Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gem Mining This Past Week

Debbie and I took a short trip to Helen, Georgia this past three days to mine some rough gems at Dukes Creek Gem Mine. We had a very good time in Helen and found some very good rough to cut at the fee mine.  We got some great opal, ruby a""nd emerald specimens.  Also found smokey quartz, aventurine, sodalite and some fantastic agate.  Now I have the fun of cutting stones in order to convert them to jewelry.  We also purchased some small uncut geodes which I will slab and then polish to make a geode wind chime. 

While there, we also visited downtown Helen, watched river tubers for some time and went to a cooperative art shop where an internet jeweler friend has some pieces displayed.  Her work was the best jewelry in the shop.  Many other genres of art were there including painting and pottery.

All in all, we had a great time, spent almost no money and got home without any problems.  If you are ever in the region, you should visit Helen, such a quaint  "German" town.  Helen is located near the William Holland School in Young Harris, GA and also Dahlonega where the US had a gold coin mint and you can still do panning for gold.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back to Semi-normal

My main computer bit the dust last weekend, so I sent it off to HP for repair.  That meant that I had to use the slower backup computer, so I have not been doing too much online.  I also evacuated my online shop and am reshooting all jewelry for better pictures and will be reopening on July 1st.  Basically starting over, mainly intellectually.  In the past few days, Debbie looking through my portfolio found the Star of David pendant I did in copper and asked if I could make one in silver.  That is not too difficult although I had to do the background star twice, as I did not like the quality of the first that I sawed.  Changed the patterning slightly and this is what resulted:

Sterling,Silver,Star of David,handmade,unique

When this was finished, she asked me to make a Christian cross for our daughter in law. She and family attend a fundamental Baptist congregation. So, I designed a cross with 8 gauge half round half hard Sterling silver wire:


Off to cut opal this weekend, hopefully I will have some great stones to play with next week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Horst and Graben Bracelet

Cuff,Bracelet,Copper,LOS,Patina,Unique,Handmade,Artisan Cuff,Bracelet,Copper,LOS,Patina,Unique,Handmade,Artisan

Copper cuff bracelet. 7 x 1 inch 23 gauge copper sheet, that was textured with two patterns. Random round dimples (dots) (representing sandstone) and dashes with circular design (representing shale with fossils). Two layers in a nonconforming Horst and Graben fault pattern (geological formation due to faulting). After patterning, the cuff was formed into shape and then patina was applied with Liver of Sulphur. Finished the cuff off with glossy acrylic protective coating to keep the copper from oxidizing on the arm.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

HAF Artist of the Week -- The Jewelry Geek

The Jewelry Geek, is Kristin who is a Navy wife and mother of a little boy. She has been making jewelry for over 15 years. Her ETSY Shop has a small number of displayed items, but they demonstrate a wonderful quality and zest. 

Unfortunately, the blog link on her ETSY shop does not lead to an active blog.  The four pieces seen on the shop are very well designed and executed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Purple Passion

Purple Passion involves Fluorite and Amethyst cabochons which were cut this week. I started Monday morning cutting three amethyst, one fluorite and one ruby cabochons. I have finished cutting the cabochons, and have completed two as necklace pendants. First to be examined will be the Fluorite. This gemstone is quite soft (Moh's hardness = 4) and must be set in a protective setting. So I designed a bezel setting for the freeform stone. The fine silver bezel wire had a 20 gauge Sterling silver wire soldered to the bottom of the bezel to support the back of the stone in the setting. Then I hammered the bezel to produce dimpling. The top edge of the bezel was scalloped with saw and file. Finally, a bail ring was soldered to the back of the bezel. Now that the bezel setting was crafted, the stone was placed in the bezel and the scalloped edge was burnished over the edge of the cabochon and here is the finished product:

Purple Passion Necklace Purple Passion Necklace Purple Passon Necklace

The rest of the 20 inch necklace was made with fluorite chips and silver colored ball chain. The next necklace was made with an amethyst cabochon. I had an amethyst crystal about 5 inches long. I cut the crystal into two pieces along the c-axis and then cabbed each stone. One has been completed with wrapping with 22 gauge Sterling silver square half hard wire in a criss cross pattern. The resulting pendant is about 3 inches by 1/2 inch. Here are my two pictures of this beautiful wire wrapped pendant.

Amethyst Cabochon Necklace Amethyst Cabochon Necklace

Now I am watching the first game of the finals for the Stanley Cup, Boston playing Vancouver. Even though Boston beat the Flyers, I will root for them as they are one of the original six teams.