Tuesday, October 27, 2009

silver and glass ring

Here is the sterling silver ring I created at metalsmithing class I took at craft alliance.  I cut a ring band out of 18 gauge sheet silver.  I cut out a little curvy design to make the shape a little more interesting.  Then I formed the ring shape around a mandrel and soldered it together.  I got this super cool tiny glass cabochon from Kara, a lampwork and silver artist in my class.  I made a silver bezel setting, soldered it on to the ring and then set the blue stone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

fusing fine silver

My fingers are killing me.  I've spent the last 3 hour in my basement studio fusing fine silver rings together on bracelets and earrings.  I love being able to use the torch without the fuss of solder.  The fine silver just melts and fuses together.  I am getting pretty good to this, but my fingers still hurt from opening and closing rings and trying to get them to fit together just right.  Plus I did a lot of cleaning up my PMC fresh from the kiln with a brass brush.  It's not exactly easy on the hands.  Oh well, I gave up on manicures years ago.

Here is a glimpse of a link bracelet and some really sweet periwinkle earrings. I am also experimenting with Jewish star earrings.....not sure about them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

making things for rachel's things

OK, I've been really busy in the studio the last few weeks, making PMC pieces.  I really love the metal smithing class, but I have to say that it's not really as fulfilling for me as creating with metal clay.  There is so much more fuss, and planning involved.  And to tell you the truth, I am not really turned on by all the hammering.  As far as the torch goes, soldering is a lot of fun, but the nasty pickle is, well...nasty. 

Back in my basement studio I am busy creating things is less time with more detail and weight then I can in class.  I am planning to be in a home show next month here in St. Louis to benefit The Reform Jewish Academy.  Someone from the school heard about my mezuzahs and invited me to participate in the show with other local St. Louis artists.  I am excited about getting back to my business after spending so much time on the Bat Mitzvah. The show also has forced me to get an inventory of items made, and also to get serious about my Esty shop, "rachelsthings" , which I have revamped and I am in the process of reopening. Here is just a sample of what I have been working on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

falling flower earrings

I finished the silver earrings.  After soldering the silver wire to each flower, I threaded them through holes I drilled, and  balled up the tip of the wire with the torch. Of course I screwed it up and had to redo a couple of torch firings.  Plus I almost lost one of the tiny flowers on the studio floor when it flew out of my hands when I was polishing it.  Thank goodness we retrieved it by sweeping up the floor!

I decided to mount the earrings so that you see the balled up wires, but you could reverse the ear wires and wear them so the balls don't show.  I made the ear wires too.  Just a 2" length of 20 gauge sterling balled up with the torch on one end and then formed into a shepherd's hook earring.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

metalsmith earrings

Last week I soldered! I had to solder silver wire on to the backs of the tiny flowers I cut out.  I will thread the wire through small holes I drilled in the flowers to attach the flowers together.  The whole soldering process was pretty easy.  But I have to admit I am not a fan of all the mess and toxic fumes and chemicals.  Plus, this kind of metalworking requires a real studio with proper and expensive equipment and ventilation.  So I think I will continue to taking classes at Craft Alliance and learn more techniques but I will stick to metal clay at my home studio.

more mystery tour

Part of our party tour was dinner and cooking demo at the Viking Cooking School. We provided these aprons personalized at Embroid me.