Sunday, July 31, 2011

La Bench

Little change of pace, a pic of my CLEAN! bench.  In the past, things got really messy. Now I'm trying very hard to work neater, put things back in a certain spot, making them easier to find.  Tools have been moved to be more accessible and those that aren't used as much are put away.  A coil of 16 gauge brass wire is on the bench pin, cutters and pliers in a tray in the drawer.  The little plastic cups (saved from the BBQ Joint), hold jump rings and tube spacers just recently cut.  Pretty soon, the different batches will be tumbled, and some of the copper will be heat treated, some will receive some LOS.  Those heavy duty Xuron cutters resting in the tray really work well for the heavier gauge wire.

My workplace is really tight.  I couldn't back up far enough to show the whole bench.

I guess I have some sort of fixation on other people's workplaces. I love looking at them.  Everyone is different.

A lot of jewelry makers like to listen to music, or the radio as the work.  I am a complete opposite.  I like silence.  I have trouble concentrating if there is noise, music or otherwise.  But, I do like music, and when I do listen to it, I don't want the distraction of anything else.  Funny that way.

Next post probably a week from the date of this post.

In the meantime, stay well, have fun and make great jewelry.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Atoll No. 3

Another Atoll pendant, unfinished as usual.  This time because I need to order some Missfickle beads from Lima Beads.  Nice people there, at Lima Beads.  I think those special patinated beads will work quite well, along with some heat treated copper spacers and jump rings. It will be strung on greek leather cord.

Fux Bone™, brass and copper rivets.  Color, green acrylic paint, Iris blue Gilder's paste. Stone is ocean jasper, suspended from copper wire.

I guess I have some sort of passion for the South Pacific atolls.  No two are alike, and many have unique fauna found no where else.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat treating copper

Here's a tip from Robert Dancik, and I thought I would give it a try.  Heat patina on copper.

Heat an oven to 350 degrees, put the copper wire in the oven and heat it for 15 to 20 minutes.  Even though it's hot outside, and the oven does put extra pressure on the air conditioner, I just could resist trying this out.

I coiled the wire, and just for purely experimental purposes. put some of the spacers which I had cut from copper tubing, and some jump rings, in a little metal tray, and put everything in the oven.  Set the time for twenty minutes.  All well and good, except I got caught up in something and didn't here the timer go off.  So, I don't have a clue how long the materials stayed in the oven.  As it turned out, I don't think any harm was done, but the colors!  Wow!  They are hard to describe. There's gold, silver, a purplish silver, two-tones on some, bronze, and bright copper.  Why didn't the pieces come out as one color, and why some with very little change?  Mystery.  I"m going to do some more experiments, but I'll wait for cooler outside temps.

Anyway, thought I would pass this on, maybe others will want to give this method a try.

Changed the bench pin to a larger surface which should help with the preliminary sawing.  I will still need to make some little improvements on the larger pin.  And, I need to reposition the bench pin as it is really too high for my comfort.  Gah! So many things I need to do to make life easier!

Finally broke down and got an inexpensive filing block.   If you ever buy one, better buy a bottle of rubber cement, as the block is not fixed to the base, which makes it useless, at least for my purposes.  But it works fine now that block is cemented to the base.  Very helpful adjunct to the bench.

And now, I have to make more jump rings and tube spacer's.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Desert Land™

Finally finished a piece!

Focal is Chohua Jasper affixed to a piece of Faux Bone™ and painted with acrylic paint.  The other two stones are Paint Brush Jasper.  Copper beads. Copper tube spacers and jump rings which have been heat treated so they come out with some variations in color.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Stuff, New Toy

Well, you know me, can't resist getting something new.  In the can is Gliders Paste, Iris Blue, from Cool Tools.  Nine different colors.  Neat stuff, tested it out on some bone, and it looks like it's going to work quite well.  It does come out much lighter than its appearance in the photo.

Below, also from Cool Tools, a micro engraver, Beadsmith brand.  Powered by two AAA batteries.  This little engraver works very nicely, and is much easier to handle than some of the larger ones.  Small tip shown, there is also a larger tip.  But, there's just one really big problem.  My penmanship never was very good and my engraving/calligraphy skills are totally non-existent!  No joke, but I can use the tool in other ways.

Still sawing spacers and making heavy wire jump rings.  Brass, copper and aluminum. Someday, you'll see how I'm using them, together with the spacers cut from 1/8 inch tubing.

Want to see a picture of a studio to die for?  Check out the latest issue of "Ornament" Volume 34, No. 4, and droll over Linda Threadgill's fabulous studio.  Just wish there had been other views. I do like to see other folks work places.  Several are shown on Ganoskin, but the photos are so small, it's hard to make out what's what in some of them.

Still hot here.  I try to stay out of the heat as much as possible.  Not nearly as tough as I once was.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It is very hot here.  Too hot to do much out in the garage where some of the equipment is kept.  Made more jump rings and tube spacers.  Now, I have to get into a "stringing" mode and get some of the pieces finished.  I like to make the focal points and attendant pieces, I just don't like stringing.  But, it has to be done sooner or later.

Still puttering with the step by step article.  I'm on draft number twelve and it's still not right.

Have you had a chance to visit "The Bench of an Apprentice" ?  If your into metal, there's some good information here.

Nancy L T Hamilton is starting a new video series.  Good information here also.

Judy Freyer Thompson over at Faux Bone™,  , has a Crab Claw ring, and one other ring, in "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" exhibit on Ganoskin.
The exhibition is worth a look.

Thanks for your continued viewing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I regret I have nothing to show this week.  Maybe not even next week.  Of all things, I ran out of some supplies of which I thought, mistakenly, there was more.  Not so.  Ordered more, but when they will arrive, anybody's guess.

I have been doing some work, drudge work, I don't especially enjoy, but has to be done.  Made a bunch of jump rings, so there's good supply of those.  Made a bunch of spacers from copper tubing and ran out of that.  More to order.  Gah! it's endless.  Thought I had some brass. Nope.  Very poor inventory management.

Found some of the copper beads had holes too small, spent a lot of time getting those fixed.  Drudge work. Next week, more drudge work until the supplies arrive.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Atoll No. 2

Atoll No. 2 partially finished.

Faux Bone™, Swarovski crystal pearls, creamrose and tahitian-look, copper wire rivets, palm trees scored in with X-acto knife, colored with green acrylic paint and light blue Prismacolor pencil on the interior and exterior.

Last posting for awhile, be sometime next week.

Thanks for your continued viewing.