Wednesday, August 31, 2011


After 72 hours, there is light. Literally, I mean lights and Internet and coffee that I can make instead of Dunkin Donuts. So happy. Soon the pickle pot will be hot and I can solder. But first out for dinner because I had to dispose of everything perishable. Did I mention that I can make coffee?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Something New - It's the Wood that makes it good

My new fascination with wood
and with layers

I don't list things as often as I should. That sounds like a song! My procrastination will be my downfall. Here I am, now a quit my day job girl, and I have played enough Wii to best my own top score on Link's Crossbow (the only weapon I use) I think about making something, and I have enough materials to open my own shop. Sound familiar?

I love wooden beads. And lamp work beads. Alas glass is soooooo heavy! Wood is light, very light. A perfect marriage. My new bracelet, one of many, features wood beads with a mix of glass, and ceramic spacers. I can't wait to make more, plus they are fast. It's the wood that makes it good. Way back, Kenny Rogers had a restaurant, and that was the slogan. I always got a kick out of that one. Surprisingly, they went out of business.

My other new fave, is layering silver discs to make abstract floral shapes. The gold bezel is pretty and the tourmaline is really nice set inside the oxidized layers. It is like a rippling stone toss, oh that would make a good title somehow. Write that down, self.

My next endeavor is to make some bezel pendants with the plethora of cabochons I have "acquired". Photos to follow..

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's been a while

I recently took a class in wax carving and casting. I had no previous experience in this medium and seriously wished to learn. This is what happened. The teacher was Nanz Aalund, a professional goldsmith who had been teaching for many years. The place was Peter's Valley Craft Center in New Jersey. I spent 6 days in the country, no internet, only peace, and homecooked food. I went running a few times with Jordana, a quilter there for a machine quilting class. I would like to see her again, maybe for lunch in the city.

My classmates and I learned to carve wax into a ring, with specific geometric lines. I was always terrible at geometry. After carving our model, which was the same for everyone, we altered it to our own taste, making certain the balance was good, and it wouldn't turn.

Me toiling away with dental tools

Then a funny thing happened. We had done the investments, and placed them in the kilns overnight. The next morning, Nanz went to turn on the gas tanks to heat the silver for casting, and lo and behold, no oxygen. Not so funny.

Jennifer was the studio assistant, and she went off to fill the tanks, but in the meantime...

One person had her silver melted by two acetylene tanks. When the container was moved to pour, it was dropped and all the molten silver splattered on the floor, and almost Nanz's bare legs. That was not attempted again.

Next we started carving something of our own. Mine was a ring setting for my Etsy shop. A bezel setting with narrower sides close to the setting.

Mine came out great.

During the class, Nanz told me SEVERAL times that I should just send it out to be cast. Now what's the fun in that?

Jennifer is a fantastic enamelist check out her site