Monday, 20 January 2014

The rough and the smooth

Just a quick post this time, things have been pretty hectic and rather horrible over the last week. What we thought at first to be a sprain to my husbands leg has turned out to be deep vein thrombosis. This has meant daily trips to the hospital for scans and tests and inevitably any thoughts of making jewellery have been set aside until things calm down a bit. The only thing I've managed to do this week is sand and polish the flower I made in class. Here it is with the glass cabochon which I am about to set within the centre stamens, which I then fold down to keep it in place. I am intending to use the flower in a wirework cuff. I added some texture to the petals with a tiny dental burr set in my flexshaft.

One lovely piece of news though – the new Durston Rolling Mill is here. Actually I found that the reorganising of the work area to accommodate it has helped to take my mind off things a bit and I am looking forward to finding the time to sit down and play with it. For now though, I am just trying to catch up on my pile of jewellery techniques books whilst sitting in waiting rooms!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Hot colours on a chilly day

I’ve had a busy time with the beads over the last few days. My ‘Spice Trail’ neckpiece is well under way. I wanted to introduce some darker colours to contrast with the bright ones so I hunted through my collection to find some that reminded me of peppercorns. Although the beadwork itself is freeform I do want it to have a shape to it and a kind of symmetry.

Laying it on a cut paper shape from time to time enables me to stop it from becoming too unruly. Beads have a life of their own – my husband can testify to this, as he often picks them off the soles of his feet before getting into bed!
Silversmithing class starts tomorrow, I want to make a flower shaped pendant with something interesting in the centre of it – I’ll post some pics of it in progress later this week. I’m looking forward to more experiments with metal textures and patinas this year and I now find myself hankering after a rolling mill – well I suppose it was just a matter of time. I’m trying hard to justify the extravagance, here are some of the ‘excuses’ and I’m sure that fellow jewellery makers will recognise the train of thought, especially those who have considered purchasing a rolling mill.
  1. I can use up my silver scraps and save money
  2. I can texture metal without hammering and deafening the husband/neighbours
  3. I can pick up interesting natural objects like leaves and feathers  and imprint them onto silver, copper, brass sheet
  4.  I can make collages and print those on metal
  5.  It will open up a whole world of creative possibilities (reason enough in my book)
I have decided it will have to be a Durston, I know there are cheap mills out there, but I think it will be worth buying a good one right from the start and making it last a lifetime.
My new great nephew arrived on New Year’s Eve. They have not named him yet as they can’t decide if he will be Jude, or the name his two little brothers want – Toby.