Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finished pieces from 09-22-11

My two new rings. And yes you did see something similar before, but this on is tapiered at the back, thinner around and it's mine! The Heart from the heart ring was very very hard to do and I'm glad it came out. The are both real gold.

Andrew's Birthday present- Finished casting from 09/22/11

Yes it is real gold. It prolly the best ring I've done so far. He loves it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Casting results 09/22/11

I have managed to maintain my fifty fifty record. Last night one pour went well and one, um, not so much. Okay, so when I said there was molten metal *everywhere* it was a bit of an exaggeration. But that's kinda what it felt like at the time. I didn't get the spout right over the button when I tipped and so there was splash back. Anytime you have molten metal where you didn't expect it it's a serious situation. I managed to correct my position enough to get some in, but it all happens so fast that I didn't even really know what had happened until it was over. I've never experience so much natural adrenaline and it took a long time for me to get back on an even keel after seeing that red hot liquid metal splash around and fly through the air. My instructor (who also owns the studio and is totally awesome) Threw some more silver in the crucible and said she could try to repour the rest and maybe it might fuse and could possible turn out. She poured the rest (right into the button of course) and One side of the tree actually did come out, so all was not lost. The next cast I did myself (right into the button of course because you don't make *that* mistake twice) And it turned out like solid gold (in fact it is sold gold!).

I'm going to finish them to a high polish and may or may not do a stardust finish on the heart ring. The one with the holes is for Mr. Andrew man, as it is nearly his birthday. It will be the most expensive thing I've ever given to him (Aside from Ben of course, but Ben isn't really his as we have a share split in that little one). There will be one more round of casting that will take place in two weeks, I have big plans for a necklace and little plan for some earrings. I have officially run through all my own gold, so unless I manage to find some buried treasure (Arrrrrrrr!) it's silver from here on out. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wax cast ring Finished piece

This ring was carved out of wax and then cast in gold. It took me soooooooo long to finish the wax ring (I broke it a couple of times and had to repair it) but that was nothing compared to the clean up. It's very light and shinny. Anyhoo, here it is:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Casting and Fabrication

Ta-da! Two new pieces to share:
My finished pendant from the first batch of casting, and the earrings I cut at home. Both pieces are sterling silver. As for last night class, I poured two, one came out great, and the other didn't come out at all. But it's all a learning process. I will share photos of those when they are all cleaned up.

I have way more pieces that I cut at home, but If I post them all, this blog would be nothing but pictures of jewelry.......Hmmmm, I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing or not yet :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Earrings in progress

I cut these recently.
As your keen observation skills have probably already detected, the one on the left has be filed and sanded, while the one on the right has not.
After they are both fully filed and sanded I will take them to the studio and anneal them so that they can be twisted into the shape I want. I will curl the tops of them, as is my habit, around a jump ring, hang them on some ear wire, and presto, I will have a beautiful pair of earrings!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Work in progress......

It doesn't look like much yet....but it will once it's been cut off and cleaned up!
I'm working on another one of these, I'm going to try it in gold.
The other thing in the back ground is a ring. I'm going to try to set a stone into it, but I haven't decided which stone to use.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Casting classes!

So I'm going to my casting class tonight. So far the things I've sculpted have turned out beautifully!!!!

The way it works is you make your piece out of wax, and then you make a plaster cast of it. The wax is burned out and the hole left in the plaster is then filled with molten metal. The metal is then cleaned and finished.

This process allows me to really use a lot of my artistic talents, and I love working with that wax. It's completely different from the fabrication classes. I'm really glad I took those classes first because if I hadn't, I might never even want to, as my talents are so well suited to wax modeling!

The pieces that were cast in the last class were poured by my instructor, so technically they are not my work alone. She said I could pour it myself but, as I've see it done more than once, but I wanted these two pieces to, um, actually turn out? She said that casting is never guaranteed, if I do it there's a 50% chance it will turn out, where as if she does it, there's an 80% chance it will turn out. There are just so many factors that go into it and so many things that could go wrong. I wanted them to have the best chance of success, as I really put a lot of work into the pendant. If I'm feeling very brave, I will pour the next batch. I have been commissioned to make a ring for someone, and if I manage to get a round to it in this class, I will have to pour that one myself......
Even if I'm not successful in the pouring it's all a learning process, and as my instructor says I can't let being afraid of ruining something prevent me from doing it, "After all Sarah, it's only wax!"
I will take my camera with me tonight so I can photograph the unfinished pieces!
And oh, Happy Birthday to me!! I didn't receive any cards this year but that's probably due to the postal strike ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ta-da! Earrings and a necklace

This is the necklace I made a while back that needed a bit more finishing. I'm very happy with the way it came out. I'll soon be wearing it for the first time to a very special event. Out of everything thing I've made I like this pendant the most.

These earrings are the end product of a botched (and extremely time consuming) project. I'm really glad I was able to salvage at least some of it and make some lovely earring the rest will be melted down during lost wax casting, which starts at the end of May :)

I also finished three pendants, and two pairs of earrings :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bag of tricks!

So I have my open studio tonight, which is bench time at the workshop where I can (hopefully) drill/solder/ polish all the little things I've cut at home.
Since my explanation of my home set up always leads to questions (Srsly! It's just a block of wood clamped to my bookshelf above a cake pan also clamped to my book shelf) I have included some photos of that as well.
Wish me luck tonight!!
Here are 12 things I have started at home displayed in the sanding tray my darling husband made me:

Here is the cutting block on the bookshelf:

Here is the cutting block with the drop pan:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Home set up!!!

I am now able to cut metal at home!!!
This is a huge break though for me as it means I can really use my bench time at the work shop well. I have me a saw, cutting block, files and sand paper which is all I really need to cut and shape things at home. It's all very exciting. I have several projects on the go that I will hopefully be able to finish completely on Friday. Also so excited to show my teacher all the stuff I've done independently. She is always so encouraging and supportive. Hopefully everything will turn out well. Still trying to wrap my head around actually making something to sell. so hard to attach a dollar value to all my hard work, especially as I like jewelry so much that I just want to keep it all! I know without a doubt now that this is what I want to do. It's just a matter of finding a way to make it work. Wish me luck, and hopefully I'll have good news after Friday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One year ago today...........

Days on the calendar come and go marking events that would have been but weren't; days that don't mean anything to anyone except me. (I've one more of these coming up in May).
As much as I try to tough it out (Yeah it was the worst pain I ever felt in my life, yeah I almost died, and, yeah I lost a pregnancy, so what?) it still effects me. The loss of possibilities is probably the hardest part. As much as I want to say I'm well over it, the truth is I am not. I may never be. I guess it's not a matter of "getting over it" or "putting it behind me" as much as it is a matter of learning to live with it. It didn't kill me, so it must have made me stronger? I certainly don't feel stronger but who am I to judge? I do know this for sure, I have things in my life today that I did not have one year ago. People whom I love, and new skills I have acquired. I am grateful for the changes this year has brought, even as I mourn the losses. I am happy even though it hurts.
Scars and bruises on our souls make us who we are.
It's not good or bad, it just is what it is; Life.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best necklace!

Well, I love it anyways!!
what do you think?
It still needs some sanding and polishing, but I didn't have time to finish it in my last fabrication class......It will have to wait until May, when I have one open studio slot booked. I love it when things turn out looking like what they were meant to look like :)
I will be starting my casting classes at the end of May, which really seems like ages away.


And by solid gold I of course mean brass.
In retrospect maybe not the best design for a small boy to play with.......
But it looks great mounted on his door.

I also brought home the earrings and pendant from last week and another new pendant, I will photograph and post them too when I get a chance, hopefully this afternoon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nothing new to show from last weeks class....

It was a great class and all, I actually made two simple pendants, a pair of earrings and I cut almost half way through another much more complicated pendant. However, the simple stuff needs some finishing, and I'm seriously considering drilling some holes and attaching some crystals. I guess I'll just wait and see where the spirit takes me on Wednesday. It will be my last fabrication class, but...... I can rent bench space now!!! Woooooooo! This means that I've been deemed skilled enough to safely use the equipment independently (Like the oxy/propane torch , the big scary buffer, and the drills....) and I will do so in the beginning of May. I might actually even make something for sale!!!
On a sadder note, I seem to have lost the first pendant I made. I don't know how it happened, but it's nowhere to be found :( I'm pretty sure it's in the apartment somewhere so hopefully it will turn up soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ring-Ring! ..hello who's there? It's a success! :)

I set three stones!
It was so stressful, I wouldn't be surprised if it took years off my life! My teacher said she was proud of me! I also used the big scary buffer (It's not as scary as I thought) to make my ring super shinny.
It's not *perfect*.
In fact, I can tell you exactly where all the flaws are.....
But I won't ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


So class last night was great! I melted two jump rings (ops!) Lesson learned. I finished my earrings! They are super light and very wearable. (I have always disliked wearing heavy earrings.) It was really difficult to work with such thin metal but totally worth it. They have great movement which I can't really show in a photo so you'll have to take my word for it.

And I've been told (big surprise) That I can't work with my diamonds (I have three lovely ones) until I have successfully done a setting three times with zircons. So next week I'm going to start learning how to do a Gypsy setting. I'm planning to make a silver ring with three zircons. Hopefully I will be successful!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Silversmithing tonight!

I've been looking forward to tonight since last Wednesday!!
I realized the other day how much I have learned when I was trying to explain to a friend the process of making a bezel setting.....
So my latest project (as you may have guessed from the photo I posted last week) is a pair of tear drop layered dangle earrings. At the time I wanted to make them super light and wearable. Which meant that I had to roll out a thick sheet of metal to get something thinner to work with. Well it was warping so much I had to anneal it, and my teacher standing behind at the roller was starting to sound a bit like Scotty telling me the metal can't take much more of this......"Geezes Sarah, seriously soon you'll be working with tinfoil!"
Do you have any idea how hard it is to file and polish tinfoil?!! Good thing I have a light touch...
The shapes are not exact, which is to be expected with hand cut designs. Earrings are especially hard as they have to be pretty close....
I expect tonight to be more of the same, filing sanding and polishing. I have no idea what the attachment process will entail, but my plan is to finish these earrings tonight and figure out what I will start on next week :) I have too many ideas and pages of designs!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Farbication level two

So what did you get accomplished this evening?
Here's what I did:

I'm really enjoying this!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When I grow up I want to be a Goldsmith!

For now I'll settle for amateur silver smith....
As the Internet has already probably told you, I've opened a jewelry store over on Etsy, and joined forces with Jen over at Pássaro Bobo.
What the Internet may not have told you is that I've successfully completed my level one Silversmith at the devil's work shop, and will be starting level two at the end of February!! (Huzzah, it's so exciting!)
The first course was a fabrications course, and it was mostly just filing and sanding and buffing. Ha ha no just joking, there was other stuff too.
By the end of it I have completed three pendants and one ring!

I don't actually have photo of the ring....should do something about that I guess.
Anyways, When I have finished level two I will be allowed to rent bench space there and make really pretty things to sell (which I fully intend to do!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Revolution

I guess they teach this stuff at school because my Boy asked me today what my "New Years Revolution" was. I said that my news years resolution was to not have any major surgery this year. to which he quickly said "But Mumma, you can't control that!" I had to admit that this was true. After some more thought I was told that if I didn't have surgery I would have died (also true) so that was not a *good* new years resolution. I then had to say that if I needed it I would in fact have major surgery again this year (*groans*)
What I want to know is how this child got so perceptive......