Monday, May 23, 2011

Step by Step Diamond Earrings

Howdy howdy. I've been up to lots, taking picture meant for my blog but never getting around to it. Sorry guys. How about lets go over these earrings I made tonight. First off I've been trying to figure out the secret of engraving. I have a little project going trying to create a realilistic hazelnut leaf. I engraved the veins, now im hoping to shape it some and eventually enamel it. But, main thing i wanted tou to see was the engraving.

So today I went to the Willamette building downtown and decided to drop in on the diamond dealer. At some point I want to make a fancy suite for myself so I wanted to check out what he had and I picked up two conagc diamonds. I decided to start with real basic premade earring studs. It saved me time, but its not my own if I don't DO something to make it my own. Take a look: one stud as sold, and one engraved.

Not too bad, I don't have the best engraving setup (infact,  it would probably make most goldsmiths shudder), but I was able to do something nice.

After engraving both studs I attached wires for the pearl to dangle from.

Now from there I had choices: do I want to solder the ring closed or not? I decided to leave it open and slip the pearl dangle on and shut it firmly closed when done and not risk soldering/melting everything. Now That I have the wire on I need to clean up the metal and set the diamonds.
Pretty little things. I personally prefer colored diamonds to attach the pearls and viola!
Lovely little earrings in just two hours.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CMAG Spring Show

I did it! I got into my first show last weekend thanks to the Creative Metal Arts Guild here in Portland. I spent much of the weekend volunteering in the gallery booth. Lets take a look at the weekend. Don't forget to click on the pictures to get a better view of the jewelers works! This is one of our lovely guild memebers.
See: I got a couple pieces in! Seemed like people liked what I did.

There are a few guild memebers I'd like to mention.  Rebbecca Bashara does some beautiful and creative pieces with stone. Be sure to take a look at her website to see some very different, interesting and beautiful jewelry.

I was loving this one all Saturday as it sat in the gallery. So interesting, and that is a handmade chain!

Trisha Hassler was there. She was organizing the gallery while running this booth. She makes very interesting mixed media work using metal and fabric. A woman after my own heart! I loved that she had a big embroidery hoop out all weekend and encouraged guild members to add to it for a piece she will do later in the year. I'm looking foreward to seeing what the piece turns into.

Tami Dean has a very unique style. It is very contemporary, but unique and interesting enough it wont look dated in ten years. Very cool stuff she does.

Purisima jewelry is really lovely work. The Asian inspired motifs look like the where painted on the metal. Masterfully done, I love it!

Elizabeth from Solarwind Studios is here for her second spring show, and her collection is growing nicely! A truely unique collection, lets all wish her best of luck!

So thats about it for my highlighted CMAGers. It was a good show and I hope to see you there next year.

Any of my readers out there belong to a guild and do you feel like it helps you?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Month of April Round Up

Hodwy everyone! Looks like the thing a day challenge fell by the wayside. I wasn't too committed as I frankly ALWAYS aim for making one thing a day. doesn't always happen, but it keeps me sitting at my bench risiting the pull of ADD if I say, "You gotta finish this today!" I have made several items this month, lets see what we have:
One Opal, of the many

Another nice opal

First days piece! (Which I subsequently squished. note to self: use heavier gauge)

Great looking to most people, not perfect to me. Prototype of what will be a fantastic ring I can custom make with whatever stone in the center

Another prototype, the necklace looks pretty cute on her, eh?

I cut that sunstone a long time ago, and hammered that piece of silver even longer before! the silver was in my scrap box waiting to be used for the right project. This is perfect!

Great turquiose ring. I'm quite please i was able to create something that didn't look like it was copying Native art.
Wooowee. Aren't these beautiful? On my etsy, but I don't mind if they dont sell.

I cut these opal this month and set them. That REALLY counts, right?

Re-did the dog tag in gold this time. Looked even better than before.

I FINALLY got this piece finished. all I had to do was replace the chain I destoryed in the last 30 seconds of polishing (note to beginning goldsmiths: people are right when they say dont polish your chain on a mandrel! No, Wrapping it around your bench pin wont work. I almost lost a finger. DONT do it.)
My final piece for the month.  Copper and silver with Cherry Creek Jasper and a hand cut opal. That little opal is a piece I cut off a larger stone because there was teh tiniest of cracks and i didn't want it to grow. I couldn't bare to throw out the piece of opal so one day I came home and was too tired to use the torch, so i grabbed the scrap and cabbed it. purdy nice detail.

So it wasn't too bad of a month, more like a piece every other day, but at least i got stuff done! I cut alot more opals than I showed, too. Oh, and I got a job! I'm working as a line cook again, which means less time at the bench but more money for supplies/tools.

So, guys and gals, what pieces do you like the most and which ones do you think I could do better on?