Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jewelry Tools, What will happen to them later in life?

It suddenly occurred to me the other day that no one in the family would know what to do with all my tools, supplies and equipment, if tomorrow I died.  I also wondered if those who follow this blog have any plans for such an occurrence.  Your heirs, if they have no knowledge of what you have invested in either your business or hobby, could easily lose a considerable amount of money that should rightfully be theirs.

What should one do?  This is what I've come up with:

Make a inventory of everything related to your jewelry making.  How much you paid for each item and its source.  If you have kept all your invoices, that will help if you don't know.  I have a handful of old and somewhat scarce tools which, if an heir did not know that, may let them go for a song instead of what they are worth.  As an example, and I'm not bragging, I have two parallel action round nose pliers made by Schollhorn.  How often do you find those floating around?  To the right person they are worth more than the couple of dollars an heir might realize at a yard or garage sale.  

With the inventory, indicate the general location of the items on the list.  For example:  MY rolling mills are in the garage, covered up and maintained so they are in excellent condition. So their location is listed on the inventory as: garage, on end of bench.  I have a photograph of them to help an heir identify them.

Leave suggestions for heirs on possible ways for them to dispose of your tools, etc.  Sell them on Ebay or Etsy.  A local bead shop may allow putting up an advertisement.  Maybe you have friends that would bid on your things.  I don't know, I'm just sort of braainstorming here.

Anyway, it is something to think about, and I am certainly open to suggestions, as I've only scratched the surface on this subject.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Olio 11

Weather can't make up it's mind.  I guess it wants to try being a Yo Yo.  Up temperature one day, down the next.

Well anyway, here is another oldie for your viewing pleasure.  This one is sold.

Various Blue stones and sterling silver. 

Still fiddling with the Five Tool Challenge.  Very slowly.  Someday, I will post something more interesting.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Personal family matters have taken a toll on my jewelry making time.  I've tried to keep the personal stuff out og the blog, but I think I should just let folks know what we're dealing with.  My wife and I are caretakers for her aged mother.  She requires a lot of care and while we do have people coming in to help, out time to do other things is limited.  So now you know.

Here's and old piece I made some time ago.  Just so you folks will have something to look at.

I call it Misty Morning Sunrise.  Never had a chance to put it out for sale.  The wife glommed on to it

immediately, and said "That one's mine!"

Mostly agates and freshwater pearl and some carnelian.

I'll how another oldie next week, as I won't be able to get anything new done for awhile.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

5 Tool Challenge

I thought, "O.K. too cold to work in the second studio, so why not putter around with Jewelry Artist 5 Tool Challenge and see what happens.

First:  Figure out a design.  I happen to like form organic looking stuff, so after trying this and that, I came up with this rough drawing. The advantage to free form is you can make a slight boo-boo and nobody will know the difference!  Notice the odd number of segments.  I think it is best in a design like this, or similar, is to work with odd numbers, 3's, 5's, 9's, etc.

The grayness is not graphite smudge, just my poor lighting.  Got to do something about that some day.

Not too bad for freehand drawing.  Not that kind of artist.  Next, the drawing was refined and then put on some tracing paper.  To keep from smudging the drawing, I sprayed it with PYM II.  This is good stuff.  Dries waterproof and smudge proof.  Kinda smelly, tho.  Best to spray outdoors, I think.  I put a layer of double-stick tape on the metal, and placed the drawing on top of that.

Then drill holes for piercing with jeweler's saw.  A part of the challenge is to figure out how to drill clean holes in the metal without using a center punch or any other pointy tool.  Well, there is a way which I'll reveal in a later post, after I've sent in my entry.  Pop quiz.  How do you know when you are drilling at the right speed?  Answer below at the end of this blog entry.

The metal is 20 gauge brass.  This is not as easy to saw as copper for me at least.  My sawing hand gets tired and hurting very quickly these days. I get a little erratic, but I didn't break too many blades during the sawing.  I used 3/0 size blades as these seemed to work better. But, I persevered, and below is what I done so far.  I cleaned up the edges with various files and now I'm in the process of sanding the surface of the piece. 


Still a long way to go.  I don't think it looks too bad at this stage.  I"m going to stop work on the piece and do some more experimenting with textures on some scrap.  My plan is to have each segment a different texture.  Or, maybe multiple kinds of texture on a segment.. The rule is that you have to transition from texture to highly polished, so I'm thinking that I will have both on each segment.  We'll see how it goes.

Pop quiz answer.  You are drilling at the right speed when you see little curls of metal coming up.  And always use lubricant.  I use liquid Bur Life which I keep in a little jar, about 1/8th inch deep. Dip the tip of the drill bit in the lube, tap off any excess and drill.  Clean off the bit end and the piece with a brush and repeat as needed.