Blog entry

Colored Pencil on Metal Workshop

My first online workshop for 2018 is coming to a close and it was fantastic.  The students were awesome and creative and super learners!

That class was Jewelry Photography and I intend to continue to befriend and support however I can the people I met through this experience.  We will continue to discuss and share in the private Facebook group I created for the workshop.

If jewelry photography interests you, I am planning to repeat the workshop in the late fall.

My Adventures in Enamel January 2018

My jewelry making techniques sort of go in binges.  A lot of that has to do with my teaching schedule.  For example, last month I had two workshops teaching enameling so I definitely had some quality time with my kiln (which I've decided is rather nice in winter).

I've also decided that when I finish my current online workshop, I'm going to start work on my next one which will be enameling.

I always start people with torch enameling.  Nothing like watching your piece in real time go from sugar to orange peel to glossy smooth.

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show How To Advice and Tips

One day late i 2016 I was perusing Facebook when I saw a thread (probably in a metalsmithing group) about the Tucson show.  (schedule)

This is one of the biggest and most well-known shows in the jewelry-making industry. Days and days and miles and miles of workshops, vendors, buyers, sellers, stones, jewelry components, etc.

Anyway, the person posting the thread inquired about how to prepare for going to the Tucson show, and one of the responses just blew me away.

Labradorite and Enamel, But Not at the Same Time

In today's blog post I want to share some of my latest creations.

I spent about 16 years never using Labradorite (no, I have no good reason for that).  And I seem to have embraced it all and once in binge-style.

Here are some pieces I made in the last month.

It started with this piece.  I never even got finished photos of it because it sold before I had a chance.  The back had rolling mill leaf texture on it, and of course it came with a chain.

I liked it so much, I revisited the design not long after.

Making Your Own Simple Stamping or Chasing Tools

I say "simple" because I don't know what these are really called and they aren't anything fancy.  Just don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about this blog post.  I'm going to show you how to make a set of chasing tools in a graduating range of sizes.  I use these CONSTANTLY in my workshop.  Hope you find this post useful.

First I got this inexpensive set of pin punches from Harbor Freight (Pin Punch Set 8 Pc Pittsburgh Item #93424)

More Patina Experiments... This Time Sealants

I decided to expand my patina testing to include sealants... as in how do certain sealants affect certain patinas.

I spent some time applying patinas via my torch scrap pieces of copper and bronze (see end of post).

Sealant Testing on Metal Stage 1

I'd like to thank those who are providing additional information and suggestions for my testing.  These first two rounds of testing were not definitive in any way and there's still lots of tweaking and more options to try.  

Please note that I did not "heat cure" the ProtectaClear.  I followed the manufacturer's directions.

In order to cover as many bases as I can, I will "heat cure" the ProtectaClear during the next phase of testing as many metal clay users swear by this.

Learning to Fuse Fine Silver and Argentium

I’ve been experimenting with fusing fine silver.  Before I begin sharing, here's a bit of background info on the differences between fine silver, sterling silver, and Argentium silver.

Fine silver (also known as pure silver) is 99.9% silver.

DIY Photo Cube Tutorial Free Instructions for Making Your Own Photography Set Up

There are many DIY photo cube tutorials on the internet and I'm adding one more now.

For this photo cube, you can use any size box that fits your needs. The one in my example below was made out of a necessity to fit into a particular space (12 inches wide).

I hate having to set-up and tear-down my photography arrangement based on what I'm doing each day.  Wouldn't it be nice to just have a little corner space set up at all times for when I want to shoot a picture?

DIY Sanding Box (Or How to Have a Dust Free Workroom)

I had made a new “contraption” for my workshop. Sanding metal makes a huge mess. And just because I wear goggles and a respirator while sanding, it doesn’t mean I’m okay with the metal dust particles left all over the workshop.

So I often sand outside, but that entails carrying all my stuff out there and of course I never remember to bring everything I need on my first trip out.

Here’s my current solution.