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.

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