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Friday, May 30, 2014

Part of the whole greater than whole? Well come take a look

 Somethings wrong with this picture, right? The bottom is gone from the frame Separated with a jewelers saw .
 What was just sitting there on that frame has been wrapped around a ring mandrel. Because it is high quality Silver plated brass with an elegant finish, I used a rawhide hammer to form it around the mandrel. Setting the partially bent ring on a wood block and using the mandrel to hold it down while pounding with the mallet on the ends draws it around without marks.
 The lovely detail could work for man or woman.
 Even the ends seem better suited to a ring than a frame.
 This piece makes a larger size ring about a size 9-12 adjustable.
The original came from Dr Brassy's new supply store on Etsy. I think I will cut up the rest and see what other forms emerge. The whole is nice but the parts are more numerous and in this case more fun. Give a new look at your stampings with an eye to finding the puzzle pieces. They are there. Don't forget to smooth the cut edges and polish them for a smooth fit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sharpie Doodles on Copper

 Interested in getting more out of you etching experience? This DVD and the Book below are a great way to increase your knowledge base and skills.
 Once you get some etched pieces this book has many ideas how to make them into something special.
 I started off today with some crude doodles on sanded copper. Using a permanent Sharpie in 3 different sizes, I sketched some not too elegant graffiti.
 A backing of packing tape was rubbed on and left to extend to both sides.
 Hard to see in this shot but the tape is attached to the sides of the container and the metal is just below the surface.
 I checked after about 45 minutes and the etch was adequate. The etchant was allowed to drain.
 Then the piece was set into a plastic box and covered with baking soda to neutralize the acid.
 Next the copper was washed and scrubbed a bit after removing the tape. Since the color is dull and some of the marker is still evident, I took it to the fire bench.
It was placed on top of a steel screen on a tripod and flame painted. When all of the ink was gone and some color developed the metal was also annealed.
 This is just an intermediate step as more fun can take place on individual sections. First they are cut apart with light shears and trimmed down. Now the fun can begin. Next time I will show you what I do with the little sketches etched into the copper sheet.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Searching for the bits and baubles that make jewelry fun.

Supply issues are one of the most important concerns in making art jewelry. Where to buy, whether to share sources and how to stay fresh are always topics in most jewelry groups.
I have been using 4 or 5 sources for much of my purchases the last few years.  Each has some pluses and a few negatives. My pet peeve is when the source carries something erratically. Go there once and see something interesting but when we go back to purchase it we find it out of stock or no longer carried. Unless you buy many identical pieces when you see them you are at risk of being disappointed. Having many sources for the same products is best. But that can lead to stagnation, so I constantly hunt for new sources, whether it is for stamped metal, beads, or wire.

I want to introduce you to a new player https://www.etsy.com/shop/SteampunkSupplyStore. You probably recognize the owner as an active jewelry artist.  Inventor of the trademarked and coyprighted Sightmares and growing celebrity Dr Brassy Steamington.

Dr Brassy has over 25 pages of excellent metal stampings. The stock ranges from common items in many finishes to more unusual stampings with a bit of edge.  I went through https://www.etsy.com/shop/SteampunkSupplyStore page by page this afternoon and placed an order. I was pleasantly surprised at the sensible prices and the excellent variety of finishes. Dr Brassy is carrying many colors no one else has. And many stampings I have not seen elsewhere.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/174294169/silver-plated-brass-art-nouveau-or-art?ref=shop_home_active_5   this is the background piece in my newest piece
I used a brass ox version behind this macabre necklace.

How about black wings?
Or a beautiful copper ring https://www.etsy.com/listing/182881351/black-brass-medium-bird-wings-in?ref=shop_home_active_17

Dr Brassy has many new and exciting items to boost your creativity.