Thursday, April 28, 2011

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 7 Charms

As you may know, at the last minute I was invited to join the Etsy Metal Charm Swap 7 .  I made a bunch charms that were the mini version of my "Constricted Heart" Necklace. I sent my charms in and received back a box full of new charms, one from each of the participants in the swap. I was so excited to open my package! This awesome photo is of all the charms from all the participants from all over the world. It was taken by Victoria Takahshi who takes way better photos of jewelry than I do!
left to right, top row
1. Victoria Takahashi of Experimetal
2. Michele Grady of MicheleGradyDesigns
3. Shae Freeman of CitizenObjects
4. Inbar Bareket of InbarBareket
5. Ann Jenkins of Tuizui
middle row
6. Lynette Andreasen of Assymetry
7. Kira Ferrer of KiraFerrer
8. Reagan Hayhurst of ReganHayhurst
9. Elizabeth Scott of ESdesigns
10. Meg Auth of SimplyMega
11. L. Sue Szabo of LSueSzabo
12.Andrea Ring of AmuckDesign
bottom row
13. Su Trindle of QuercusSilver
14. Maggie Joynt of MaggieJs
15. Nina Gibson of NinaGibsonDesigns
16. Ruby Iacuaniello of Iacua
17. Stacey Hansen of WildFlowerDesigns
18. Shannon Conrad of RubyGirl
19. Kathryn Cole of KathrynCole

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Today I am multitasking and actually working on two blog for is for this blog (you are reading it now) and one for the Etsy Metal blog, which I will post tomorrow. As you may know I have become the curator for the next Etsy Metal charm swap (CS8). Well, part of my job as curator is to keep the world updated on the progress of the participants. I post every Thursday on the Etsy Metal blog and there is a lot going on so don't forget to check out tomorrow's post! In the meantime if you have not read any of my prior CS8 posts you can catch up here and here :) And while you are there, don't forget to check out all the other great posts by other members as well! There is a lot of great info, tutorials and all kinds of jewelry related posts being blogged about daily by members from all around the world!

Friday, April 15, 2011

RAW 14 & 15 (ring a week)

I do not seem to have a problem making my RAW rings, it's posting the photos/info of them is where I start slacking off! So here’s one post with my last 2 weeks of rings…..and don't forget to check out the rest of groups RAW rings too!
My RAW 14 ring was a custom order from a woman for her boyfriend. She wanted me to make a ring exactly like he had only in silver so it wouldn't turn his finger green like the base metal one he owned did. It is a cold connected ring. A piece of silver has been wrapped over itself a few times and then riveted. I have riveted many times before just not on a ring. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

My RAW 15 ring is something I have never done before either. I really like the more 3D rings I have made for this challenge and my “flat” rings just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I wanted to make this a hollow form ring but due to the price of silver being over $40 an ounce I decided to challenge myself and try to come up with a way to raise the stone but also use less metal. This is what I came up with. The stone is called Royal Savannah Jasper. I liked the way the stone was divided down the center so I decided to follow that line and divide the metal as well. Half of the silver is textured and half is not. The way I raised the stone is to put the piece on “stilts”. I cut little pieces of wire and soldered them onto the base and then attached the top to that. It used less silver than if I was to create a hollow form. I am pretty pleased with the outcome. J

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my very first ring....

I was cleaning up today and came across the very first ring I ever made in the very first jewelry class I ever took so I thought I'd share it with you..... It was a beginners class and the instructor was a horrible teacher. I couldn't even tell you how I made the thing. When I told her I wanted to make a silver ring with a stone on top she wrote out the steps in these exact words:
1. bend
2. solder
3. solder bezel
4. set stone
5. polish
and sent me back to my seat to go make it while she chit chatted away with some other students about how she spent her weekend, what parties she went to and what she drank while she was there. 

sketch book from that class I took 23 yrs ago with my directions written in it

Now that's good and all if you actually have some kind of jewelry making knowledge/skills. Remember, this was my very first class. Obviously I had NO CLUE what I was doing. The girl sitting next to me had taken a few jewelry classes before and seemed to know what she was doing so I asked her what I was supposed to do. I felt bad interrupting her from her pieces by asking her so many questions that after a point I just did my own thing and wouldn't ask her anything unless I was totally stumped. I didn't know how to size my finger so I just cut a strip of silver and shaped it around the ring mandrel until it fit. That's the reason the ring overlaps. It wasn't really supposed to be part of the design as you can see in the sketch book above. In the end I was happy with the way it turned out but this is the only piece I have kept from that class. The other 3 items I made were scrapped years ago!

 I took this picture of the ring today in its "as is" state. A little tarnish and many, many scratches and dings....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

EtsyMetal Charm Swap 7

Well, not only did I find out last Thursday that I was the next curator/host for the EtsyMetal Charm Swap 8 (CS8) but I also found out that that they were short a "charm swapper" for Charm Swap 7 (CS7) due to unforeseen circumstances. Although Thursday was technically the last day for CS7, I was the next one on the alternates list, so I was told I could still participate if I wanted to. And of course I wanted to!  Even if  that meant I only had a few days to make 22 charms and get them shipped out! So needless to say the last few days were spent working on charms with little time for much else. My charms were modeled after one of my signature pieces, my "Constricted Heart Necklace", only smaller. They are formed in the hydraulic press to give them a "puffed" look. I then solder them together, wrap them with wire, which is also soldered on, then they are oxidized to bring out the detail. They are the cutest little things and maybe sooner or later they might be added into my jewelry line. But not until my fingers heal from all the work they have done over the past few days!

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