Monday, June 27, 2016


I just finished a 2-1/2 day Powder Printing class with the awesome Stacy Lynn Smith at the new Bullseye Resource Center in South Pasadena. So much information, such a great teacher. It was intense. We learned how to turn a colored photograph into a black and white image using Photoshop (a 14-page handout!!!). We learned how to apply emulsion to a screen, print our photos onto positive film, expose the films to the prepared screen, and how to use powders with the screen. Doesn't that sound exciting? I'd like to jump right into the process, but first I need an exposure unit! The instructor promised to email notes on making one, as well as a link for buying one.

The first day we did four pieces with the same patterns and powders. They were fired at different temperatures so we could understand how heatwork affects the texture and colors. Those pieces look basically the same, but since you cannot FEEL the textures, I won't post the photos.

Then we printed an image onto glass (two feathers). That was fired to a full fuse. The next day we printed an image over the piece (mission), and this time it was fired at a lower temperature so the top image still had texture.

The next project .... The glass was covered with powder through a clean screen. Then we used our image and added powder to the top. In my case I used two different blues to make a gradient. I love this effect!

Then we made a wafer. First we had to make a template out of black paper, which was printed on the positive film just like any photo. This would be the bottom layer of the wafer. It was exposed to the screen we made earlier, along with the image I wanted for my wafer. We made this project directly onto a primed kiln shelf. My bottom layer of powder was applied to a thickness of around 1/4". Then the top layer. Off it went into the kiln and low fired. The last day of class, Stacy showed us how to glue the wafer (it was sooo delicate) onto a piece of steel that was provided for each of us. It makes a beautiful presentation!

An image I have on my screen is an old photo I scanned of myself (on the left), my sister and father with our accordions. I completely forgot about it and did the project with the four feathers and the gradient technique instead. Since it has been exposed to my screen, I can make tons of pieces with it. This will be so much fun!

One of the last things Stacy showed us was how to clean your screen using emulsion remover. In my case, I wanted to keep my images so I could reuse them. If I ever get an exposure unit, then I could clean my screens and keep reusing them since the images are safely on positive film.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I DID IT! This is the cuff I started in December and yesterday finished!! It's beautiful. I had come home from OSH on New Year's Day after buying a trailer ball hitch to form the cuff ... opened the gate, out charged the dogs, and that's when I tripped over dear Charlie. But all is well ... physical therapy is twice a week, and there is continuous improvement. I have a second cuff to work on, plus a couple of pendants. And just signed up for the new RINGS BOHEME class with Leslie Kail Villarreal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I have been accumulating an assortment of metal dies that you can use with either a hammer or the hydraulic press. Some are for impressing a pattern on thick wire to then form into a bracelet. Some are shot plates that use a formed metal ball stuck into the impression, then hammered. These become embellishments soldered to your jewelry projects. I recently ordered a lovely brass Indian die from Ebay and wondered how I could use it with the hydraulic press.

Richard Sweetman in his DVD "Crushed Metal Cuff and Hydraulic Press", showed how to use pieces of bicycle inner tubing to press into the form. I had an inner tube I had picked up last year from the local bike shop and wanted to give that a try. I cut five round pieces, the same size as the metal die. Scotch tape held together my little package of die, annealed metal and five pieces of inner tubing. The result was a wonderful impression! I was so excited! I have to tell you I woke up at 3:00 in the morning remembering this part of the DVD, and was dressed in no time and preparing the stack to try with the hydraulic press. Here's the die with impressions in both copper and sterling silver.

Those inner tube pieces were destroyed!

Yesterday I visited the local bike shop again and came home with a lifetime supply! I'll be sure to post more photos of my impressions soon. Can't wait! For those of you without a hydraulic press, the video also showed the same method of impressing metal using a vise.