Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three Silver Hearts Bracelet

I've just added my latest creation on our website and, as I've decided to do from now on, wanted to update the blog for those of you who subscribe. Thanks for that, by the way! Below is the text taken from the website describing this new bracelet.

I like working with leather, and more, I like wearing it! My three hearts bracelet is 12mm wide (just under 1/2") and is cut from a hide of chocolate brown distressed leather. The focal point for the bracelet is a handmade fine silver plate featuring three hearts and is stitched to the leather using red Tenara thread (previously known as Gore-Tex). The buckle is also handmade from Argentium sterling silver wire, which is polished to a high shine. Next to the buckle is a loop to pass the end of the bracelet through. 

 
This bracelet comes in 2 lengths to accommodate most sizes by featuring 4 punched holes. The lengths will accommodate sizes 6 to 7.5" and 7" to 8.5", respectively. A nice feature of this bracelet is that it is made to buckle comfortably on the outer side of your wrist so that when you lay your arm down on a table the feeling is smooth, as the buckle is out of the way. If you find the need to, the end of the leather can be trimmed off. Made by Lisa.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Outer Rim Territory

I'm a Star Wars fan and this explains the name of this necklace. Tatooine is in the distant Outer Rim and is a desert planet. Tatooine has an endless desert environment and twin yellow suns. The soil is very parched, yet life persists. You can find all of this information on the Internet or from the movie itself, if you're a fan like me. 

The necklace has a free swinging disc in the center that shows off a beautiful Chrysoprase cab. The outer rim has many small silver planets and the texture on both the inner disc and outer rim represent the parched landscape.

OK. Enough. Here are some facts about the necklace. The pendant itself is approximately 1.25" in diameter. The Chrysoprase cab is 6mm. The inner disc is attached by balling each end of a small piece of 20 gauge silver wire. The outer ring (or rim!) is dotted with handmade silver balls. Double jump rings form the bail and the chain is sterling silver balled chain. It's finished with a sterling lobster clasp. 

This necklace took a long time for me to finish. I wasn't sure which stone I was going to use but just love the green of the Chrysoprase so it won out over the other choices. It sat lonely on my work bench for the longest time because it was so pretty without the patina that I dwelled over that one decision for a long time. Finally, the desire to have the texture really stand out won over and it took it's dip in liver of sulphur yesterday. I spent a long time polishing it because I wanted those silver balls to be very bright and shiny against the textured background. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First Copper Clay Pieces


Just as you can create beautiful pure silver jewelry from PMC (precious metal clay), you can now create beautiful copper jewelry from Copper Clay! There is also another jew product - Bronze Clay - but I haven't tried it yet. I believe Shauna is working on a bronze clay piece.

Anyway, the copper clay is a dream to work with. You have plenty of time to work with your piece before it starts to harden and refining the piece before it's fired is...well...easy!

With silver clay you have less time before it starts to harden so you must know what you're going to do before you open it up and get started. Also, in the hardened state before being fired in the kiln, you must work with great care so as not to break your piece, especially if it's delicate. It's a totally different world from working with copper clay, and I suspect, bronze clay.

But, enough going on about that. The first pair shown above are just simple little hearts with a large open bail. It's a design I've had sitting around for a couple of years. I must have known then they were meant for copper clay. Ha-ha! I wish I were that intuitive! Anyway, they are thin and about 1" tall, including the bail. They hang from sterling silver ear wires.

The second pair are more delicate and are my favorite of the two. They are about 1-1/4" tall, including the twisted bail, and elongated. This design is also a couple of years old and I actually tried making these out of silver clay but they were just too fragile. They work great with the copper clay. Yeah!
So, if you want to visit our website to see better pictures of these then just click on the Title of this blog entry and it will take you right to them. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hanging in There

'Lo. I am trying to stay in the loop, but as happens in life, priorities must shift periodically. My husband's new business over the past few months has been eating most of my time, and my elderly mother and 10-year-old boy demand the rest. I need a maid and some sleep, but this will pass. Finally pried myself away one recent afternoon to visit the bead shop down the road that is called Antiques, Beads & Crafty People (http://www.abcraftypeople.com/). My purchase was a couple of inexpensive magnesite and howlite stones for some practice with bezels. This one is magnesite, and larger at about 1.5" in diameter. The back is partially covered with silver sheet. Typically the hole in a pendant-sized stone like this is utilized vertically, but I was forced to find another solution when I made a mistake and one part of the bezel ended up looking less perfect than I like. That section is now hidden on the bottom, so that is why the hole is oriented horizontally now. I like the solution, but sometimes it flips and shows the back, so the next one I make will ensure the front is always visible. The clasp is magnetic.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Check out our Gallery!

I wanted to make sure that everyone knew we had a gallery on our site that includes pictures of all of our pieces from the beginning of this exciting venture. The pieces shown in our gallery are not for sale but most were at some point in time. I've added 2 more items to the gallery: a Silver on Leather bracelet that I made as a special request from my youngest son and a turquoise pendant that was my first attempt at true metalsmithing. I promised you this one in an earlier blog and it turned out quite nice but since I don't think it's "perfect", it won't make it to the "for sale" pages just yet. I will make another one that will hopefully get sold to one lucky customer.




More New Pieces

I have created some new pieces and wanted to let you know so you could check them out on our website. I know it seems like it's been forever since some new stuff got posted here on our blog but I've had some kiln issues to work through.

My kiln decided to roll over on me one day when it was loaded full of new pieces and just continuee to heat up, completely ignoring the set program, so all of my pieces melted into silver puddles. It was devastating, to say the least. That has never happened to me before and after much technical analysis and part replacement, I ended up sending it off to Rio Grande to have them fix it. After a couple more weeks, I finally got it back and it's been running beautifully. Fingers crossed nothing like that ever happens again.

But, while I was waiting for my kiln to return home, I continued to work on jewelry and had a good amount of new pieces to fire. Unfortunately, I'm pressed for time so I'm going to list them here and you can visit our site to see more pictures and get all the details about each piece.

In the order shown, they are:

Oh, and I almost forgot, I've got another handful of new pieces that haven't been completely finished yet so will post them as soon as they are. Stay tuned!