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