Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Studio day of 2012

Hello friends,

Thought I would try and get one last post in before 2013 comes. Yes, I know I have one more day!

These last weeks have been crazy busy, it seem like ages since I have been to my blog.
I have spent the last couple of weeks doing some "fill in work" while other care workers are having a holiday break.

I am happy to do this... my work was very good to me many years ago while my children were at school... they actually gave me ALL the school holidays off... so now it is time to do some work while others are holidaying with their children and families etc. My 'children' are now adults!

I actually managed to spend some time in the studio this weekend and here are a few shots of what I am currently working on.


Copper bails, some uncompleted toggle clasps, a bar clasp with no ring yet, a lentil bead which was originally brass and got covered with copper in the pickle (have to work out how to fix this!) a ring and the beginnings of a VERY large bail. A bit of a mixed bag of a day as you can see.

The patterns for the bails can be seen here. Nancy also has lots of links to You Tube videos on her site as well as tips etc. She is a great teacher and has such a wonderful style! I just love her and have learnt a lot from these videos.

I have also been thinking about "my word for the year", and wether I will join in any daily/weekly/fortnightly challenges, photos etc... haven't totally decided yet.

How about you... how are you looking forward to the year ahead and what are you going to participate in?

Will catch up again in 2013!


Monday, December 10, 2012

WIP - Daffodil earrings

Hello friends,

I am continuing to work on some pieces with a tube set stone in them. Touch wood these turn out... I am finding it quite a challenge to get the tubing perfectly straight.. this results in an uneven look around the stone.. I guess it's all about practice!

These earrings are a similar shape to a daffodil.. hence the name, but, unfortunately I don't have a yellow stone.. which would have looked more appropriate... will try and set a little peridot in them tomorrow.. wish me luck!



Friday, December 7, 2012

Kris Kringle

Hello friends,

Today was the last group meeting day for 'The Flaming Matildas'... a group of friends that get together to talk about their common love of lampworking... or glass bead making.

Our group has grown over the years... I love to see what people are working on lately....
we learn so much from each other... both about glass and many other varied topics too!

Thought I would show you some of the Kris Kringle beads... always a lot of fun and a surprise.

Look at these lovelies!.... an interesting variety including fused glass, silver glass, and metal beads.

Now I have to wait 2 months before we meet up again.. sigh!

Hope you are enjoying your day,


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Metal bead making day.

Hello my friends,

This week at my jewelry class at NMIT I commenced working on making a lentil shaped metal bead.
Working with copper, I could texturise the metal in any way I desired.

I totally love the textured effects that can be achieved from putting metal through a roller so decided to experiment a little while I had the use of the roller to hand.

Violet leaf and elm leaf for drying.

I dried some leaves in the microwave using a little flower press I have. This amazing little thing called a Microfleur flower press dries leaves in 20 seconds! The wonderful thing about it also, is that the color of the plant/flower remains.. so it is great to use for cards etc. I used the elm leaf to put through the roller and texture some metal.

I used an orange bag to texture this bead. Unfortunately I had to file some of this bead on the left and I lost some of the pattern. I was excited that I actually managed to solder this together at home... so not a total fail! We used a process called 'sweat soldering', something that is new to me.... and it is a little fiddly to say the least. In my haste to put the above bead together, I put the pattern on each side opposing each other ! Groan.... another lesson learnt!

This smaller bead was texturised through the roller with fine copper mesh that I had on hand. The pattern worked out nice and crisp. I also used some of this in the bead above in the silver insert. I was going for a crocodile kind of look on the larger bead... almost got there! I have also learnt that it is not such a good idea to have the pattern going right to the edges... if you need to file... the loss of design is obvious. Also some solder went in to the pattern on this one.....

The larger lentil on the right was textured with the elm leaf from the flower press.This is my favorite of the day and the bead that went well during the making from beginning to end. All the other lentil shaped beads have a little something that is not quite right....  they were  certainly my 'teachers'. As time consuming as these are... I am quite excited by both the process and the result. I am already planning more...

Until next time,


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bliss - a wonderful weekend in the studio!

Hello friends,

I have had a blissful day in the studio...playing around with some new things and re-visiting a few techniques.

Some time ago, I saw a video on Pinterest by Melissa Muir which showed how to set a faceted gemstone in purchased tubing. I really wanted to learn how to do this... so  a few weeks ago, I bought myself a bench drill-press. This week the rest of the supplies arrived... and so today I had a go!

My new bench drill press. ( I LOVE tools!)

Burs... the round one is used to drill out some of the inner wall of the tubing and the one on the left is to drill a 'seat' for the stone. (I used a zirconia as this was the cheapest option to practice with)

Heavy wall sterling silver tubing and a box of bezel setting punches.

This was the second one I did.. the first in the previous photo was a bit lopsided, but I am very happy with this one. I was just practising soldering the tubing on to copper, but when this one actually worked out, I thought I could make it in to a little something.  (sorry about the glare!)

I also made some stacking rings, earrings (still need to add a pearl dangle) and some large hole silver beads. Plus I have a few more things in the tumbler. This is a lot of things for me to make.. I am usually such a ditherer I am lucky to finish ONE thing over the weekend, let alone all of this.

Thanks Melissa for your wonderful video tutorial. I found it easy to understand and follow and am just so totally excited that I have managed to learn to do this.

The stackable rings and earrings come from the book Simple soldering.. a Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making which I am thoroughly enjoying, too!

Hope you have had a great day,



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