decided to move both blogs to my own domain and in the future put everything there, whether it's Metal, Paper or other crafts.

I can see the potential to use the cutting machine to make textures from cardstock to use in the rolling mill or to cut shapes in vinyl as an etching resist. I've already cut acetate stencils with my machine and used them for enamelling.  I want to explore all these possibilities further.

I have decided though, that I'll keep the archived content of my Metalsmith journey here in the one spot, although all my future projects will be at

I'd like to thank all my followers and subscribers for sticking with me (especially in the quiet times) and invite you over to my new place. I hope you'll subscribe over at GetSilvered too so you won't miss my metal comeback when it happens :)


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Everything!

Well, it's a little late to be saying Happy New Year seeing as we're well into February already.
And we won't mention about the 6 months plus since my last post except for me to say Thank you to my readers for still subscribing to my blog and not culling me from your blog lists when decluttering (Wasn't that everyone's New Year's Resolution?)

After finishing my Cert 2 at Tafe, I was keen to continue on creating at home but last year it just fell by the wayside. My inspiration abandoned me and I was busy at work and at home so it just didn't happen.

Two recent events have changed that! First my husband bought me a great Christmas present (yes, he's a keeper!) - it was a total surprise, and a much appreciated gift - Here it is:

It was hiding in the shed for 2 months. Even though I do go in the shed quite often I never even noticed it hidden down the back among the neglected camping gear! Just goes to show how cluttered the shed was! What a fabulous surprise -  I cried when he took me out to the back garden Christmas morning and it was sitting there with it's big Christmas ribbon around it.  (Ha Ha - tears of joy!!)   No longer do I have to attach my small vice and Bench peg to the Meals Area Table. I now have my own dedicated jewellery bench to hammer, saw and drill and solder. We had to do some rearranging of the spare room and I need to get another power point put in but other than that it's working really well.....and we can use the Meals Area Table for ......well, our meals!

The second event is that I enrolled in another course. Two former Tafe Lecturers have opened up a metal studio. They are running courses, renting out bench space, opening up gallery space, loaning out metalwork books library style  - everything!
I enrolled in the 6 week enamel class which was their very first class. There's so much about this that is good: they are awesome teachers and have created an informal, friendly, practical, well equipped, safe place for us to learn.  Perth people check out the link  - Contemporary Metal Students are very spoilt.

We are covering experimental enamelling techniques in this course, rather than the traditional techniques such as Cloisonne. This suits me as I don't really have the patience for that sort of work. We've covered techniques using Liquid enamels, Sifting, Stencilling, Stamping, decals, & Sgraffito. Pretty much anything we can think of - we're encouraged to try. Some of things the other students have tried were impressing glass beads and fusing them to the work, and impressing ferns & material into the enamel before firing We're churning out lots of sample pieces and having lots of fun. I've made some cool pieces (and a couple of ugly pieces which I'm not showing!) but I'm learning so much and I'm looking forward to firing up the kiln at home when classes are over and playing with it all some more.
 Some of my favourite experiments were with stencilling.


The samples above were made by sifting the powdered enamel through thin acetate stencils. The exception is the bottom left sample where the enamel was sifted directly through a piece of lace ribbon. If you're interested there's more on the stencils and how I made them over on my other Craft blog.

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Friday, August 03, 2012

I'm Back :)

We're back from our Far North Queensland 4 Wheel Drive Adventure. It was full of fabulous sights, scenery and people - but more on that later.

I've waited to blog this as it was a gift for my daughter, but now her Birthday has come and gone I can blog away and not ruin any surprises!

In June, my friend Jane & I enrolled for a two day workshop at Fremantle Arts Centre, one of my favourite learning places. We were fortunate enough to be taught how to make Sterling Silver Spoons by the marvellous George Lucas, a renowned and very well respected Silversmith here in Western Australia.

Here's the results of my class efforts.

The spoon was made in 3 parts, the top was sawn from sheet, shaped and hammered. The middle was from thick square wire and the bowl also sawn from sheet and domed to shape.
That was the easy bit - the fitting it all together and soldering was a bit trickier.  A bit of precision sawing was involved in getting that top bit to fit the mid section but we all got it in the end under George's watchful eye.
Fortunately George had a jig he'd made which we used to hold the bowl and the handle together when we came to soldering those parts together.  Jane was clever and soldered her spoon together without the jig - smart move really because if we ever want to replicate it at home we'll all be jigless and have to do that!

I made the little custom gift box because next to making jewellery I love messing around with wrapping and papercraft.
Hopefully, one day the spoon will get handed further down in the family as a little heirloom  - in the meantime,  I was pretty chuffed when my daughter (who'd seen it after day 1's class when it was in 3 pieces and not cleaned up in any way) on receiving the finished spoon said "Mum, you can't see the joins!"  WooHoo!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Certificate 2 - Yay!

I finally applied for my certificate and now I have something to show for my time attending Tech College last year. And yes, I am going to frame it and hang it on a wall! 
This was a big deal for me, I left school the first time 40 years ago! (oops showing my age now!) so going back into a formal learning environment definately challenged me and I was often out of my comfort zone. 
I'm so glad I did it though :) 

We're heading off to Queensland this week for our 4 wheel Drive holiday that I wrote about earlier.
As it's a charity drive they'll be some fundraising auctions along the way. I'm donating the jewellery below - hope it gets some bids ;)

We'll be in some remote areas so I doubt I'll be blogging - I'll update when we return.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

A little exposure goes a long Way!

I've had an Etsy shop since 2007 and a Made It shop since 2009. My sales have been modest in both shops to say the least!
I understand how these things work (except for SEO that is - does anyone understand that?) and that my lack of sales is due to the fact that I don't put the any effort into promoting the shops.
In my ideal world the buyers would magically find my shops and start spending extravagantly. But sadly  reality is a little different ;)
Instead I send stock down to Behind the Monkey and fortunately the customers there like my work and buy it - well most of it anyway :) Despite bricks & mortar success, I still get the frequent urge to list things in my online shops - I'm not sure why though, as the lack of sales & views invariably leaves me doubting my work/prices/designs and I end up depressed/fed up/frustrated. 

That all changed this week when I got an email saying I'd been featured in the Made It Newsletter.
How exciting! I secretly hoped it would result in a sale......
Well, my expections were exceeded as I sold the featured pendant, then got an order for another which I just filled and mailed today, and I am currently emailing another possible customer re a potential order. WooHoo all because I was lucky enough to get featured in a newsletter.

So I have changed my expectations - Now, in my ideal world I would like to be featured regularly on front pages and in newsletters...
" Oh no" I can hear you all groan,  however, please allow me the pleasure of my unrealistic expectations. (grin) Pin It

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Going Dotty!

 I seem to have a thing for dots lately. First my recently updated 'dot style' blog and now it's crossing over into my jewellery making :)

Just experimented with punching out some holes in cardstock with a hole punch. I ran it through the rolling mill with a brass disc and this is the result.

I was pretty happy with it, so I have filed it in the "must try that in silver next and experiment some more later" part of my brain.

As usual it suits my non fussy, minimalist style.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Some earrings finished!

Hey, I actually made something! 6 pairs of Sterling Earrings :) 
These are heading down to Behind The Monkey.
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Just 4 kids

My husband won a holiday! We were pretty excited. I had visions of sipping cocktails around a pool with the palm trees rustling in the gentle breeze.
Those thoughts soon turned to "How the hell am I going to get up off an airmattress every morning with my dodgy knee" LOL - the holiday we won was a "Tag a long" 4 wheel drive camping adventure holiday.

No matter :) we are off to Far North Queensland in July to discover Cape York Peninsular and will venture as far as the most northern point of the Australian mainland. It's something I think we wouldn't have ventured out to do alone, travelling over rough roads and tracks in this remote area, so this type of tour and travelling in a convoy is an opportunity too good to miss.

The tour organisers have an agenda other than making holidays happen, they raise money for Aussie Kids..... and along the way during the tour they present cheques from their fundraising efforts to the communities in the local areas.
As part of this trip we'll be involved in the fundraising efforts too, so I'm kicking off my fundraising by making jewellery to sell so I can donate the proceeds.
I've just listed this little Sterling Silver Crossed Heart Pendant in my Made it shop. I'm donating the materials, listing fees, time, etc etc, so that 100% of the purchase price can be donated to the Just 4 Kids Childrens Charity. 

Hope it sells quickly so I can make some more - I've got the bucket below to fill with money!

Buy the necklace here within Australia....or here If outside of Australia

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Irregular Pendant

I've been meaning to make a silver version of the chunky copper pendant from my last post and I finally had a chance to do it.
This time I've used Sterling Silver Wire and it's on a smaller scale - The largest link is around 5cm x 3.5cm at it's widest points. (2 inches x 1 1.2 inches) Still, thats a pretty decent size for a silver pendant.

I like that you can rotate the shapes around in the jump ring bail to give it a different look. The top pic shows it in a uniform order then underneath it's pictured in a more haphazard arrangement.

My current quest is to create from the supplies I already have rather than buy in more materials. I've plenty of this Sterling Wire, so I can see some more of these coming on, maybe even earrings too!

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Get Coppered?

No it doesn't have the same ring to it as "Get Silvered" does it? But lately I've been playing around a bit with copper and Brass.  What about "Brassed off"? Lol - no I think I'll stick with Get Silvered.

M. came in from the shed the other day and gave me a stack of nice thick copper wire. Each wire almost 3mm thick in 30cm lengths! Score! He salvaged it from work - it was a sample piece of Industrial cable that was going to be chucked out! There I was, thinking he was hiding in the shed playing with his fishing lures and reels when all the time he was stripping wire for me :)

We've had days and days of heatwaves lately with temperatures in the high 30s and even getting as high as 42 degrees (that's 107.6 degrees farenheit for the Celsius challenged!) Obviously, that's not the weather for soldering in a tin shed, especially when there are total fire bans.  So I waited patiently and courtesy of Cyclone Iggy out to sea further north we've had rain and even cloud cover and cooler temps in the last day or two. Of course I seized the opportunity to light up the torch -Here's the before and after shots. It's nice and chunky - The largest shape is around 8 x 4cm.

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