Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thinking of you

Dear readers,

To all those affected by 'Sandy'... my thoughts are with you at this frightening and difficult time.
I can't imagine how this must be for you.

I have been watching the CNN news here in Australia, trying to keep up with it all.
Please, please keep safe.
Try and not take any extra risks unless absolutely necessary.

My prayers are with you all... and I hope you sustain as little loss of life as possible. To those families who have already sustained loss, I offer my sincere condolences.

To all my blogging friends on the west coast of both America and Canada........ you are especially on my mind and in my heart; keep safe.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A riveted and sandblasted paisley brooch.

Hello friends,

Well I finally finished the brooch I was working on. It's not totally what I initially had in mind... but I am happy enough with it.

It was an exercise in using a jewellery saw, drilling holes and making rivets from go to whoa. The rivets are holding the brooch pin in place.

 Ha! Sorry about the background prop! ( my glasses case... I don't have Prada glasses, it's just the case!)

If you are interested in how to make rivets these are the steps ..

. cut 1cm of 1.5mm ( 15gauge) soft sterling round wire, file gently to have a good flat surface
. put it in a vice with only a small amount poking up.. say 2mm (have it tight but not so tight it will dig in to the metal... think about some tape on the vice edges to protect the soft metal))
. using the round end of a  ball pein hammer,  hammer around the edge of the wire in a circular pattern.. or you could hammer  in the pattern, 12, 6, 9, 3.
. the wire will start to make a little mushroom shape which is what you want. You may need to adjust the vice and wire if it slips down/and if you want to hammer more. If the 'mushroom' shape bends to the side, you may have the wire protruding too high above the vice. Keep on going until you are happy with the result.
. thread the finished rivet through the back of your piece, through your pre-drilled hole. ( use a 1.5mm drill bit) 
. mark and cut the wire at 1mm in length, file smooth.
. tape your work (painters tape) piece for protection and hammer the 2nd end of the rivet in the same way as the first. Try and make them the same size. ( Hmmm.. you can see mine are not equal) 
. you can then flatten the rivets with the flat end of the hammer if desired which is what I have done on my brooch. These are called 'proud' rivets as they sit above the piece. You can have them shaped in a much higher, domed look too... either look is just a matter of taste and design.

It's a slow process, but undoubtedly one does get faster with lots of practice... which I am yet to do! 

To finish my brooch, I gave it a sandblasted finish which results in a matt appearance.

So thats it for today...I hope you enjoy yours.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Heart Macro - Australian native flora.

Hello friends,

This interesting plant is an Australian native that I saw last week in a wonderful garden that is full of predominantly native flora at NMIT in Fairfield, Melbourne. ( Australia ).

I have been going there each Monday for the last two week for a few hours to participate in a jewelery making class.

I usually arrive early, go to the kiosk and have a tasty and energising big cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the garden and birds for a little while before going in to class. It's a great way to start the day.

Just look at this color, furry bits and pollen! So wonderful.

Fabulous colour and precision placement of 'petals'.

 I am really fairly ignorant about our indigenous flora. ( I do not know the name of either plants above.. all information is welcome).

My brother, David was the lover and expert of Australian native plants and had an extensive garden full of them. He used to call my exotic plants "weeds"! Yes, even the roses!

When we move house next year as planned, I really hope to plant a native floral garden. They are a great attraction for the birds and butterflies and easier to look after than 'exotic' plants. They also use very little water, too, which is a real bonus in these times of changing climate patterns. I am looking forward to a garden with a little less maintenance. ( more time for jewelry making! )
Not too sure if I can entirely give up my roses though! 

Today I am linking up to I heart macro... for those who love to take up close and macro photos. Click on the photo icon below and it will take you straight there for a look!

studio waterstone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Styling for the vintage dress form.

Hello friends,

My friend Collette is now draped in a Summer scarf  ( remember, I am in Australia.. and it is heading towards Summer now) and a few lightweight vintage necklaces.

Cast aside are the paisley shawl and the selection of Winter scarves that usually adorn her lovely neck.

This sweet wisp of a scarf is a length of grey, spotted material with lace edging.
I purloined it from my daughter's wardrobe ( she is overseas in Wintery Europe )

I have had nothing but compliments each time I wear it.... how easy would this be to make.... !?

Until next time,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Heart macro - the flower spike.

Hello friends,

Last week while I was out and about I saw this wonderful plant. It had a large footprint and a HUGE spike with red flowers. I think it was a little past it's prime but the bees were still loving it.

Does anyone know the name of this beauty?

A busy little bee!

The wonderful flower spike.

studio waterstone

Today, I am linking up to I Heart Macro... where you can see "photography for  macro makers and the Camerologically challenged" Please do head on over for a look.. just click on the photo icon above and it will take you straight there!

(Also, if you wish to see a close-up photo of a surprise visitor I had yesterday look here... last photo on the post!)

Have  you are having a great weekend,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brooch beginnings?

Hello friends,

This last week I have been trying to start making a brooch or two.

Sawing is still quite difficult for me... my skills and 'eye' are not fantastic... the result is wobbly and not terribly accurate. I am not  always relaxed while sawing and consequently usually get a sore shoulder/arm/hand as a result. This is improving a little though... my grip on the saw is no longer a "white knuckle" look and I am also not breaking as many saw blades (famous last words!) so I guess I have made some progress. I wonder if everyone has these difficulties when they first start learning to saw?!

Yes, I know... the old P word... I'm working on it bit by bit... and perhaps, just perhaps, it is marginally easier!

This semi 'paisley' shape was influenced by a shirt.... it has a long way to go... the cut out areas are not good... it's quite a challenge (for me) to keep those areas both fine and well shaped... I am hoping that a bit of sanding will fix this a little!?

Some drawings for ideas. I find it hard to find something I like, but 'doodling' helps and eventually does bring some ideas. Seeing if they work well and look good is yet another challenge. I have never made a brooch before and it does come with things to think about. Where to place the pin? Do you make the pin and rivets part of the overall design, and if so, how to carry that out?

I was visited by this little 'friend'...  it gave me quite a shock when I saw movement from the corner of my eye... no wonder I veered off the line! (taken with my phone!)

Well, that's what I have been doing today... hope your day was a good one, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Carli Hall - Profile of an Australian bead maker

Hello friends,

Here is another wonderful Australian bead maker to show you. Carli makes many wonderful bead styles including an intricate, floral style and layered dots. She is keen on coring and capping some of these beauties. All of her beads are intricate little works of art. Many of them take more than an hour to make per bead and include many different technical skills.

Anyway, you can read more about her as she answers the following questions I  have put to her....

1. How long have you been lampworking and what led you to begin to make glass beads?

 I have been lampworking for 8 years.  I was buying other artists beads to use in my jewellery and realised I could very well make them myself!

2 Please describe your workplace. Do you have a dedicated studio space?
My workspace is in the garage, on a single small desk in the corner amongst the paint cans and spider webs. 

 The very glamorous Carli at her workspace in the garage. On her left is her blue (Paragon) kiln. The tools with handles are brass presses. (She is working at the 'Cricket' torch in this shot.)

A very neat work table... wonderful  selection of glass colored rods ( I actually know her stash is bigger than this!) and storage, glass presses and the mini cc torch. Looks like a pretty good music collection,too!

3 Which glass is your current favourite and why?
 I only use 104 COE glass for convenience sake.  At the moment I am having lots of fun playing with Double helix silver glass, but my faves often change!  It all depends how many new colors come out that month!

4 What type of torch/es do you use? Can you tell us a little about it?
I have a Mini CC and love it.  I am able to make very large beads on this and it gets super hot.  It's also easy to fume with and the fuel mix reduces silver glass nicely.  I also have a 'Cricket' torch which I rarely use.

5 How would you describe your style?
 My style changes constantly.  My customers often say that they never know is going to be on my table from one show to the next, and that's what I aim for.  Beadmaking would be way too boring for me if I didn't experiment and change every few months.

A fabulous collection of one of Carli's 'signature' beads... her colourful cored and capped floral beads.

A layered and raked dotted bead with goldstone stringer, poked bubbles and silver glass addition. This is a real beauty and takes quite a while to make, too.

6 When the ‘muse’ has left the studio, what do you draw on to re-inspire you?
Some days I make absolute rubbish beads and when that happens, I just turn everything off and admit defeat.  Or pull stringers.  I can't be terrific-ly clever ALL the time.

A selection of the layered dots and bubble style... ready to make up in a bracelet or necklace.

7 If you could have a class with any well-known lampwork artist in the world, who would you choose and why?
 I am in lust with a few lampworkers beads and would love classes with all of them.  I am lucky enough to cross one artist of the list: Holly, next year.  I am keeping fingers crossed that one day Kristina Logan decides to visit us here.

8 Do you have any other artistic interests and what are they?
I love doing all things arty: I mosaic, draw and sculpt.  I have dabbled in watercolor painting and pottery.  Glass is what I am in love with tho. Silver-smithing is on the agenda for 2013.

Thank you Carli for your time and photos.
You can see more of Carli's work ... here are her contact areas..


Until next time,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sweet clasps have arrived!

Hello dear friends,

Thought I would show you a photo or two of the darling little clasps I purchased from Jo at Daisychain Jewellery.

Jo is located in Southhampton, United Kingdom... so these little babies have flown half way around the world to land in my hot little hands! It is always so exciting to receive something so delightful and from another country as well!

Thankyou Jo, I adore them and will be putting them to good use very soon.

A little copper oak leaf and daisy clasp and a sterling silver leaf clasp.

A closeup of the textured and patinaed copper daisy clasp. Love the daisy centre, too.

The three clasps with some yet, unfinished soldered copper oval links. ( mine). Macro setting on my camera really shows up the silver solder on these links. ( as well as the hair!) In real life it is not quite as obvious as this.... back to the sanding paper to refine these a little.

Jo has also got some sweet birds and butterfly clasps, poppies and toggles in her shop to name a few, so check it out! I had a difficult time choosing.. they are all so gorgeous!

Bye for now,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A not so good day in the studio!

Hello friends,

You know some days just do NOT go right..... sometimes I find when one thing does not work, everything follows suit... and this is just what happened today.. (moan!)

I recently signed up for a chain making course with Stephanie Lee.
I do know how to make some chains and have made a few in the past, ( see here as well ) however I am always up for a new style and approach and thought I could always add new styles to my somewhat small repertoire.

Stephanie's style appears to be more organic and I love the approach of leaving a larger than normal 'blob' of solder to a chain link for decoration. ( either as a smooth shape or flattened with a hammer)
Of course I thought this would come relatively easily for me as I have soldered before.
Never think something should be easy!

Good links but the soldering leaves a LOT to be desired!

The 'blobs' did not look good at all! They were 'relatively' uniform in size, however some did not wrap completely around the link, some seemed to crumble a little when hammered and some were just too weird a shape. Hmmm.. this is going to take a lot more practice to get that unstructured, organic shape that looks so easy in the video. Isn't that always the way when you are learning something new! Serves myself right for thinking this would be easy for me!!

I think I may have worked out what I am doing wrong but my brain doesn't want to allow my hands to do it correctly! 

The links were made on my new bench coiler /jump ring maker which I love. This part went smoothly!

I also used the jump ring maker to twist two strands of wire together to make twisted links. These look pretty nice (phew!) but still need to be soldered. I did attempt one but completely missed the connection .... not too much is going smoothly today at all.. I think I might leave the others for tomorrow! O.K... definitely time to pack up for the day and try something else... or maybe even a bit of T.V watching might be in order!

Twisted brass jump rings.. a miss-soldered one on the left!!

Anyway guys, hope you are having a more successful day than I am.. whatever you are doing.

Today I am linking up to I Heart Macro for those who love to take and show up close and macro photos.. hope you can pop over for a look.....

studio waterstone


Monday, October 1, 2012

Colour in a jar!

Hello friends,

This lovely "paint in a jar" arrived today from Val Cox Frit... twelve little jars of 2oz each.. I bought the set, the "Painters Series 12" as there was free shipping! Now that is a bonus when you live on the other side of the world!
I can't wait to give them a go. Friday might be the day.

For those who do not know, 'frit' is crushed glass in small pieces which can be added to a bead for decoration.. or background.. Val has so many frit selections to choose from, however this set of 12 looks absolutely wonderful.

Hope you are having a great day,



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