Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Afterwards I couldn't get the hood off her. She insisted on wearing it while drawing and wasn't lured out of it until I temped her with a bath. By then her cheeks were of cause rather flushed, but she looked quite cute, my little flower-forest-elf...
It did - as I found out today, but the Track & Trace... well... let's just say that the USPS hasn't been impressing me very much on this matter. I was told that the envelope would principally arrive at the US border the day after it had been sent from DK, leaving plenty of time to get it through the States to the customer. As it turns out -it did. However, this information didn't surface before around the 23rd! What a sinking feeling to wait for this information. Yesterday it still informed me, that
Inbound International Arrival, October 17, 2009, 3:15 pm, ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)
And today, all of a sudden, USPS tells me that it arrived (Washington area, so not THAT far from NY) on the 26th -snugly to be gifted on the 28th after all. What a relief!
So, my initial shipping virginity now taken, I'm ready for the next, possibly toying with DHL, UPS or some other company. Now, start buying, dagnamit!
Monday, October 26, 2009
At home I cut out the serene features of her using my dentist-style drill. Ebony is rather soft, compared to for instance mother of pearl, which my Snow Queen brooch has been made from, but still it’s one of the hardest woods around. I am always very meticulous about the details, and so it easily takes one hour to create a portrait like this. Now that I had it, I decided to sand cast it in silver. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to use it for, perhaps a ring, but it’s nice to have this very special piece of silver ornament, which is as unique as the original.
Then the fitting of the silver bezel, which is actually quite a hassle, when the shape isn’t exactly round, like a gem. But it’s important to me that it fits snugly, and so I take the time to fit, file, fit again and file again until it’s perfect. That done, the actual shape of the centerpiece –the wings – were cut out of a sheet of 1 mm thick silver and I soldered the bezel onto them. The basics were done – now for tidying up and the finishing touches: I removed the excess silver around the bezel and filed it smooth, then created a half loop and soldered to the base of the bezel to hold the garnet drop. For the decoration on the back I drew the outline of the frightened face of the back, drilled holes and then pierced it with my saw.
I was in doubt how to create the vines of the wings, but decided to go for the delicate solution: chiseled curls define the structure of these wings and make them come to life.
Then I heated the surface of my tar-bowl, softening it enough to press the piece into it and thereby fastening it securely. This is a very good trick when setting any kind of gem –in this case the ebony face –because it holds the whole thing secure, making it possible to work two hand with both punsel and hammer to push the bezel over the edges of the face. Now it was secured, never to be removed again. And now the scared face on the back had a black background, which works very well indeed!
Then I made the bezel for the garnet drop and cut out a hole in the back of it to let light in and show off its color. I attached it to the centerpiece with a length of chain, but I’m still in doubt whether I should just have attached it directly. The chain makes it look more elegant, but it can also turn around itself, leaving the backside of the drop visible. I decided to go for the chain after all –practicalities must suffer when faced by aesthetics!
I wanted the color scheme of this piece to be black, silver and red and have a certain sumptuousness to it. The choice for a strand of garnets was therefore easy and I was lucky enough to have extra string to push them apart and cut it in two, securing the ends with knots. I burned my fingers a bit, fiddling with the shell lack for attaching the strand, but eventually it was done and I was quite satisfied. I think it came fairly close to the original idea of my drawing and find it very flattering, especially with a deep V-neck –which is what I mostly wear anyways.
She looks pretty and serene, but beware… muahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!
Do you want her to become yours? Buy her here
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Firstly, the wire I had was somewhat thicker, and so I hammered it down to the approximate size of 2 mm, annealing it a few time in the process. Annealing is necessary because the silver hardens when hammered. At some point it’s impossible to change its shape further and you have to heat it up to a soft rosy glow and then cool it down again in order to soften it enough for continuous forging.
Afterwards I “ran up” the ends by applying intense heat to them, which melts the metal into a soft ball. When it had been cooled and through the acid (to remove any stains from the heat), I filed these ball-shaped ends into the needed shape (flat in one end, round in the other which was to be the middle, and started shaping the snail with tweezers. Due to the thickness of the wire, that is quite tough work I can tell you, and my hands are still a bit sore from it. Some polishing made the pendant come lock perfect.
Now off to the ends that were to be attached to the leather cord: I know they exist pre-made, but I just couldn’t find any in the right size (that is: large enough –and we like large for our men ;-) so I had to create them myself. I cut two pieces of silver tube and soldered them onto a 1 mm sheet. Then cut them out and filed smooth, before attaching the hoops, which I had shaped into ovals.
A last filing after the acid bath and some buffing and we were ready for the assembly.
I think it came out quite nice. It looks great as a necklace, doubles as a bracelet, when wound twice and doesn’t fall off by accident because of the oval hoop/oval end of the snail, which only allows it to slide off when turned 90 degrees.
I am considering if it would look cool too with some kind of coarsely cut gems or wooden beads…
Want it? Well, it's for sale here
I have collected quite a lot of tools by now, neatly stored in the drawers, and absolutely necessary in order to shape the metal how I want it. Quite often I have to invent ways to achieve the specific shape I am looking for, and equally often the finished item ends up looking somewhat different from the original drawing, as you can see in this example, featuring two of my favorite brooches. Yes, the smiling face (which you can by here)was initially intended to be a pendant!
My next purchase will be a tumbler, which both polishes and hardens the finished jewelry. This is especially necessary when creating earrings like these airy silver-wire ones, which have been shaped out of 1,2 mm wide wire. This time I hardened them in the oven, but I feel quite bad for using that much CO2 (they have to stay in there at maximum temperature for one whole hour). So: If I get my way, I’ll have a tumbler next month and a lot more wire-earrings coming up, like the ones I drew yesterday at the never-ending parent meeting in the kinder garden. Can’t wait!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So I have of cause started sowing my costume (I'll tell you more about that in a later blog) and created this huge devil's head of papier machee. I build the frame using a narrow-meshed wire mesh and some steel wire, which took quite a few hours (and sore fingers plus scratched arms –ouch!) But finally it was ready to be clad and a few hours later it looked like this:
Note to self: wear latex gloves! The skin on my fingers is still dried out :-S
A beautifull 14 k gold ring with a swirl of silver tugging a facet cut peridot. The buyer was a gentleman in the States and I shipped it off Friday as registered mail. A bit of a hassle, as it turns out, and I definitely have to adjust the shipping costs on Etsy. It cost me 90 kroner, which is apr. 18 dollars! However, I see it as learning money and am just very happy indeed to get this baby flying. Hopefully soon others will find my jewelry equally interesting and start buying it!