Friday, May 27, 2011

Rain drop Pendant

I've entered my latest creation in an online exhibition which will be hosted on the ganoksin Orchid forum. The pieces must be made with non precious metals, so that suited me as I've been making my hollow form pieces in Brass.
The exhibition's not juried, so I know my piece will make the cut, what's tricky is the photo - it must be of "jury quality"
Here's the picture I've submitted.

Hopefully it meets the standard required. Photographing jewellery is quite painful for me, anything polished has reflection - usually reflecting features I don't want included, like my hand or what I'm wearing (the pink pyjama syndrome) Aargh! then there's the "evil" white balance that makes the purest snow driven whites a dirty blue gray tone despite my hours messing around with my camera settings.
That's why I shot my pic on a gray background this time - I decided to save my self the white balance angst :)

There are numerous online articles showing how to make light boxes and to take great photos of jewellery, maybe I'll check out the resources and have a go at making a light box.

Update: Got the news that my photo was Ok and up to standard - Yay! Pin It

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Tools - jury is out.........

First up Week 12 at Tafe: I still have to solder last week's jumprings into a bracelet but this week we started working on the clasp. A hollow form padlock clasp - it's still a work in progress. Once again we rolled our silver sheet down from a little section of bar ingot.

It's satisfying learning to fabricate materials on the spot as needed instead of keeping all the different gauges of sheet and wire on hand. Although if I was doing it this way at home I'd definitely need to get quicker at it...oh and I'd need a better rolling mill, oh and draw plates etc etc -He He :)

In other happenings - The Aussie dollar is pretty healthy and the silver price dropped back from it's near $50 high so it was time for a bit of internet shopping.
Apart from materials that I actually needed, I also splurged $20(aud)on a new tool.
Rocket wire twisting pliers :)

They held a lot of promise but alas, I was a tad disappointed after giving them a test run! Check out the video instructions on how they work.
I tested them on 16 gauge square copper wire but I found it impossible to close the handles to secure the wire. I had to squeeze the handles in my vice, as I didn't have the wrist strength, hmm - what a weakling! Anyway I did twist a few 13cm (about 5 inch) lengths of wire. They twisted evenly and I soldered them into rings to make this pendant.

Next up - some square silver 18 gauge. A 60 cm (2 feet)length just didn't twist evenly. You can see a couple of the pieces in the photo above next to the pliers. I ended up cutting it into shorter bits to try and salvage it. That did the trick (sort of) and I made this:

My conclusion: I should have googled a bit more before I bought these. Apparently the pliers are good for wire up to 18 gauge (1mm), so it was no wonder I had trouble with the 16 gauge copper. I haven't tried twisting 2 strands of round wire to make twisted wire yet but the video makes it look easy.
I think I'll use them occasionally in the future but honestly a hand or power drill and a vice will do the same job, so I probably could have lived without these and saved my 20 bucks. However these pliers do get a 10 out of 10 for their good looks.
They look pretty damn cool in the tool drawer.

I don't think I've experienced "tool remorse" before - LOL ....What tools have you purchased that have underwhelmed you? Pin It

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Term, New Design Books!

Week 11 - Back to Class yesterday after a two week break. This term we'll do more on design and also learn various findings. To really get us comfortable with soldering we will be making a chain bracelet and fabricating a locket style clasp.
We started today with a 6mm ingot of silver and rolled it down in the rolling mill, then used the draw plates to get it down to 1.5mm wire. Then we formed and sawed our jumprings ready for lots of soldering!
Not really a lot to show for the days work - we were hanging around a bit, waiting for a free Rolling mill and draw plate - there was a bit of a traffic jam! 

Waiting at home after class were some books I'd ordered from Dover Publications. Got to love those copyright free images they sell! One of the books  is full of vector border and frame designs. I'd thought they'd be some good metal etching designs in them. Happily there is but a few of the designs are suitable for saw piercing too.


So, this morning I got some sawing and piercing practise in using one of the frame designs. I'm kicking myself now for not doing it in a thicker gauge of sheet. It turned out OK, I still have a bit of tidying up to do on it,  but it's a bit flimsy (22gauge) to use in jewellery unless I attach it to a back plate or something. I do like it though so will have another go later in 1mm (18gauge) sheet.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

More Stationery - no I'm not standing still........

.....because then I'd be Stationary!

Seems I got my "Stationery" and "Stationary" mixed up in my last post! The first sentence (not sentance) of my last post I effectively said "standing still is very hot right now" ooops... never mind -  it probably is  ...but you knew what I meant right?

Back to stationery of the paper metal kind. I've had two weeks off from TAFE as we follow the school terms, so with the extra days at home I found time to make more notebook pendants - this time in silver.

Here they are:

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