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!


Monday, January 4, 2016's been a while!

Cannot believe I have not blogged since November 2015 - and here it is, 2016!!

I basically took most of December "off".  But, I eased back into jewelry making and managed to make a few things, and listed them in my shop.

I truly love these earrings. Hand case, lead free pewter tear drop charms from Inviciti.  I have seen some beautiful creations on "the web" made with Vincent's charm - really colorful creations.  After several attempts, I decided to keep it simple.

A pair of earrings and a bracelet made with gorgeous beads by Judith Billig.  She named the beads "Delphi Relics" and her technique in acquiring that "just found in an archaeological dig" look is spot on!

These beads - also from Judith - remind me of the desert sky.  Beautiful color combination!

The last pair of earrings with Judith's beads - I swear, the photo of the Grand Canyon truly captures the beautiful colors in these beads!

The bracelet below was made with gorgeous translucent beads by Susan Kennedy - I cannot capture the swirl of amethyst in my photos - but they are truly beautiful!  I added some handmade beads caps, a handmade toggle and hollow bead, and two recycled silver beads - sandwiched together to make a single link in the chain.

Things kicked up a bit in late December.  I am currently enrolled in an on-line class with Leslie Kail Villareal (link here).  I blogged about this at Love My Art Jewelry.  If you are interested in seeing my progress, just click here.   The picture below Leslie's example of the sterling silver cuff that I am attempting to complete. 

Source: Leslie Kail Villareal
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!