Monday, October 29, 2012

A Flea Market Score!

I was mostly working every weekend in the past 2+ years until recently. And weekends are THE days for farmers markets and flea markets and garage sales. So in the past few weeks I really enjoyed the new reality and went to Fremont farmers market (which is half farmers and half flea) nearly every Sunday. Here are some pics from what it looks like there and of what I scored!

This little stash cost me only $3!

And this mix under $20... I love me a good bargain!

Fremont is a little special neighbourhood in Seattle, very worth exploring any day of the week...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fusing - Eighth Technique Learnt This Year!

I am at number eight with my pledge (remember ?) - I took class to learn fusing silver. Again in my local bead shop Fusion Beads.
This was far the most expensive class I have done yet - not because of the tuition fees, but the cost of material. Fusing can be done only with pure silver (sterling doesn't work well, sometimes at all) so the wires I have purchased for this class totaled at almost $50! But I did learn to work with pure silver, how to handle a torch and lots of other tricks.

The easiest to start with is a simple chain and that's what was the objective of the class. I chose to make my links oval in shape and textured them with hammed (which you should be able to see on the second picture) before tumbling it. Have a look at the chain, I still need to purchase a clasp for it, but otherwise I am happy with the outcome. And I still have some wire left from the class, so when I buy a torch, I might make some more fused elements.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wire-wrapped Big Jade Bead

My mum asked me to try to make something out of this beautiful jade bead she found somewhere. I am sorry I didn't take a picture with a coin or something else to show the scale, but when I see my mum again, I'll try to get a photo of her wearing it :) 

This is the pendant that I ended up with:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How Far Did I get with My Pledge?

Back in February I have decided that I shall learn 10 new techniques this year. So let's have a look how far I got. These were some ideas I had:

  1. sawing - yes and yes! This is probably so far my favourite new technique, it can change and define so many designs.
  2. chainmaille - one pair of earrings to start with. I need to stock up on jumprings...
  3. etching - yes, this is another great technique to enhance metal jewellery.
  4. riveting - I like it, although I feel like I need to work on it much more.
  5. foldforming - off to a good start, I have many ideas that I will hopefully be able to make a reality.
  6. viking weave - another new technique I fell in love with!

  1. Here is one technique that wasn't on my list, but I learned:
  1. Chasing & repousse!

 Not tried yet:
  1. soldering
  2. electroforming
  3. drilling
  4. stamping
  5. enameling
  6. working with resin ............ and maybe something else too...
So that's 7 done and 3 to go - I better hurry up and it's already October, I hope to hit my goal! Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chainmaille - My First Project and Number SEVEN On My "Pledge List"

Seven - for some people a lucky number, for me it is right now another point on my "To Do List" done! I have learned seven NEW jewellery making techniques this year! Yes! 

Today on the menu: CHAINMAILLE (or chain-maille).
Chainmaille has always been intriguing to me - it can be tough and feminine at the same time, and it uses wire. Well - jumprings, but they're made from wire, so there are as many material choices as there are kinds, gauges and colours of wire.

The biggest accomplishment of "Mission Chainmaille" is the fact, that I made my own jumprings out of hardware wire! Very proud of myself. I tried to saw the jumprings first, but I broke one blade, so I have decided to cut them with flush cut pliers. I was just watching some movie and snipped away:)

My first project was a pair of earrings combined with copper washers of two different sizes. My inspiration came from magazine Step by Step Wire Jewelry (Jun-Jul 2011) from  tutorial by Lauren Andersen; but I would also like to give credit to Amy Sanders, who was the originator of the design and who also generously offers a FREE TUTORIAL on her blog here:

I discovered the online tutorial after working on this design and found it mainly because I was looking for who to give credits to.

OK, now here is the design:

And here are the finished earrings with earwires and after oxidizing.
There is only one problem with them: they are VERY heavy. Very heavy. So I will not try to sell them but keep them as a showpiece:)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Foldformed Heart Bracelet

I found inspiration in the last issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine - Abbi Berta's design "Battered Heart" came just on time for my foldforming fever. This is Abbi's design:
Here is my version of the metal heart. I have added some hammered texture to the fold:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Foldforming - I'm at Number SIX Technique

Foldforming seems to be the latest craze in metal working world of jewellery!
In case you missed some of my earlier posts, I made a pledge to learn 12 new jewellery making techniques this year (this is the original post). With foldforming I am at number 6! Half way through!

"Ruegel Fold" looked the easiest to start with, so I tried to make 2 leaves - and I'm quite happy with the result!
Check out the colour magic (second picture) created by mini torch.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fancy Clasp with Turquoise

A friend ordered a bracelet for his daughter (same design as here). I wanted to make a different style clasp this time, so I added a pair of small turquoise beads:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sawing OHM sign - Mixed Metals

Sawing is so versatile - it can expand the possibilities of design for anybody working with metal. You can cut ANY shape out of sheet metal and add it to your creations.
It was my very good friend's birthday and I wanted to make something special for her. She loves yoga and works as a massage therapist focusing on energy work - so I immediately thought OHM....

I made a pendant of mixed metals: hammered aluminum sheet, copper sheet and brass beads and rivets. All that hanging on a brass chain. She loved it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chasing and Repoussé - Number Five

What does Wikipedia say about Chasing and Repoussé? Repoussé or repoussage is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. Chasing is the opposite technique to repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing.
I took another class in the Fusion Beads here in Seattle, this time with the wonderful Janice Berkebile. We were actually learning two techniques - basket weave and repousse/ chasing.
The piece was called "Fruit of the Vine" and this is what the finished jewellery looks like (Janice's own piece):
Here you see a pod filled with beads/ pearls and a beautiful leaf forged out of metal sheet. The pod was a very nice and intricate weave to learn, but I was primarily interested in the repousse technique. Honestly, it took me FOREVER to get a nice leaf shape out of a piece of copper sheet, but once I was finished, I was feeling like a king! unfortunately this is something I wasn't able to replicate at home yet, because the chasing tools are very pricy and I will have to find a very good reason (or sell some of my handiwork) to be able to justify a buy like this. So for the time being, I am keeping my beautiful leaf for myself. And hopefully later on I will find that reason to invest into a bundle of chasing tools.

Here is my pod:

And here is the leaf I'm so damn proud of: