Friday, September 2, 2016

Labor Day!

I cannot wait for this Summer to be over.  Yesterday I read that it was the hottest (or second hottest) Summer on record for the Washington DC area.  Yuck.

So....I am celebrating!

Have a wonderful --- and safe --- Labor Day Holiday weekend!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I love experiments!

One of my "bucket-list" techniques to learn was how to reticulate sterling silver. There are lots of videos and how-to's for this technique, but it basically entails heating the sterling silver sheet until it glows light pink - hold it at this temperature for 2 minutes, and carefully drop it in your heated pickle. This stage of the process is called depletion gilding, whereby a layer of fine silver is created at the surface of the silver sheet.  Repeat this heat/pickle process 3 times, until the surface of the silver turns frosty white (and it really did turn frosty white - I was excited)!

The next stage of torching involves focusing the heat slowly over the surface of the sheet until it turns a dull red.  As you move your flame away, the surface layer crinkles and folds and creates my favorite thing in the whole world - texture!.

While my first try at this process was not what I would call stellar, there is some texture going on here! Of course I forgot to take a picture of my entire sheet (I was excited to use it), but as you can see, there is lots of missed opportunity for texture on my sheet below.

But, I was able to use a few areas of this reticulated sheet and I made a few far.

First up, I had these gorgeous porcelain drops from Scorched Earth with a glaze called Hematite Shimmer.  I swear, in natural light (not under my photo lights, unfortunately), they ooze glitter!  I even took the earrings outside to photograph, but as soon as I opened the door, I was accosted by the insane humidity and turned right back around.  

Next up, some handmade porcelain charms by Carol Dekle of TerraRusticaStudio.  These are such a pretty light blue..almost turquoise color. 

I love using porcelain beads/charms - they are so lightweight and easy-peasy to wear. 

The next pair also feature porcelain charms by Carol - pretty texture and a lovely Evergreen color.  I paired these with two itty bitty sterling silver hollow beads that I made.

My favorite pair of earrings feature Carol's Tree of Life porcelain charms. In researching its origin, I read so many interpretations of this ancient symbol...these are my favorites:

  • A Cosmic Family tree, telling ancient stories of shared roots that link to the past, showing connected struggles and aspirations, and desires to reach for the light.
  • Similar to a Family Tree, the symbol illustrates roots and branches where one has both diverged and joined.  It shows where we come from and who comes from us.
  • It also carries the meaning that we are all related to the Cosmos - humans, animals, earth family, beyond earth family, etc.  All of these Cosmos are inter-connected ...DNA and chemicals link us and it is this link where we find compassion and tolerance.

I paired these charms with tiny copper beads that I textured and rolled, along with some sterling silver because...come on...MIXED METAL!  Yum!

Carol also gave me several porcelain cabochons to play with.  I used the first one to make a ring.

What I love about this cab is that she has cut facets into the sides...which are NOT symmetrical.  I hand stamped the back plate, and was successful with my second split shank!

The split shank is fast becoming my favorite!  It looks substantial, but unlike a wide band ring, it is so comfortable to wear!

I started cutting some silver for cuffs, with the intention of stamping some designs.  That will have to wait until tomorrow!

Thanks so much for stopping by..I truly appreciate it!