Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cosmo's Moon jewelry: Stolen designs? Use Social media!

Cosmo's Moon jewelry: Stoleni designs? Use Social media! If you care about maintaining true handmade art read and repost this blog link.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bracelets for Debora

Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry on Blogger is now connected to our Google+ account.  We will see how that works out.  With the holiday season upon us, I have two bracelets for my wife.  The first was purchased then modified.  It came with the dreidal and the chai charms, I restrung the bracelet with stranded steel wire and added the Star of David and the Menorah charms.  Hanukkah is approaching and Debora is Jewish (maiden name David).

The second is a cloissone charm bracelet.  The chain is made with 22 karat gold filled square half hard wire, then the charms were hung from the chain.  All of the chain links were hand wound, then sawn and burnished.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Handmade Artists Shop of the Week

This week features Dahlish Knits. Gina has a fantastic sense of color.  This hairband can coordinate with almost any set of clothes.

Additionally, the purchaser can just go for simple function.  Keeping my feet warm is very important.  These hand knitted socks would do the trick.

This is a skill that I can not imagine.  I have no ability at knitting or anything similar.  Gina does this with children running around too.  Visit her shop and you can complete all your Holiday shopping.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pendant Project

For those who want to see the basic process for creating a piece of jewelry, here is a chronicle through the creation of a necklace pendant. 

First a brass blank was selected to put my design on.  I had an idea about a "drop" of metal with a stone inset at the bottom of the drop.   I drew a stylized drop on paper and then cut a brass blank that would be larger than the drawing.  The blank was 2 x 6 cm.  I cleaned the blank of oxidation.

Metal Blank
Metal Blank (Brass)

My next step was to "glue" my paper design onto the metal blank with a rubber type glue.  This makes it easy to remove the paper after cutting the shape from the metal blank.

Paper Pattern
  Paper Design on Metal Blank

The next basic step is to cut the pattern from the metal.  For this a jeweler's saw with a 5-0 blade was used.  Bur-Life applied to the blade, then the pattern was cut on my bench pin.  Now we have a rough cut pattern and need to pierce the round hole at the end of the pattern for the stone to be set in.  I selected a 9 mm 2.4 carat round rutilated quartz stone then cut a 7 mm hole in the bottom of the pendant.
Rough Cut
Rough Cut Pendant

Filing, a little dapping with an 8 mm punch, and hand polishing with red rouge completes the creation of the basic pendant.  The stone is set into the hole that was pierced in the metal and the pendant is complete and ready to go to the shop.

Finished Pendant
Finished Pendant

Here is the piece with a glossy finish from the polishing that gives the metal a silvery tone.  Of course, I started this project with a brass blank, so this is not marked or marketed as being silver.  This entire project was completed with cold working of the metal.

The shop will be at a "fleamarket" next Saturday.  Locally we have a bike trail that is rather long.  The fleamarket will be at mile marker 31.5 at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery store (205 Cedar Lane Road, Greenville, SC).  Anyone in the area is invited to drop by and say hello.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Artists Shop of the Week

Tammy's Jewelry is special in that Tammy has been the person in the background for this for this series of blog posts about various artists with shops at Handmade Artists.

Tammy loves experimenting with the various textures and colors involved in the making of wearable art.  She uses multiple methods of expressing her thoughts and passion.  Adding this to the rest of the trials and tribulations through 25 years of marriage and two daughters makes her jewelry even more beautiful.

These combinations can be easily seen in the above necklace. The combination of color, texture and material is masterfully done.  The next piece while looking simple, is simple and that is its elegance.

Follow the link to her shop.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Future Jewelry

In order to create my art, I first cut the stone that will go in the piece, then design around that.  Here are two stones cut in the lapidary in the past week.  The first is a piece of Lapis Lazuli about 2.5 inches long and it is very heavy.  Will probably use it in a horizontal position in a necklace.  Way too large for a ring. :-)

Lapis Lazuli

The second is a free form cabochon made with "Pudding" jasper.  Feel free to change the adjective 'Pudding' to anything that you think describes the stone.

Pudding Jasper

I will wait, but am currently working on a mixed metal pendant (gold and silver) with a highly included rutilated quartz 16 mm round faceted stone.  Another project is a ring to ask Debbie to marry me "again" next October on our anniversary. A friend is cutting this as I certainly can not do it in my shop.  Any way, that is the news so far for the day after Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shop Creativity

As with many places, Debora and I tend to work in spurts of creativity.  She will look at her beads and wire over and over.  Then she will see a way to put together a piece.  In the past week, she has made several beautiful pieces of wearable art.  Here are two of her creations (as thumbnails), the first features a seahorse pendant "under the sea."  The second I called a "Gypsy" necklace due to the pattern on the beads. I had a clasp that would go with the beads.

Seahorse Necklace

Gypsy Necklace

Every time that she produces, I have the honor of adding the clasps and chain to her creations trying to maintain her vision.  In between, I try to do a little creating of my own.  My last pieces have been made with copper.  I had cut some cabochons and was trying to think of some special way of making something with them other that wire wrapping or bezel setting.  I saw a piece that Laura Bracken (in California) had made using resin in a frame of wire wrapping.  Applying that simple idea, I made a copper piece (textured, dapped and patinated) then set the cabochons in the bowl that I had made (30 by 40 mm oval) and filled up part of the bowl with clear resin.  The second piece shown here is a copper and turquoise chip "Tree of Life."  The ring is 12 gauge soft round wire, the solder join is hidden in the base of the tree.  We will be continuing our creation of wearable art.

Emerald on Copper

Copper,Pendabnt,Turquoise,Tree of Life,Artisan
Turquoise and Copper Tree of Life

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amazonite and Sterling silver Pendant

I write large because I have difficulty seeing small print.  Fortunately, my trifocals usually take care of most written materials.  About two years ago, Debbie and I did some fee mining in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  I have a large selection of rough to cut to make faceted and cabochon stones.  Cabochons are my favorite, and the type that I have the most rough.  Taking a piece of amazonite rough from that mining expedition, I cut an oval cabochon.  Originally I made a copper wire frame with white beads to surround the stone.  This did not look good, the beads overpowered the color of the amazonite.

Amazonite and Sterling Silver Pendant Handcrafted by John Atwell Rasmussen

So, I started over tonight and made a frame from Sterling silver wire.  Even with this one, I tried to surround the stone with some white beads.  Again, the beads spoiled the beauty of the cabochon.  Amazonite is  beautiful stone and makes fantastic wearable art.  This pendant has one accent bead near the top of the cabochon.  All wire ends were rounded with a cup bur to help prevent snagging on clothing (or skin).  This piece of unique one of a kind jewelry is available at my Handmade Artists Shop.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fellow Artisan, Theresa Rusk

TRusk4u is an unique artisan from North Carolina.  She uses beads and wire to create many very beautiful pieces of wearable art.

In this piece she has taken artistic wire and plastic beads and with her design and execution converted them to a terrific looking bracelet.  In the next two pictures you will see similar results.  Theresa is an exceptionally talented artist.  She see form and color and combines them well.  The last picture I had to include as I am a die hard "trekkie."  Please visit my friends site and think of her as you make your holiday purchases.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beryl and Beads

Branching out from the traditional this project combines lapidary, wire wrapping and beadwork.  Another artisan suggested to me that I should add some beads to some of my wraps.  This was a novel idea for me.  In this project, an aquamarine cabochon of about 43 carats is wrapped in Sterling silver 20 gauge wire, and then some beads are added to the ends of the wires to accent the coloring of the cabochon.  The process of wrapping was also changed slightly.  Instead of bending three wires up and around the cabochon, I used six wires, three to a side.  These new ideas are making my muse expand.  Enjoy:

Love Metalwork

Y'all will have to excuse at least one part of my aging process.  I type and read large fonts.  Even with my trifocals on, I have a lot of trouble reading small print.  Currently working another of the beryl cabochons I cut two weeks ago (9 total).  This is 45 carats in a tear drop shape, although free form.  Nothing greater than taking that which Nature made and making it prettier.  Here is a copper bracelet that I made this last week from 12 gauge electrical wire.  Three wires were woven together then flattened on the anvil to harden and shape the wires into the thickness I wanted the entire bracelet to be.  The ends were curled back upon them selves and the result is this cuff bracelet:

This and other items are available to my Handmade Artists Shop.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ethical Decision

I have decided to terminate my shop on Artfire.  I consider their inclusion of commercial venues to be unethical.  I have moved all my products to Handmade Artists Shops .  This venue has only handmade artisan shops and one of a kind items.  The shops are not limited to jewelry, and many different genres are present.  Please come over and see the new shop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is Here

Actually the end of October for the making of these two necklaces.  The first was a small piece of opal and matrix rough.  As can be seen the opal is the bottom edge and is a gray-blue color.  The gray matrix is obvious in this free form cabochon.  I cut the cabochon two weeks ago, then drilled a 2 mm hole at the apex of the triangular shape and attached the bail.  The chain is a base metal with silver coloring.

If you click on the thumbnail, you can see a large image of the piece.  The next is made from 18 gauge round copper wire.  I bought a 50 foot coil of dead soft wire ( then coiled the wire with the assistance of Debbie into 6 mm jump rings.  The entire chain was handcrafted.  The resulting Byzantine pattern necklace is 22 inches long.  As you all know, no one could afford to purchase this necklace if the actual hours used to craft the chain were used to price the necklace.  I took at least 10 hours to put the chain together.

Everyone have a happy Turkey Day later this month.  I have two birthdays to take care of.  Thanks to Maria Jenny for one gift (teal pearl bracelet) and the other is a dark yellow topaz / gold necklace. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celebrate the Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox has just occurred and the fall season has officially begun. With the advent of this season my creative muse has taken on a new vigor. Starting with the original form of silver smithing -- wire wrapping, I made a pendant with a cobalt colored druzy agate in the center of the wire frame. Cobalt Druzy Pendant In another working idea, I took some 20 gauge square half hard copper wire and wound it on a 3 mm mandrel to make jump rings. These were cut from the mandrel with a jeweler's saw, then put together to make the chain for this necklace. A dichroic glass pendant that accents the copper color in the chain hangs along the necklace. Copper Chain Necklace Please excuse the quality of my photographs. I enjoyed making these pieces, and am continuing in my creation of custom work.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Have been looking at various stones that are in my collection, and I found a 3.5 carat marquise cut Amethyst and thought that it would make a good pendant for a necklace.  I took some sheet Sterling Silver and cut out an oval then pierced a 16 x 8 mm marquise shape hole in the silver.  Soldered a jump ring to the top and four prongs to hold the stone in place, pickles, polished and then patinated with Liver of Sulfur.  The result was very unique:

Amethyst Pendant  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Thoughts

As the first day of autumn approaches, we realize that September has come and in the Upstate of South Carolina it is by definition no longer hot.  August is hot, September is cooler.  We will notice Autumn about mid October when the leaves change to their fall beauty.  During this time, we continue to work in the shop.  Debbie makes about 20 pieces to my one.  She does the bead work and I do the lapidary and metalsmithing work.  She is very creative and has produced several fantastic jewelry pieces.  One of these is based on a sprig of flowers in the pendant below the golden yellow of the sun:

Flower Sprig

The second piece that she crafted that is featured this month is done with brown beads and golden yellow potato pearls.  Again, the focal pendant makes the piece.  This pendant is bronze with golden highlights and a yellow faceted stone.

While she has been busily string beads (I add the clasp and chain to her designs), I am working on cutting stones and either wrapping them or setting them.  In this case, I cut a piece of amethyst that had a fantastic chevron banded pattern above a very dark section.  The cabochon is in a free form style.  I drilled a 2 mm hole in the cabochon and attached a pinch bail and Sterling Silver Venetian box chain to finish my necklace:
Banded Amethyst

Monday, August 22, 2011

On a visit last week at my local little rock shop, I was given an offer that I could not refuse.  They would give me a slab of Larimar and I could keep the rest after I cut them 3 oval cabochons.  I cut five cabochons, two of which fell into multiple pieces.  I salvaged one of the pieces and made a small half oval cab.  The remainder was so fractured, I made it into a freeform cabochon:

Larimar Cabochons

Before I made the cabochons (today), I had finished my commissioned ring for a geologist who works for an oil company that has many wells in Indonesia.  This man got some rough diamonds from a mine there.  I made him a bracelet featuring 7 of his diamonds.  This is a ring with another of the rough diamonds in a bezel setting on top of a map of the area where the diamonds are found.  The diamond actually is on top of the mine location.  The colored map is visible through clear resin that holds the bezel in place.

Dan Orange Ring 2  Dan Orange Ring 3  Dan Orange Ring


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Approaching the Dog Days

As the end of August approaches, I have been doing yard work in the very early morning (0600) before the heat that causes the dogs to just lie in the dust comes to fruition. That does leave time during the day to create and fabricate. Debora has been very productive and has been making necklaces. I have been working on commission pieces and have finished two diamond rings. One is going to Indonesia to the geologist who commissioned the bracelet that I completed last month.
Necklaces made by Debora:
Christian Cross Necklace Green and White Necklace Asymetric Brown Necklace
Click on any of the thumbnails in my blog to see a large image.

My Handmade Artists Shop is now set up and in operation.   This is a new venue for selling any handmade product.  The artists selling are varied in medium and experience.  I enjoy this group as not only do we have a shop with unlimited numbers of items for a fixed monthly price (there is even a discount for paying by the year), there is an online forum and a weekly chat session for all of us.  The interaction with artists in other media is very eye opening and I even glean some great ideas for making my jewelry better from others.

Teresa Rusk, from Mebane, NC, is another jewelry artist who has been very supportive to me.  She has been a great help in my getting to know what is going on in the Forum and the shops.  Her shop is also very well stocked.  I Knit Quilt and Sew is a fantastic shop where you can see art in a totally different style from most others.  Knit is one of the moderators for our weekly chat session.  The shops are maintained by Chain by Mboi.  He is another great mentor in how to set up your shop.

I put a bracelet up for sale a couple days ago and within 24 hours it was sold.  My first sale from the HAS (abbreviation for Handmade Artists Shops).  This was the first time that I had used my Rainbow Resin.  The bracelet was made with base metal squares filled with peridot and tourmaline chips in the clear resin.  

Doming Resin Bracelet

I absolutely love HAS, the item entry is simple, and obviously someone is shopping.  My other online shop has been over a year without sales.

I have been doing the custom work, and going forward with making chain.  I finished a 4 in 1 chain made with base metal rings in gold and silver color.  I am enjoying making chain very much.  The only drawback is the time necessary to complete a project.

4 in 1 Chain Necklace

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peridot and Tourmaline Bracelet

I purchased some doming resin (Rainbow from Rio Grande) a couple months ago.  I finally went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bracelet that was designed for resin to fill the square portions of the bracelet.  I put peridot and tourmaline chips in alternating squares, then covered them with resin.  I learned a lot about pouring and working with the resin.  The overall result is a very nick looking bracelet:
Doming Resin Bracelet

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Advancing the Art

The shop continues, Debora is doing the bead work, she keeps very busy and her work is fantastic.  She labors over each bracelet, anklet, pair of earrings and necklace.  She has great ability to create and design this work.  She loves creating pieces that have a great combination of colors.  While she continues her work, I have been able to concentrate on my lapidary and metalsmithing pursuits.  Over the years, I have acquired multiple sets of split rings, so I did a little chain work, and copper smithing to make a necklace that is at least not only beautiful, but unique.

JAR August Geology Bracelet

In addition to the necklace, I have been able to complete a commissioned piece for a geologist.  He wanted a bracelet (17 cm in length) made with Sterling Silver, that shows a cross bedded fluvial environment.  This is the background for the bracelet. The foreground is a river that is meandering.  The 10 gauge round wire shows the river, and also is the wave uncomformity in the cross-section.  In the slow inner portion of the meanders, rough diamonds were placed.  These were set with prongs and a ledge cut into the round wire.  Each of the rock strata were physically patterned, then patinated with Liver of Sulfur to create colors for different sections.  See thumbnail above.  Click on the thumbnails to see a full sized image.

Final item for this edition of my blog is a combination project.  While in Helen, GA, Debora and I went to a fee mine and bought several geodes.  I cut them into slices, them strung them from a crescent of brass to make a wind chime.  Also did a little polishing.  Here it is:


Monday, August 1, 2011

August Heat

As the summer progresses in the Upstate of South Carolina, we tell people, "it isn't hot yet, just wait until August."  July has been horrible, temperatures and humidity levels in the 90s all day.  Of course, this means that we can spend more time in the shop as it is on the central air conditioning system.

Debora has been avidly designing and putting earrings, bracelets, necklaces and anklets together with her glass beads.  She spends a lot of time planning each of her pieces.  She combines multiple shapes and colors together to make fantastically brilliant pieces.  I have a hard time keeping up with her.  I put the crimps and clasps together for her beading.  Then I do the photographing of all the work that we are able to produce.  As an example, here is one of her necklaces:
DLR August

At the same time, I am working with metal to make my own creations.  Wrapping and cutting jump rings for chain work, forging, chasing, etc. with metal to make components of my pieces.  In this necklace, the chain is made with split rings in antiqued copper plate, the interior is some form of magnetic material.  The ring of the clasp came from Carole's Creations in California, the hook started as 6 gauge round copper wire.  During the month, we will probably get a lot more made as the heat should be .......
And here is my necklace:
JAR August

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Designer for Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC

Debora Lee Rasmussen, my wife, has been a driving force for my art and shop since I began at her initiation of my study of gemology.  She is disabled and one of her causes of depression has been the feeling that she is not contributing for our family.  She is very creative and last week started designing and creating beaded wearable art.  I will still be doing the lapidary and metal work for the shop.  She has been very busy and has designed and created several pieces.  Her designs will be available at Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC.  
Here are two examples of necklaces that she has designed and put together during the past several days.  She has a great understanding of texture and color.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In the continuing saga of making jewelry for my wife (she does get first chance at anything done), she chose two stones to be turned into cabochons the then jewelry.  The smaller tourmilated quartz was to be a ring, and the Peruvian blue opal to make a necklace.  After the lapidary work, the opal was drilled to make it a pendant, strung on black leather and add a steel chain and lobster claw clasp and we have a necklace.
Blue Opal Necklace Blue Opal Necklace

The ring of course was a bit more difficult.  In this case, I bought the ring shank and the head from a casting company.  Then I had to size the shank, solder the head in place, pickle the piece, then polish it.  Unlike a lot of artisan jewelers, I do not own a tumbler, so I hand polish all my pieces.  Final polishing is done with Dremel and red rouge.  
Photobucket Tourmilated Quartz Ring

This is so much fun, sometimes I forget that I have other things to do (like sleep). Everyone, have a great summer.