Thursday, September 23, 2010

Classes: Textured Ring & Stone Setting


Class 1: Sterling Silver Textured Ring

Great class for beginners. In this two-hour class students will create a ring band from sterling silver sheet metal. You will texture the silver using stamps and hammers, even add a short message if you like! Techniques learned will be: how to measure for size, using the jewelers saw, stamping, soldering, filing, sanding, rounding the ring on the mandrel, antique patina, and polishing. All materials included in fee and some tools will be available in class. Students will be required to bring a butane torch (which can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot), butane, basic jewelry tools, metal ruler, chasing hammer and bench block. Some of these items can be purchased at the store if needed. Space is VERY limited so act fast if you want to attend. Class fee MUST be paid to reserve a spot.
Register at Nickaleena or call Nicki Lundeen at the shop: (423) 899-2868

6134 Airways Blvd
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Class Dates: Choose one date, the class is one two-hour session.
Wed, Oct/06/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Thurs, Oct/07/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Wed, Oct/13/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Thurs, Oct/14/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm

Class Price: $135.00

Class 2: Setting a Cabochon Gemstone

Bring your textured band back to learn how to set a beautiful gemstone on it in the next two-hour class. Choose from a variety of genuine stones. Techniques learned will be: preparing the ring with filing and sanding, soldering the bezel, setting the stone with burnishers, patinas and polishing. Students will leave with a unique, personalized ring, learn construction and get familiar with the tools needed for a small home studio. Tools required are the same as in the ring band class. Space is VERY limited so act quickly if you want to attend. Class fee MUST be paid to reserve a spot.
Register at Nickaleena or call Nicki Lundeen at the shop: (423) 899-2868

6134 Airways Blvd
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Class Dates: Choose one date, the class is one two-hour session.
Tues, Nov/09/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Wed, Nov/10/10 - 6:00-8:00 pm

Class Price : $130

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making Custom "Dragonfly"

Client had a beautiful periwinkle blue sapphire he wanted to get set into a dragonfly pendant for a friend. I drew up the "dragonfly in moon" design which was influenced by Japanese ink drawings. I made it proportionate to fit the stone size. Here is a pictoral glimpse into it's construction.

The finished pendant. I love how it turned out.

Measuring the circumference of the drawn circle with wire.

Straighten out the wire and check with a ruler to get the correct length for the silver wire.

Silver 14 gauge square wire soldered.

Dragonfly shape sawed out and circle textured, both sanded.

Details are tooled into Dragonfly to add dimension.

Because I am just doing minor tooling, hammering over wood works well.

Took an afternoon hike and saw this crazy bug. It was just over an inch in length. It was fun chasing it down the trail trying to snap a picture. It's good to get outside.

After tooled and pickled, I solder on the pre-cast prong setting. This can save a lot of time and expense.... sometimes.

The two components are ready to be joined. Notice I already have the bail soldered in place.

All of the components have been connected with Hard solder, and I will attach the two main parts with Medium, but I still apply White Out to the previous joints to help protect them. I carved a little notch in my solder board for the bail so the piece could lay flat.

This is the piece after it has been pickled and then bathed in Liver of Sulfur to blacken.

Look it is out of the tumbler all shiny and ready to set! Almost done, right? Not quite. I decided I couldn't trust these factory prongs to hold an irreplaceble stone. It was brought back from Iraq and is quite valuable in size and clarity.

So, I made new better more sturdy prongs from 16 ga square. They are looped like that so I can solder without the heat-sinking third-hand pliers after the initial tack. Trimmed to height after.

Next, the prongs are trimmed and a notch is filed to hold the stone. It takes me a few hours to get the filing correct to the shape of the stone, and the prongs set and shaped how I want them.

The new prongs after messing with them all night. Ready to set the Sapphire.

The finished piece. I am modeling it to show size and length. It is on an 18" rounded box chain. I am into a variety of box chains this year. I love them.

Back and Front documentation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Making Custom "Anvil"

Speaking of tiny anvils...
Last month I made a custom piece for my friend Tiffany. It is a memorial to her dearly departed canine pal, Bodhi. It is Etched Copper and Sterling Silver. I love how it turned out! And so did Candice, who ordered a similar style with a tooled anvil as the centerpiece.

The inspiration necklace "Bodhisattva".

Drawing and materials.

Saw out and sand.
I tape sandpaper to a piece of glass for maximum flatness.

Tool texture the copper and cut the silver backing.

Sweat solder copper to silver to get a good seam all the way around.

Emboss anvil shape onto paper background gauge.
Cut out with Xacto knife

Glue to silver backing and saw out shape.

Drill holes, file, and sand.

Put components together and solder all jumprings.

Pickle. Neutralize. Patina with Liver of Sulfur.

Patinated (blackened) necklace.
(check out my NEW bench pin! it is flat, hooray!)

Respirators aren't just a fashion statement.
Breathing the dust from this step is toxic. Safety first.

I use 80 grit yellow 3m bristle disks to bring up the highlights.

Tumble with mixed stainless steel shot for a few hours.
Burnishes and work hardens the metal.
Sometimes it makes the piece too shiny in my opinion.

So I use 15 and 30 micron polishing papers and 200 grit red bristle
disks to achieve a nice Satin finish.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Need Artizen Metal gifts now?

I've gotten a few phone calls from loyalists (i love you) needing early holiday gifts. My next official showing is Sunday, September 19th at the Chattanooga Market. I will have all new designs. I was in Memphis to drop off my Horn Island 26 work at MCA, and stopped by the National Ornamental Metal Museum. I thought they might want a few things for their gift shop. I was surprised and quite pleased that they took everything. So, if you are in Memphis and would like to purchase some Artizen Metal, you may do so at your convenience (according to the gift shop's hours). Be sure to make time to check out the exhibits and explore the grounds. It is a really wonderful place. As a metalsmith I have many great memories volunteering at the museum's Repair Days. Nothing like hanging out with your ilk. Fixin' stuff.

The cast iron gazebo on the bluff at the Metal Museum. Overlooking the Mississippi River.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making "Chakra Petals" part 1

I have been having an excellent summer. Things have been great since I moved to Chattanooga in 2009. I like it here so much we nicknamed my place the "Happy House". Since the thought of trying to catch up on my blog really stresses me out which is contrary to happy-house-ness, I am just going to start from now. I also tend to ramble a bit, so I will try to use more pictures and less blahblahblah. So... anyway, I have something to show you!

I am making a Limited Edition series of earrings out of sawn and pierced copper. It will be beautifully enameled. A friend let me borrow her awesome kiln so I have been having fun playing with it (thank you Mary-Helen)! This series will allow me to test and explore colored glass enamels on copper while making some gorgeous new inventory at the same time.

I sketched some shapes and made multiple copies. They have been glued as close together as possible to limit material waste. This is a lot of sawing to do. So much sawing, I wonder if I am a little nutty for tackling it. It's fine, these guys just aren't going to come cheap.

I have a t.v. tray equipped with clamp light and bench pin. I (sort-of) watch movies while I do repetitive work. This is 16 gauge copper. It is thick so it wont warp in the kiln. Here I have sawn the sheet into more manageable sizes.

An artsy shot of the sections. I am making a huge mess on my sofa and rug but that's ok. I have a vacuum. This is the happy house. Messes are good.

All the shapes are cut out. There are seven different styles. Next I drill a small hole in each of the interior shapes. Then I can cut out the insides. I want to save some of the interesting ones for other projects. Waste not.

After two long days of sawing, I ran out of saw blades. I ordered some more, and took the opportunity to order some mass-finishing media for a vibratory tumbler my friend Kimerlen gave me. I sure do not want to file and sand all of these pieces by hand. That's crazy talk. I pray the new equipment will do what I want. I'll let you know. 'Till then, it's back to custom orders for me!