Monday, August 26, 2013

Rockin' Away!

I've really taken a shine to working with rocks lately, having purchased some awesome diamond bit drills.  Not all rocks are easy to drill through, you would think they were made of iron!  However, most are pretty easy.  Shells and glass are also pretty easy to drill through and produce some really cool results. 
Bay of Fundy rock -- a little copper adornment added.

Another Bay of Fundy rock -- I really love the oversize copper jump rings.

A bit of beeswax goes a long way in enhancing these gorgeous rocks.

A bit of 'faux' sea glass - tumbled at home!  You can not tell the difference.

I found a big bag of fragmented abalone shell at Michael's.  These make fabulous and easy jewelry.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Holey Rocks

I've been having a blast lately with my diamond bit drills, making holes in rocks and glass.  There are a few tricks involved, namely you have to use water when drilling.  I have my dremel drill set up in a drill press and place my rocks or glass on a piece of modeling clay, which is then set on a small piece of wood in a clear plastic container which is filled with water.  Of course you have to be very careful when dealing with electricity and water!

The other trick is to use hollow core diamond drill bits.  Hollow cores are just that -- they are hollow and can drill large holes without breakage or chipping.  You have to use water or the tiny diamond flakes will burn off your bit.  I'll post more, but this is the first complete project I can show you.  I made a shell necklace set, but that was sold before I could even get a picture.

I added a bit of heat patina copper wire and tubing, some old wood beads and cool piece of driftwood.  I already have a commission to make another one!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Far out cards

I find it hard to stay within convention particularly with my cards and love to incorporate odd things.  Multimedia?  Needless to say these cards are a little hard to mail, but I'd rather hand deliver them anyway. 

A few feathers and a cool button.  I used my dremel tool to grind down the back of the button.

This embellishment is made with UTEE and a sprinkle of EP in the last layer (it's best to do 3 layers of UTEE for a nice thick texture).  Another button glued to the embellishment adds another dimension.
 Here's a more conventional technique I used for Mother's Day and I love the finished look. I used a script stamp in grey Stazon for the background, then embossed with clear EP with my favourite SU stamp "Fifth Avenue Floral". I then sponged over the whole thing with 3 colors of SU inks.  To give it a nice finish, I sprayed the whole card with Glimmer Mist (before adding the bow).  A BIG secret -- get some really good glue -- I use Inksesentials Glossy Accents -- it not only gives a great coating, it has great adhering power!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Discovering Bracelets

I've been having a blast making bracelets.  These seem to be the 'in' thing now, wearing a ton of various styles at one time.  This one was too easy to even mention, and probably cost me all of $3.00 to make.  It's my favourite piece and I wear it all the time.  A quick dip in Liver of Sulpher (LOS) gives it a really nice warm color.

Liver of Sulpher gives some nice rich tones.
ANYONE can make this -- and don't need much in the way of tools or supplies.  A good jewelry glue for the ends is about the only investment you have to make!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Funky Earrings

I'm still etching and will post more photos once I've lacquered them - I have a few pendants.  Here are some funky earrings I had fun with.  They're quick to make and you can use up all kinds of scraps and odd beads.


The balled ends were created with my torch on plain copper wire.  If you quench it quickly in cold water, you get some really gorgeous colors.
More balled ends made with my torch.  Notice the pretty pink pearlescent color. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Etching Copper & Dissolving Aluminum

When I play with my metals, I feel guilty that I'm not working on cards.  BUT, when I'm working on cards, my metal starts calling out to me... oh what to do!  I love my workshop but find I simply can't let my creativity flow when I have too much going on in my life.  Anyway, I've taken a new turn with my copper and am playing with etching.  Being married to a chemist is really great, I get all kinds of advice (and loads of safety precautions). 

Ferric Choride is what I'm using here -- not a nice acid, and the old stuff has to be disposed of at a hazardous waste depot.  You have to wear gloves and be very careful when rinsing - I use a good dose of baking soda to neutralize it before rinsing my jewelry or the tub I use to etch in. 

I had a real shock when I etched an aluminum pendant, only to discover it completely vanished and dissolved to nothing!  (No, I didn't ask my husband's advice on THAT one.)  I'll try aluminum etching again, but either with a diluted solution or for a very short time.