Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Behind the Scene

Today I thought I'd share my photo props.  I've used various things over the years - the last being museum wax - but found it way too greasy.  Here's some old photo paper so you can see the mess that was left behind over time.

So - what to do?  I ended up purchasing a white acrylic riser to photograph on.  The nice thing about it, you can clean it fairly easy from any waxy residue that's been left behind.

A while back I realized that there's a wax sold in most drug stores as "ear plugs".  I've found it to be a wonderful solution.  It stays in shape for quite a while (hardens over time).  The wax gets a little dirty, but it doesn't really matter because the residue it leaves behind cleans up so fast.  Here's a few photos of some recent shots I took.  The shots to the right are all taken so you can see how I've used it. 

I simply just balled up the wax on the bottom of the ear wires and was able to prop the earrings up.  One thing though, be sure to take rubbing alcohol and clean the ear wire after for any residue that's left behind.

This last photo, you can see I used about a 1/2" round piece to stand the earring upright.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Thomas Hoadley creates colored porcelain art pottery, made with the Japanese technique of Nerikomi. This technique uses more than one color of clay for decorative effect.  Slabs of different clays or clays colored with stains or oxides, are stacked, folded, pressed into logs, sliced, and arranged to form a vessel. In this way, the numerous stacked layers appear as fine undulating lines embedded in a surrounding color in the finished vessel.  Sound familiar?  Here's some of his beautiful work.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Marvelous Monday

I've been wondering what's been happening with faux bone these days so I headed over to flickr and thought I would highlight a few pieces.I This is not polymer faux bone, but Robert Dancik's faux bone.  The first few rings are by Catherine Davies Paetz.  The ring on the left is faux bone, coral and a sterling rivet.  The piece on the right is faux bone and copper.

And this last ring is faux bone, jasper and copper.

The next two pieces are from Vickie Hallmark.  The first is silver clay front and back with faux bone and resin insert, riveted together, bezel set rainbow topaz cabochons.  The second piece is fine silver, sterling silver, faux bone stilt rivet brooch

And this last piece is from Angela Crispin. It's faux bone, wood, leather, suede, metal clay, and a lab sapphire.  Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out of the Studio

The other day I came across something on flickr that I had been thinking about re-doing. The organization of my polymer swatches and formulas was needing my attention. I had taken a bunch of 8 1/2" x 11" cardboard, used a 3-hole punch and put them in a large 3-ring binder.  My polymer swatches were glued on with Aleene's original tacky glue.  Unfortunately, some of the swatches had begun to unglue. Also, all the formulas are written by hand below the swatch - so it could be neater.  Serendipitously, Roberta Warshaw shared a photo via Flickr of the way she organized her color samples and recipes. Actually she bought her recipes from CraftsbyChris. If you haven't spent any time on that site, it's definitely worth checking out.  Chris has done all the work - why re-invent the wheel?   Roberta took the recipes, went to Walgreens and bought a photo album.  She suggests using the albums with the metal rings vs. the albums with the glued in pages.  Those tend to be harder to close when the pages are filled.  She glues the swatches in with superglue.  But I also think the sheet protector aspect of the album is a good idea - just in case you lose a swatch here or there.  But don't you just want to flip through her album?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Sterling and polyurethane resin are the elements found in these necklaces by Australian artist Leslie Matthews

She embosses her metal with a fine rice paper to create the illusion of skin texture. She brushes and pumices the surface until she has created a luminous brushed sheen. Others are patinated black.

Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Out of the Studio

I had purchased this labradorite cab back when my guild took a trip to Gemstar Gems in New Hampshire.  It has a nice flash of green to it with just a touch of blue.  The cut ring blank and the bezel w/backplate have been sitting in a little ziploc bag for at least a month now and it feels great when I can say I finally finished it.

I have one other ring in the works which will include a faux stone.  Then it's time to get going with the earrings I've been thinking about.  I've made some nice textured sterling pieces that will be used with them. 

And if you're thinking about working your photography, Etsy did another post on steps to taking great photo shots of your work.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Vicki Mason's work is inspired by all things botanical.  And she believes plastic is a material of this age.  She uses its playful colorfulness as a replacement for the precious gems of more traditional eras.

And besides, remember that one word Mr. McGuire said to Benjamin in The Graduate?   "Plastics.  There's a great future in plastics."   Yes, indeed.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Ring

I was able to make this new ring the other day.  I'd always wanted to try to flush set some stones into a ring - so here's  a first for me.  After I set the stones, in order to see if they're set well, I threw it in my ultrasonic cleaner for a few minutes.  I was happy to see that no stones came out.  Prior to this, I had textured the sterling a little before I gave it a patina.  The interior was polished and then it was thrown in the tumbler.  I haven't taken many photos with crystals, so you really can't see the sparkle.  But they have a nice contrast with the ring, which actually looks like shiny hematite. 

Today I hope to work on one last ring - a Labradorite.  Then I'll be getting back to polymer with metal so I can start working on adding pieces to my jewelry shop. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In the Dark

The recent storm wreaked havoc here in Massachusetts.  For us, we only got a couple inches of snow, but the downed wires were a problem.  So much so, that both school and Halloween were cancelled in our town.  It was too dangerous for trick or treaters and walkers. I've never experienced Halloween being cancelled.  I've heard rumors that other towns have rescheduled it.  But so far, not our town.  The downed wires were caused by trees and branches. We had many branches come down on our property.  There was a lot of cleanup left to be done.  Also, our street was hard to drive on as you had to maneuver around all the fallen branches. 

When our power came back on, our phone, internet and tv were still out for a couple days so I took advantage of the time and organized closets, cleaned and organized cabinets and cleaned and organized my metal studio.  It's amazing what you can get done when there's no tv or internet to distract you.  But today, I'm heading to the studio and going to work on something new. I hope to blog about it on Friday.