Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2016 Cold Connection Workshop Aussie Bead Retreat Supplier List

Supplier List for the Forster August 2015 Aussie Bead Retreat

Findings and Wire

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hammer Facts

Hammers come in many shapes and sizes for jewellery making. There are many specialised hammers, too many to mention. The big question is which to use when?  How many does one need to buy in order to successfully do cold connections or other jewellery techniques?  Those are very loaded questions indeed.

Some basic understanding of use, shape and result is useful to know what hammer needed for the job required.  One important thing to keep in mind, do not use highly polished, mirror finish hammer faces to strike punches or stamps as this will mar the surface of the hammer.  Then when using the same hammer face later on, that mark will transfer to metal being struck.  Use the hammers for their appropriate use!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Take Care of Metal Tools

The biggest bane of having my workshop downstairs in our defunct garage, is the damp.  The back walls are exposed bedrock that weeps water for weeks after heavy rains so no amount of anti-humidity products or mechanisms are viable.

The roughest effect is the rust on my budget steel tools.  Budget because my hobby exists on a minimalist income since I am not full time professional.  Not only does it make the tool look awful, but soft steel becomes pitted with bumps and divots as the steel is oxidised into rust.  But these tools can exist happily with a bit of care.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Head Pins and Spirals

Headpins are an expensive finding to buy when you are making dozens or hundreds of dangles for a piece of jewellery.  Not to mention the frustration of locating a head pin the exact shape or style that is required for the specific bead in the right metal.  Especially when working with fine holed beads, what a nightmare!

With a wire cutter, round needle pliers and some continuous wire, a head pin can be made in under a minute for a fraction of the cost, especially if using silver, gold filled or gold wire.

Hammered Clasp

Hammered Clasp

I am a sucker for textured, hammered, twisted, tortured wire.  I love it, the whole rustic look.  I was first exposed to the whole concept when I was looking at a website by Connie Fox of www.jatayu.com.

This clasp is best made from 1.00 mm (18 gauge) or thicker wire and is easy to make if you have a few tools around the place: ball pein hammer, round needle nose pliers, flat needle nose pliers, fine metal file and steel plate or concrete to hammer against.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Awkward Bezel Setting

In the beginning there was a snail operculum (that's door to us laypeople).  And this shell wanted setting, because a client paid me to do so.  However, I have never set an awkward shape or sheer size like this - asymetrical yes, but not where one side is twice as thick as the other side with a bulky bottom sticking out.

At 2.5 cm x 3.25 cm (1 in x 1.3 in), the shell will test my silversmithing skills.  So I charged less to the client, as I typically do when a project will push my boundaries and give me a chance to learn new skills.

Please note:
This is not a how to on creating a bezel setting in silversmithing, more the journalling of my boundary pushing steps.

No settings below have been cleaned up.  This is the deep and dirty of silversmithing.

Studio Heath Showcase

At the beginning of my wire working fetish, I wanted keenly to be able to capture a stone in wire work and learn more about the "rainbow wrapping" being done by various artists in Colorado, USA in 2005.  I searched for a good, comprehensive tutorial to buy that would not only teach me the foundations of some good wire working but also enable for me to make the complicated ideas I had in my head for jewellery.

Step in Remy of www.studeoheath.com featuring her wonderful work.  She made the most amazing tutorial on exactly what I was looking for in the Woven Sculpture Pendant.