Thursday, April 23, 2015

I am done...

Written by Patti Vanderbloemen of My Addictions Handmade Jewelry Blog

I am done making a batch of these beads, that is! The picture below is what is left after I made a bracelet. 

Making this bracelet has given me new meaning to the words "One of A Kind". This is due to the multiple-step process in creating each of the beads, which translates to I will probably not be making another one! :)  Kidding!

In all seriousness, it involved so many different metalsmithing techniques for each step in the process. It feels WONDERFUL on the wrist - substantial but not weighty. When I was wrapping the bracelet together, I toyed with the idea of connecting each beaded link without a jump ring. But, given that beads are 3/4" in length, they move better on the wrist with a jump ring between each link, so I just doubled up on the jump rings.  

I made two sets of these beads without the "toppers".  We are working on a Fiber Boot Camp at Love My Art Jewelry and I am trying to complete a project by next Monday, using these beads with the fiber...wish me luck, as I so very rarely use any fiber in my work.

In between steps for those beads, I also made a pair of earrings. These feature heat rivets at the bottom of the wires.

These are so darn lightweight - but long - 3 1/4".  The pearls have a wonderful rainbow opalescence, and dare I say it, these are sexy earrings!  Swingers!

Totally unrelated to this blog post, my Monday Post at Love My Art Jewelry was hijacked and posted on another site - including the links, but my name was suddenly gone.  This type of stealing has become, unfortunately, quite common in this day and age.  So, I am now adding what may appear as weird bi-lines and footnotes to my own personal blog, in the off chance this happens "here" as well.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by today, and I so very much appreciate your comments!


This blog post was written by Patti Vanderbloemen for her own personal blog, My Addictions Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti.  If you are reading this on another site, it has been copied and used without permission of the author or blog owner.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What in the world is THIS?

So...still no kiln.  It is supposed to be shipped sometime this week.  In the meantime, I have been giving my torch a workout.  Do you know what those are???

They're beads!!  Still in love with the bracelets I made (you can see them here) , I decided to try and make a bead...from copper tubing.

Oh my goodness...these are A LOT OF WORK!  Cut the tubing, sand the ends of the tubing PERFECTLY FLAT...roll out the clay, texture the clay, cut the clay to fit, add the clay to the tube (VERY GENTLY I might add)...let dry....sand...touch up the clay where I sanded too the clay and hope like heck it works... pickle.  Cut teeny tiny discs...sand the edges of the discs so that you do not cut your finger (I did cut my finger)....find the center and drill a hole....solder the discs to the ends of the tube....PICKLE...tumble...add liver of sulfur patina...buff...tumble.  


These are not nearly as large as they appear either. Only 3/4" in length.

I only made two of these, as I was not sure it would work...but it did!  MUST. MAKE. MORE.  This is going to be a FANTABULOUS bracelet when it grows up with some siblings (once I make them of course).

How was your week????

Thanks a million for stopping by today!!!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

"My Addictions"...kinda sums it up!

I sometimes tend to get fixated....certain beads, metals, etc.  My own little trends, I call them.  This is my trend for the past couple of days...copper and silver - mixed it what you want.

I wanted to make another bangle bracelet, using PMC - just to make sure the first time was not a fluke!  So, I made two - one with a single strip of clay, and one with two strips.

I was going to make a third that day...but dang...6 gauge metal is tough!  LOTS of annealing, hammering, pickling, yadda yadda yadda.  My hands said "stop"!

I sold a couple of anticlastic spinner bracelets, and since it involves mixed metals, I thought ... go for it...make another one  I am always on the lookout for how I can create different textures with the myriad of hammers and tools I have on hand.  

Each "dot" on that bangle above is a single blow of a hammer.  My arm was begging for a break from banging, not to mention annealing, pickling, etc., as the metal curves out of control with each blow of the hammer as well.  The bangles below were much easier on my arm...only 12 gauge.  

To be quite honest, it is easier for me to align a join for a hoop with 10 gauge or heavier wire.  The metal is just sturdy enough to "stay where I tell it to" until I get the solder flowing!  Regardless, I like how these turned out!

Lastly, I revisited my most favorite of hoop styles.  These are 10 gauge solid copper, because as I said, the heavier the gauge, the easier it is (for me) to get a perfectly aligned join.

I have finished a few more projects with PMC, but, not quite ready to reveal, as they are components and I keep changing the design.  A woman's prerogative...right?

I must go outside and grab some Vitamin D - the sun is shining and it will be close to 70 degrees in Northern Virginia today!  Far cry from the 40 degrees last week.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I am officially in love...

....with Precious Metal Clay!  Still waiting on my kiln to arrive, but I am continuing to practice!  I missed working with my copper, so I made this to compensate...

Thank goodness I have made bangles like these before, sans the silver.  Although I have seen bracelets similar to these before, I turned to a book that I have had for a couple of months now.  

Book Source
Nothing like step by step directions!  As a matter of fact, the Art Jewelry Elements blog had a recent review of the book as well.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves their copper!

I used copper rivets - 16 gauge wire, instead of fine silver wire.  I first made up a sample design using polymer clay.  I did this so that I could gauge how much of the silver clay I would need to use.  

I am not regretting the fact that my kiln is not here....yet!  This is going to look great on my arm!

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Monday, April 6, 2015

My Adventures in Precious Metal Clay

I researched for MONTHS before I bit the bullet to buy a kiln.  Type of kiln, size of kiln, manufacturer, and, my research also included due diligence of the website from where the kiln would be purchased.  Specifically - warranty, ease of communication with problems, etc.

Well, somewhere along the line, I did not read the teeny tiny print under "shipping".  All I saw was "we strive to ship all orders within 48 hours".  The teeny tiny print I missed (and it was truly a smaller font!) stated "small and medium size kilns are drop shipped from the manufacturer, thus extending the shipping time".

Hmpf.  The box I received last week was the kiln shelf, kiln furniture, and a few other accessories, along with a packing slip stating that the kiln will be here in another "12 - 15 days".

So, what is a middle aged woman ANTSY to get started in PMC to do when her kiln has not yet arrived??  Use a torch.

I started slow and tiny.  Granted, this silver clay is expensive.  But, I started with two itty bitty little charms.

I was so pleased with the texture on these charms!  So, I decided to go just a tad bigger.

The charms above have a bark-like texture - deep grooves that capture the colors of the patina. I added a squirt of ammonia to my liver of sulfur solution and used the hottest water that would come out of my tap.  I was excited by the deep pink to purple rainbow patina I was able to achieve - I kept it in the crevices of the bark.  Believe me - achieving a rainbow affect with liver of sulfur/ammonia is a hit or miss event.  For me, it's more miss! 

I have some more charms drying, prior to firing later this week.  I am being very careful to ensure they are not too thick as from what I have gleaned, the thinner the piece (when torch firing) the better - or sintering will not happen.  The entire process that a clay can be formed, dried, and fired to turn into silver just fascinates me beyond belief.

I will keep you updated on my successes and failures - there will be failures...GUARANTEED! :)

Thanks for stopping by today!