Wrapped Donut Pendant  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Something new I made a few days ago is based on something I wanted to do for a few years now. I always wanted to wrap a donut without having to fiddle with making a wire wrapped bail, it's just a pain to do it right.

I got some tutorials from Eni Oken several years ago when she was still selling her tutes, and one of them is a wrapped donut. So I've decided to do something similar, but not quite the same. So I ended up with this piece which has seemingly random wraps around the donut and a silver frame - frame which I soldered. I then soldered the jump ring as the bail to the frame, and did a bit more soldering work - basically all jump rings are soldered, including at the end of the cord, right between the endings - now that was fun to do without burning any other nearby piece.

It's a simple piece, but I'm happy about how I slowly develop my soldering skills. Anyway, here are a few photos of it. The donut is quite heavy actually, it's made of hematite and measures 4.5 cm (a bit over 1.5").

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More New Toys To Play With!  

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm a tool junkie and I admit it. Is there an AA style group for it? The more I learn, the more tools I need, afterll how can I make those cool designs without it? (at least that's my reasoning behind it).

So here are my latest tools, all came yesterday through the post (shown from left to right).

I got a round sandbag, because hammering around here is quite tricky with me living in a flat. I hope I can dampen a bit of the sounds and also make it easier on my table. I was using a thicker cloth and a mouse pad, but I think it was still not enough.

Next I got the heavy Euro Power Punch which can punch out various size rounds from a sheet of copper or sterling silver. It's heavy, just like the sandbag (the shipping cost me quite a lot as well, as it was sent via UPS due to the weight). I can't wait to start using this tool, I have so many ideas already!

Then I got myself a texture hammer with two different texturing styles (dimples and narrow lines) - you can see it here. Having recently bought a huge copper sheet of 0.7mm, I can't wait to start hammering on it and making some fun textures.

Finally I got the smaller Euro Punch plier which makes one type of hole only, of 1.8mm. Perfect for adding a jump ring to a pendant through the hole. It's this one that I got, with the round hole. There are 2 more styles (with square and oval holes) which are on my wishlist, will get them eventually. For now I really needed this as I was struggling to drill a hole with a Dremel, I just couldn't keep the tool steady for it. I guess I do need a flex shaft, or I don't know how to use the drilling part of the Dremel (or I don't have the right drill bits), but anyway, I've already tried this small tool and it's perfect for my needs. It also comes with a replaceable tip, which is a great thought by the developers.

Can't wait this weekend to start using my new fun metalsmithing tools!

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YOJ 2013 Week 11 - Rescued from the Scrap Bin  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Here is my entry in the week 11 for the Year of Jewelry Project of this year. It's my second project from Melissa Muir's soldering course. I am proud of it because I could never solder before, but now I made two separate projects already, including the previously shown first ever soldered chain.

It also fit well the week's theme because all the wire pieces and jump rings are literally taken from the scrap bin, from older projects that didn't go anywhere and had to be dismantled.

I love soldering and I know I'll get good at it once I practice enough.

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First Ever Soldered Chain  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm learning to solder using two beginner metalsmithing courses - one by Melissa Muir (workshop here), and one at Craftsy (Metalsmithing at home - link here) and Melissa's first project is a soldered chain. She uses 3 different jump ring sizes, and I used only two because I already had these cut, but overall I like it for a first piece. I stretched the larger rings into ovals a bit with the round nose pliers, and the rings didn't come apart, so the solder seems to hold.

There are tons of possibilities opened with soldering, imagine soldered frames without having to fiddle with wire wrapped bails, or soldering silver wire to a silver sheet cut to a particular design...I'm really excited about it. I know there are still flaws with this piece, have to remove some extra solder from the joints, some rings need a bit of adjusting (the ovals are not quite the same size everywhere), but I'm getting there with practice.

Here are a few pics taken of this first piece, one that I will keep, afterall it's my first :)

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Jewelry Tools On My Wishlist  

Friday, March 8, 2013

The more things I'm learning on making jewelry, the more tools I need. Wire wrapping, chain maille, and now metalsmithing too (albeit only a beginner at it), these all need high quality tools to not only save time, but also make great quality jewelry - working only with the hands goes only so far... And with the limited amount of extra money most of us have, it's quite challenging to fulfill our wishes all the time. So I've started to add most coveted jewelry tools to a wishlist that I will keep in this post, transferring them from the notepad I was keeping them in. As I manage to *gulp* buy a new tool, will cross it off the list.

If you do have any of these tools, let me know in the comments section if they're worth getting, or better to go for something else instead. Also I'm curious what are some of the tools that you want to get and are on your wishlist?

So here goes my list.

  • A new jeweler's saw - bought (although I secretly dream about a Knew Concept Saw)
  • V-Slot Bench Pin and Clamp - bought through Ebay, just came in the mail
  • A Foredom Flex Shaft
  • A nice big anvil (like this one)
  • And speaking of Fretz tools, a couple of cool texture hammers for metal forming and shaping wouldn't hurt either
  • Tronex cutters and pliers
  • A leather sandbag (shown here)
  • A Pepe (or Swanstrom) disk cutter
  • A dapping tool
  • The new Pepe Jumpringer (supposed to be available soonish) for chain maille
  • Alternatively the Ringinator would be a great choice (actually my first choice before I saw the new Jumpringer pictures on Facebook)
  • A larger bench block than my small square that I currently have
  • Chasing tools (like these ones)

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Simplicity - Week 9 YOJ Project 2013  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I haven't made jewelry in a week, been down a bit (having hypothyroidism has its ups and downs), but today I made a very simple pair of copper earrings for the latest week in the Year Of Jewelry Project 2013 with the theme: Simplicity. I guess simpler than that it doesn't really get.

All wire is copper and the briolettes are simple glass beads which go perfectly well with the copper color. Earrings measure a bit under 6cm including the ear wires (which are also copper).

I'm still behind with the Weeek 8 of the YOJ project with the theme 'Multiples', but I was really not feeling well enough to do one piece, forget about multiples...Will try to catch up with that project soon.

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