June 26, 2008


On a side note today, I know a lot of jewelers, and ones who have been at it for many years, who don't wear face masks.  I find that if I don't use one, even for simple sanding and filing tasks, I can feel the little particles getting into my lungs.  So I highly recommend to use a face mask if you are making anything that requires filing or sanding.  Any simple one from the hardware store will help, as long as it's rated for sanding.  

June 23, 2008


Right now I'm working on making a large batch of wings. I'm finding it best to do these sorts of projects in batches, it saves a lot of time down the road. plus they all need to be heat treated before they are finished so doing them all at once cuts down the amount of times I have to heat the oven. Here's a picture of all the wings ready to be made into jewelry (no dragonflies were harmed in making all these wings!).

June 19, 2008

Etsy Metal

Buy Handmade

I'm very excited to say that I have been accepted into the Etsymetal, a juried guild of Etsy metalsmiths. The links above are just a handful of the amazing artist that are part of it. All of the members are very talented and some are huge sellers on Etsy, it's nice to know that we are all together in this revolutionary new way to sell jewelry directly to the person who will be wearing it.

Go to the website and take time to checkout all the cool metalwork on Etsy.

June 15, 2008

New photos

My latest project has been redoing all my photos, it's been a challenge to get them to a state I'm happy with. There are some sellers on Etsy, particularly jewelry sellers, whose shops I really admire. They are very inspiring, but at the same time heavily copied, and the last thing I want to do is mimic someone else's shop.

So my challenge is to create a unique but not overly complicated photo setup for my designs... and to figure out why the white balance is so far off on my camera as well!

Today I took a couple of paper sample booklets that were going to be thrown out at work and made them into little cards to include with my packages. I was able to make about 4 dozen out of the cover pages alone! These were paper samples for recycled stationary and card stock, it seemed like such a waste to throw these out.

June 10, 2008

Custom Ring, Finished

So I have a few steps missing from this tutorial. The nature of hopping between two shops and doing small bits at a time did not translate well for photographs to use here. But the great news is the are finished and look stunning! I had to practically pry them away from a few people though and send them to their rightful owner, hehe.

To blacken the silver I use liver of sulphur, available at most tool suppliers, including ottofrei.com and riogrande.com. First I mix the dry chunks, just a few, in very very hot water, and then submerge to piece until it coats in an even black. This will not color the 14k for the most part, but will oxidize all the mokume. Once the piece dries, I sand down the mokume again to remove all the black. The next step is to lightly rub some Baldwin's Patina with a Q-tip over the mokume sections. This patina is formulated based on ancient Japanese Rokusho patinas. The fantastic part about this patina is it will darken the shakudo in the mokume but not the silver, creating a deep coppery contrast.

Enough with the technical babble! Here are the rings!

June 6, 2008

Outside Adventure

So these are a few pictures from a little hike we took about a week ago. We live close to Lake Champlain and in a nearby town there is an old old railroad causeway that has been turned into a bike path. It's about 3.5 miles long and use to connect to some of the island in the lake, but now there is a small bike ferry that takes you across where the rotating bridge use to be. Here's more info for you. we managed to go on an amazingly beautiful week day, it was gorgeous and we had the place to ourselves!

June 2, 2008

Custom Ring, part 8

There weren't too many process shots this time around as I was very focused on soldering the pieces and forgot to grab the camera! But I have a great shot of both the pieces constructed and ready to have the stones set. Soldering the top parts on was pretty tricky business but everything worked out perfect in the end.

Once the stones are set I will move on to the final polish and sanding to give each of them their finished shape. The very last step will be coloring the silver and the mokume--I can't wait!

Wings and Things!!

The Dragonfly wing as finally here and ready! I made some funky little pieces from mokume as well, this material is pretty cool stuff!