Sunday, September 30, 2007

Back from the Retreat!!

Wow! I learned soooo much. Here you see us hard at work on the back deck, and the lovely view of the water from the same deck. I loved getting to watch how other people do things, and having the time to practice and play with new tools and techniques. I have been afraid to try stuff like acid etching and patinas without seeing it first, and this gave me a chance to try (and smell!)these things. I was also able to see the Koil Kutter in action (I now have one so I can make jumprings for handmade chains) and was able to try a rolling mill and Foredom flexshaft as well. I can't afford a rolling mill yet, but I did buy a flexshaft which I can't wait to start using to drill holes and polish with. And, of course, the best part of the whole experience was that I made some wonderful new friends that I really look forward to seeing again at the next retreat.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My retreat piece

We are all bringing a piece of jewelry with us that was designed on the theme of "mountain retreat". I just received some of my new tools, specifically a jeweler's saw, so I thought I'd try it out and make something. I cut c corner from some of my new sheet copper and made a little necklace I call "gecko mountain". Forged copper, pewter gecko charm, and fused silver swirl all hang from a necklace of matte blackstone beads with copper accents.

Jewelry Artists Retreat

I am sooooo excited! Last winter I signed up to go on a week-long Jewelry Artist's retreat, and at long last, the time is almost here!! I'll be leaving on the 23rd of September for a blissful week of nothing but making jewelry and learning new skills. I've been dying to learn bezel setting, soldering, etching, and numerous other silversmithing skills, so I just can't wait to go. This will be a gathering of artists hosted by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Designs and founder of the Jewelry Artists Network forum. She is a very talented metalsmith, and I am really looking forward to meeting and learning from her. Check out her great work here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hand-forged Swirl Ring

I ordered some heavy gauge fine silver wire for fusing links and such, and decided to make myself another swirl ring with a little more "substance" than the first one I made last fall.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chunky Turquoise and Clay

I've had this big chunky Chinese turquoise donut for quite a while and just haven't been able to decide what to do with it. Then I noticed the veins in the turquoise were the same color as these cool clay beads I got at our local bead store, Jane's Fiber and Beads. So, I paired them up with some African turquoise (really a treated jasper, not turquoise at all) nuggets, and have a bold necklace that makes a real statement! I made a toggle clasp with a primitive stamped texture to mimic the texture on the clay beads to finish it off.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Little glass leaf

My "bead buddy" on the !WetCanvas forum sent me these purple glass leaves, and I made this little pendant from one of them. It hangs from a simple fused silver circle, and is accented with a tiny silver dragonfly and moonstones.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Another Lovely Sapphire bead with pearls

Back in March I got two gorgeous sapphire beads. The first one found it's way into a pearl bracelet, and now I've made a matching necklace with a sapphire teardrop bead hanging on a hand-forged fine silver swirl, and nice big, white rice pearls between curved sterling tube beads.