Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FINISHED COPPER CUFFS

Here are the finished copper cuffs I promised to show you. They were treated with liver of sulfur patina, then sprayed with enamel to protect the metal surface.



Friday, February 13, 2015

My Latest Project -- COPPER CUFFS

I first saw these copper cuffs in Art Jewelry magazine (September 2014), and only yesterday did I gather all my supplies and attempt to make a few. The article was written by Eva Sherman, a very well-known jewelry artist. She had taken a class taught by Charles Lewton-Brain, author of the wonderful book, Foldforming. She asked him -- if she created a brand new foldforming technique, could it be named after her. Yes, he said. Hence, the Sherman Fold.

The Sherman Fold is created using round nose pliers, twisting the edge of your metal piece until you like it. Twisting, annealing, twisting, annealing, twisting ......

I started with a piece of 30 gauge copper, 2" wide x 8" long, and twisted the metal around the entire piece.


You can see in the photo I twisted with my pliers pointing straight. After you anneal the metal, you twist with your pliers pointing to the right and go around the whole piece. Anneal. Then you twist with the pliers going to the left. Anneal. Repeat these three steps. You need to lightly hammer the metal with a rawhide mallet after each of these steps to flatten it so it's manageable.

Remember ... You are having fun. Here's how your piece looks. What??!!!


Eventually, you will put your piece in the pickle pot, brush and rinse it, and it becomes something really nice.

In the meantime, you prepare your base piece, which is 20 gauge copper, 1-1/2" wide and 6" long. Of course, the length depends on the size of your wrist. You cut your 30 gauge piece 1-1/4" wide by 6" long (the same length as the 20 gauge).

You can see by this photo that I have cut the two pieces ... and have the leftovers to make other projects! I stamped the two hearts to appear in the inside of the cuff.


Next, trim the sharp corners and round them with a file or sandpaper. Now it's time to shape the two pieces. You need to work harden the 20 gauge piece on a bracelet mandrel(or baseball bat or whatever you have). Then lightly shape the 30 gauge piece and center it on the base piece. You can use painters' tape to hold it in place. The two pieces get riveted together, so you need to drill or punch two holes on each end, keeping 1/8" from the edge. I used copper nail head rivets that I inserted from the inside of the cuff, trimmed to a credit card length and then secured the rivet on the top side of the cuff.


Here's the Sherman Fold cuff put together. It will get a patina treatment with liver of sulfur later. I'll be sure to post a photo of the finished piece.


With the leftover piece that was cut off, I made a narrower 1" wide cuff.


Here's the third cuff I made using the Sizzix BIGkick machine and an embossing folder. I love it too!






Tuesday, January 27, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY LISTINGS

Hoping to make a few sales for Valentine's Day, I've listed a few more pieces in my Etsy shop.

Here's a necklace with an etched heart and a beautiful patina finish. I've added my own lampwork beads. The length of the necklace with its wire wrapping and chain is 27", and it fits over the head without unfastening the clasp. I love it.


Another heart lampwork bead necklace.

Monday, January 19, 2015

And Still More Enameling ....

These earrings are favorites of mine. They were kiln fired last week, and I got them listed today on ETSY.

Here is a black and white pair.

This is a small fused glass dichroic pendant that is so cute.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MORE ENAMELING

I did another enameling session this week and was very happy with the results. Here are two pieces I have listed in my Etsy shop.



Sunday, January 4, 2015

ENAMELING

My friend and I spent several afternoons last week enameling. This time it was a completely new experience, as we used a small Paragon kiln instead of the torch. What sparked our interest, you might ask? Have you ever seen the work of Angela Gerhard? Enough said!

While we didn't know what we were doing, we had an idea. We made plenty of mistakes, most of them fixable. There were two ways of drawing patterns in enamels, that we knew of. You can first counter-enamel the back of your piece, then enamel a base coat on the front. Brush Klyr-Fire to the front and sift on a contrasting color. Then using a small brush or pointed scribing tool, draw your design in the enamel. When the piece is dry, carefully place it on a trivet and firing rack, then load into the kiln, which has been waiting at 1500 deg. F.

Here's what we did last week. We counter-enameled the back by putting on a fairly thick coat. Then added a thinner base coat to the front and fired again. Instead of using Klyr-Fire and a coat of enamel powder, we mixed a small portion of white liquid enamel with distilled water until it was a thin yogurt consistency. We brushed this mixture over the top of the piece, sifted a coat of enamel on top, and immediately started the drawing process. A very tricky business! You need to have a plan and work fast. If you make a mistake, it can be fixed by using some of the enamel mixture and sifted enamel ... sometimes. But most of the time it didn't work and you had to clean the piece and start over.

The enamels we used are from Thompson Enamel. The white liquid enamel was BC-1070.

Our worst mistake was on the first day. After we counter enameled the back of the piece, we didn't like it. So we added more enamel to try cover it. Remember, we had already given the back a heavier coat. What happened next was that most of the pieces cracked and the enamel fell off the back. Duh. The next day we were able to save those pieces by chipping off the excess enamel, adding a thin coat and quickly adding a coat to the top. It was a matter of surface tension.

I can't count the number of times we dropped the piece we were working on or it fell sideways off the trivet. The third day was an improvement. We had several nice pieces. I'll share a few here. I think what kept us going into the third day was my friend's piece. It had just been removed from the kiln and was gorgeous! The black dots are very small black glass beads!

Here are her earrings from the third day:

I had my successes too. I enameled a number of hearts and a few rectangular pieces.

So much to learn, but we felt we were successful in our first attempt. I want to try scribing zentangle patterns next.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Screen Printing Success!

My Conan coasters look terrific! I added clear glass to the top of each and fully fused them yesterday.

I like the white ones the best.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Screen Printing A Christmas Present!

I purchased the Cameo Silhouette years ago and it continues to amaze me. It can cut the most intricate patterns ... think of a doily with all the little cutouts. Yes, it can do that. I'm not really interested in cutting doilies, but have made some fused glass plates in the past year with feather designs that were screen printed.

My daughter and son-in-law have a wonderful dog, Conan. He's a Rottweiler who weighs over 150 lbs. Can you imagine how big he is? I have a great photo of him and my daughter Kirsten (below) and wanted to screen print some coaster for them as a Christmas present.

I started this process yesterday morning by downloading the photo of Conan into the Cameo Silhouette. Here is a screen print of the photo.

It's a confusing process, but I have to remove all the black from the stencil. Having the screen print really helps. The next step is to cut the stencil on the vinyl and weed out all the parts. What?!!

In the next photo I have placed the weeded stencil on the screen.

Here I have used painter's tape around the stencil to protect the rest of the frame.

Underneath the frame, I have attached a sheet of paper on which I will print the first image. I'll then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and it will help me in the placement of my glass pieces for screen printing Conan's images.

Here's the messy process of mixing the enamel.

Here I've added the enamel to the screen. (Actually, between you and me, I made a mistake. I have to move the enamel mixture to the longer side of the screen since my squeegee is too wide!) Hopefully I'll remember that next time.

Here's the first print on the paper I attached below. It really looks good. IT'S CONAN!!

I printed four on a nice blue glass and two on white. What happens next is that I will fire these so that the enamel sets on the glass. Then I add a layer of clear glass on top and fuse them together in the second firing. The four on the blue glass will be coasters. The white ones will go into a third firing and will be slumped into curved dishes.

Here's one of the white ones. I think Kirsten and Tim will love Conan's presents. DON'T TELL THEM ... THESE ARE A SURPRISE!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

New Dichroic Fused Glass Pendants

I love my new pendants. Dichroic glass strips, as well as black glass pieces, were cut and carefully stacked together using super glue. Once I got the measurements correct, the assembly part was not so hard. The pendants are 2-1/4" high, including the bail.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A New Bangle Pattern Roller for My Rolling Mill!

I have to give my thanks to Deborah Read for posting this bangle pattern roller on her blog! I quickly ordered one from Otto Frei and got it a few days ago. It's a beauty with seven different patterns. Here's a photo:

I tried different gauges of copper wire and even tubing I had on hand and love the results! I'm not sure I tried all the patterns yet. The photo below shows what I've made so far. The wire on the right is 12 gauge ... I think I'll use it for earrings.