Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Idea That Almost Hatched

Shucks, Darn, Drat, Poop, and all of the other really good words that go with a project completed, photographed, and nearly listed when…zap! The fatal error shows its ugly face in a close-up. There it was – a crack! It is the tiniest of the tiny and not noticeable to the eye but as bold as red-headed floozy in church when looked at through the macro lens of the camera. Amen brothers and sisters.

Well, thank gosh for quality control, editing, and cameras because I’d be sick if I listed it and someone got bead that I had passed an inspection on. It’s a great necklace too! Boo Hoo.

Let’s look at the bright side though. I did get to practice a whole lot of wire work and forging. All the metal on this pendant was made by me. And, it is cleaver. The ring is soldered and it swings freely from the spiral in a unique way that allows the sway but will not allow the dangle to fall off. I even made the bail to hang it it all from. It’s cute – parts are salvageable. Maybe none of it will end up being the same necklace but whatever it goes it’ll work too! For posterity though it’s pictured above. The pendant that almost was…………..

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Welcome Sharon Berkan-Dent

Hi Ho Everyone! You all know I do metal casting and I adore doing it. Finally, my mentor, instructor, Svengali, teacher, and mostly my friend has opened up her own Etsy shop. Actually she is destined for BIG BIG things in Galleries but luckily for all of us she now has a shop that's accessible to the rest of us. Take a look at that necklace that's featured in the shop banner. It is absolutely so gorgeous in person. It is white, yellow, and rose gold and it feels so decadent on. When I wore it I felt like I needed to be in a flowing black full length chiffon on the red carpet somewhere. It drapes around your neck perfectly so you don't feel that tugging you get sometimes when a necklace of beads is weighted toward the front without a fob at the back. You are going to want to see what she can do with gold. Her "traditional" web site is Mystic Swan Art Jewelry.

And, I own that's a wonderful piece and makes you feel like you could whip the world and still lovingly guard an egg or two. Your chain or leather necklace fits between those wings and she lays perfectly on your neck. Coolest piece I've ever seen.

You are going to enjoy checking her out and don't forget to heart her shop and pass the good word around about her jewelry.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whoa Nellie!

Who hasn't planted a garden and had a "wild thing" eating a gourmet meal in it? So, let me introduce you to Gretchen the Garden Bunny. She likes to hide in the flowers - I'm thinking she is loosely related to Ferdinand the Bull. Like I am loosely related to Gandhi but not that nice, noble, or skinny. Well, I could be, right?

Don't you just love the Strawberry Girl? I did and will miss her so I might make another one. But the next time I post late at night when I'm tired I think I better use the grammar check and not just the spellcheck. Whoa Miss Nellie, what were you thinking? Some days you speak weller.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Case of the Cutes

Who'd of thunk! I had a previous customer who asked for a set like this and I made it up. A little different because she needed it for a bracelet but I loved the look of it. I remember when my daughter used to love a character similar to this. During a torching rage the other day...out she came. I listed it and off she is going to a happy home...I guess someone else remembers too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mixing it up

Not a lot of time to post but I wanted to show everyone what I'm up to. I'm mixing the castings with the glass. This is one of them. It's not quite finished yet and I threw on the leather at the top (although it's not like you couldn't figure out the orientation on this). The bead can be removed so the pendant can take on different "looks". Yeah, I know, it's not a new concept...but, it is an original casting and the first of many. I've made a similar one (also roundish) but this one has some flattened and twisted wax wires on it so it looks like it has some glass twisties running through it. It will be a good style to compliment these types of beads. Got to run..........sleep is calling my name.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Butterfly Award

Several months back I received a few surprises in the mail – some random acts of kindness that made my day. One of them was a Butterfly Award from a beading friend and colleague, Janel Gradowski, of Janel’s Jumbles. She is spectacular person and artist and has written for several of my favorite magazines, like Beadwork & Bead and Button. If you need a recommendation about a book to read or a beading stitch ask Janel. She knows the answer and probably wrote a tutorial about it besides!

I have been amazingly slow, even for me, in passing this award on and I apologize to Janel for that. Thanks Janel you don’t know just how much that made my day!

This is a “meme” award, so it gets passed on. The rules for passing it on are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Award up to ten other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.

I’m passing this on to:

Susan, at Susan’s Arts

Mallory, at For the Love of Beads

Angelina, at Angelina Beadalina

Eileen, at Dorset Hill Beads

Marcy, at Studio Marcy

Lori, at Loribeads

Jennifer, at Jennifer Jangles

The Etsy Metal Team, at Etsy Metal

Janelle, at Pigeon Point Glass

Cindy, at The Studio of Cindy Gimbrone

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Waxy Hints for Casting

I just love making cast jewelry. It’s so much like sculpture but on a miniature scale. Works great for electroforming too! I know bead makers often find it easier to make a medium or large sized bead than to translate what they want into a miniature. It’s not easy to do that without losing the all of detail and grandeur that brought them to that idea in the first place. The same goes for making the initial wax for the lost wax casting. It’s always a balancing act to decide what the mind will fill in if you leave a detail out.

I most often work with a pink wax that is very pliable – maybe that translates to the fact I’m mostly a middle of the road kind of person (I even drive in the middle at times, much to the horror of my husband). There is a green wax that is softer and plenty of rock hard ones on the other end you can carve with a jack hammer (just kidding but you do need some really sharp tools). I like the pink but at times you need something with just a little more oomph that will hold a detail AND is easily carved.

After a whole lot of Google work and networking I think I have found the solution. At least it is now my solution to this issue, courtesy of that great wax worker Michael Sturlin. He melts red injection wax in a double boiler and pours it in to tin for later use with a heat tool. It works wonderfully. It attaches nicely to the pink wax with the heat tool and doesn’t melt in your hand - (now I want some M&M’s). It’s not that expensive to do either. Besides, it’s more expensive to ruin a piece you’ve worked on for eight hours because your hands are warm and you just can't get that last little line on it. Now THAT”S frustrating and I am definitely NOT into that ---- keep to the center please!

The photos will give you an idea of what I did to get the wax and a couple of samples of my silver castings. They’re becoming more and more complicated as time goes on. Someday maybe I'll get the mermaid done that goes around a large lentil bead. Personally, it's the bead that's the hold up. I want the perfect one and haven't figured out what that would be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Eye M Having Alot of Fun

I've been busy with the metal work lately and made up some funky rings with taxidermy eyes. They work for me on an amulet level and love that type of thing. You know me and the symbolism. I like making angels in cast silver too! It doesn't matter to me whether it's Catholicism or Voodoo! Call in any higher power that helps...and keep an open mind.