Monday, March 21, 2016

It was the Middle of Winter...

by Patti Vanderbloemen

The last time I blogged (6+ weeks), it was Winter.  Yesterday was the first day of Spring.  My how time flies! :)  

Well, I have managed to create a few things here and there. The little series of photos to follow were taken from my I-Phone, so not necessarily the best quality!

I made another ring with a cone-style setting with a beautiful CZ (cubic zirconia) in a flashy clear color. The band is made from some leftover silver that I previously etched.  Although I will probably never wear it (I am lucky if I remember to shove a pair of earrings in my ears before I leave the house!), I made it for my personal stash.

There is a little, 10mm sterling silver concho soldered to the bottom.

Next up - again, for my personal stash, is a pendant made with a pretty malachite gemstone.  I had never bezeled anything other than a round or oval stone, so I considered it "practice".

I managed to saw a little heart in the backplate, and the bail is a piece of sterling tubing that is large enough to change out the chain.

The collage below features pieces I have made which incorporate patterned sterling silver wire.  I just wrote a blog post about these pieces for Love My Art Jewelry (link here, if you care to take a gander over there). This wire is quite substantial, and to be honest, it has been in my stash for well over a year, waiting for me to make a ring shank.

Other baubles that have crossed my bench include a few pair of earrings.

Last week, I made a series of five sterling silver hollow beads, graduated in size. These have been stamped for texture.

I went back and forth on what to make with these. I really had a necklace in mind, so I pulled out all of my artisan lampwork and ceramic beads, then I had gemstones laying all around the sterling. Nothing spoke to me.  So, I made a bracelet instead.

The first attempt included highly textured sterling silver spacers, flanking the three larger beads...but I did not like it.  So I took it apart and now, just hollows! This was also the first time I made twisted silver link chain. 

I will always struggle with taking pictures of my sterling pieces - if you look closely - my mug shot appears on those beads!  50 pictures - that's how many shots I took of that bracelet, and my face is in every single picture! :)

I spent some time shopping online last week for new cabochons, and this hit my mail box on Saturday (sorry again - quick picture with my I-Phone). Look at the flash in the Labradorite and Abalone! I have never had good luck buying Labradorite (with flash) online - usually, the stones do not have that flash-just an abundance of gray. These are from Irene's shop Iwooshop on Etsy (link here). That is not a large cabachon...maybe I will get that ring made!

If you have ever read my blog, you know that my heart belongs to animals. Well, Miracle Horse Rescue suffered a loss last week - Levi died peacefully in his sleep - he was almost 33 years old.  He had been with Stephanie and Rob for the past 12 years, so you know he was loved on daily. Rest In Peace, sweet Levi!

On the bright side, Millie is in foal and is about to have her baby ... any minute now! Stephanie loves on her daily and has reported that she has the sweetest disposition! She is a recent arrival at MHR, taken in from not so perfect conditions. My deepest gratitude to MHR for taking care of each and every horse at their facility.

So...that brings me to this...I am hosting a sale on both my sites (my website or Etsy). Need to raise funds for MHR and this is the only way I know how!

Thanks so very much for stopping by today - I hope to not take as long to blog again! :)


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

All New....All Sterling!

As I type this post on Wednesday evening, I realize it has been a bit more productive week than I had originally thought. I have not been venturing to my studio as much as I would like these days - still a bit under the weather.  But, when I finally make it down there, I realize that it's quality not quantity (at least..that's what I keep telling myself)!

First up is this nifty little ring I made.  I wanted to make at least one more bezel in a cone shape while it was still fresh in my memory from making the sterling silver cuff with a similar focal, back in December.

The ring features a faceted, 10mm Cubic Zirconia - great flash in that stone!  It's really a simple ring - but that focal truly makes it a statement least for me! I soldered on a little concho embellishment at a slight angle on the bottom of the ring.

I hate taking pictures when my own hands have to serve as the model! Macro shots of my skin just make me cringe! :)

The next two pieces were inspired by a technique that Carol Dekle-Foss wrote about on the Love My Art Jewelry Blog - you can read that post here.  Carol is an amazing artist with a repertoire that encompasses metalsmithing, ceramics and porcelain, metal clay - her sand blasted pendants are drool-worthy! (You can see more of Carol's beautiful designs here).  Anyway, her post, which includes a brief video, demonstrated reticulation silver techniques AND Reticulation Silver onto Copper. During the process of melting sterling silver scraps onto the copper, the silver fuses to the copper and produces the most amazing textures!

I started by cutting out two little ovals from copper sheet.  The end result was so tactile - I did not want to punch a hole in the tabs and ruin all that perfect texture.  So, I soldered tiny little jump rings to the back of the tabs, to serve as little bails.  

I recently acquired some amazing Sparkling Rocks lampwork beads from GlassBeadArt, and I think they complement those silver tabs quite well - understated sparkle!

Then, I took a scrap of silver about 2" square, plopped on some silver scrap, and went to melting.  After LOTS of polishing (this technique creates a lot of oxidation which has to be buffed away before you see the beauty of the texture), I saw a free form heart shape! So...without even using a sharpie to outline my shape (EGADS!), I went at it with my jeweler's saw.

I still cannot get over all this texture!

Last, but not least, I got out some of my recently purchase handmade stamps, and made a sterling silver cuff.

It's funny...I have made quite a few spinner-style anticlastic bangles.  The cuff is a constant repetition of forging the cuff into it's oval shape, start the forming of the concave curves and more cuff shape!  I have a new appreciation for this cuff, as it took more concentration on maintaining that classic cuff shape, while still achieving a concave curve.

I  only oxidized the interior to accentuate the stamping - I kept a mirror finish on the outside of the cuff and I really do like that contrast.

That's it - I am spent! :)  Looking at the compilation picture though, at least it is a complete set of jewelry!

I hope to continue visiting new techniques and incorporating them in my work.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Have a wonderful rest of the week!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

And the winner...

by Patti Vanderbloemen

...of this "Two Hearts are Better Than One" necklace


Angela Mullis!  Angi, I have sent you an email with a request for your mailing address! :)

Thank you all for your lovely comments, and for stopping by today!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Two Hearts are Better Than One" Give Away

by Patti Vanderbloemen

Forgive the cliche in my blog title please!

I am going to keep this short and sweet today!  I will not go on and on and on about the blizzard and how much snow we have...still...

I made this necklace by cutting out a heart shape from some silver scrap, fused with a tiny little piece of wire in somewhat of a heart shape, tiny, tiny little balls of silver, and soldered on a tiny little bail. It's a sweet little charm, but it needed something else.  So I added this Pretty in Pink Gemstone Heart as a second charm. Suspended from a little circle of silver - textured of course - added some chain, and it's a perfect necklace for this time of year ... for all ages!

Want to win this necklace?  Sure you do!  Here's how!

How to Enter

Edit:  Since publishing this post, I have had  a few readers who were unable to leave comments, even though all my Blogger settings are set to Public (that includes the nasty Spam that I occasionally receive (ugh)!  I am thinking it may have something to do with whether or not the reader is "registered" with Google/Google Plus. Anyway, if you have issues, just either message me on Facebook or leave a comment on my Facebook Page (link here) !

(I will ship international - in case there is a question!)

1)  Leave a comment on this blog post - PLEASE BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I can get in touch with you!

2)  For a second chance to win, share this blog post link on Facebook, the come back to this blog post and leave a second comment, advising me that you shared!

I will pick a winner within the week or so!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Cuff

Okay...there are lots of reasons for my lack of jewelry making and "radio silence" on the blog here - and other social media.  In my last post, I directed you to the Love My Art Jewelry blog spot (link here, if you feel like reading it) , where I talked about an online class that I began on December 26.

The class, entitled Boho Cuff, is a series of online videos by Leslie Kail Villareal.  I had taken her class in the Fall for the Boho Saddle ring and fell in love with her teaching style.

This is a picture of Leslie's absolutely stunning cuff:

Source: Leslie Kail Villarreal
The techniques involved in making this cuff were almost all new to me:  etching on sterling silver, setting a faceted stone in a hand-cut cone style setting (hint:  there is math involved, geometry to be specific!), filigree work, and granulation (that's those tiny silver balls you see in the picture).

Well, here is my completed cuff:

The only true "Oh my gosh - I cannot finish this" moment(s) occurred when I was attempting to solder the tiny balls (granulation) inside the filigree. (I can also assure you that Oh My Gosh were not the words I used)! Every single time the flame hit the metal - those little balls went flying. I kept thinking of popcorn kernels in a kettle of grease. Yes - it was just like that!  

I managed to get the granulation soldered to one side of the cuff.

But the other side resulted in reticulated filigree (translation: the filigree melted and bubbled...just a tad!) You can see the beginning of the reticulation of the wire in the photo below. I even attempted to remove the filigree and start over - but that wire had other ideas and decided to stay put for the rest of its life.  So, I buffed the metal as much as I could, and I called it a day.

I am so tickled pink with this cuff!  I cannot believe I actually completed this baby - it was days - and I mean days - of work and so many soldering operations.  But - an immense learning process!  I see so many opportunities for additional projects using these new-to-me techniques!

Forever grateful to Leslie's vision and the opportunity to be involved in this process. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today - hoping you all enjoy your weekend!