Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Abalone & Moonstone

July 24

I had to visit dentist yesterday -- what fun -- but got time after to cut out the circle for another abalone pendant. Because of the colors in this slice, I am going to pair it with a moonstone. Cool. I love moonstones.

Elements

Today, I set about creating the parts I need for the pendant.

Here, on my bench, are the elments: moonstone cab, abalone, sterling silver circle (back of pendant will be open), a mount for the moonstone and two claws that will clasp over the abalone to secure it. The top of the abalone will be held in place by the moonstone in its setting. This is very similar to a pendant now in my shop <https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/130461031/amethyst-on-abalone-large-silver-artisan?ref=shop_home_active>

The picture of the elements makes it pretty clear that abalone is frightfully hard to photograph well ;-)

Abalone slice - colors

I took a closeup of the slice of abalone (right) with better lighting so you can get a more accuate impression of the color. It is heavily flecked with green, pink and purple but the most notable feature is the pearly white trianglar bit at the bottom. That was what led me to select a moonstone as its playmate.

Time to fetch the elements out of the pickle pot. Tomorrow I'll try to start the assembly and polishing process. Well, unless the mangos I bought hit just the right degree of almost ripe. If that happens, I'll be making chutney!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

California Bound

July 20

Sold a pair of square sterling studs from my etsy shop <https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DixSterling> yesterday (see photo below) and am going to ship them to California today.

The background portions of these are cut from reticulated sterling silver. I love the textures you can get by this method and must prepare some more reticulated silver soon.

Reticulation is not a technique I choose to play with on a hot day, however. The method involves repeatedly torch heating a sheet of silver to annealing temperature. You do this at least eight times, pickling the sheet after each heating. Warm work ;-) but it brings a thin layer of pure silver out of the alloy and deposits it on the top of the sheet. The final step is to heat the piece until that thin layer of silver begins to melt. You use your torch to move that layer of molten silver into ripples and ridges. If you are really skilled with torches, you can hold the melt with a large flame while using a mini torch to move the surface.

Below are some other pieces I made with reticulated silver.

I topped a polished bar with a swirl of reticulated sterling and bezel-set a garnet cabochon for this pendant. The bail is hand-forged from silver wire.
To make these earring, I cut polished silver studs and hung the reticulated squares under them. I love the contrast between the smooth and rough surfaces.


The reticulated discs below are one of my favorite examples of using polished and rough textures together. I really should make some more like them!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Christmas in July

July 12

My etsy shop <https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DixSterling> is joining into the Christmas in July promotion this year. If you are in a shopping mood, use Coupon Code XMAS13JULY to get 15% off any item worth $35 or more. Only 165 days left!

Here are a few items from my shop.  Come on in; the door is always open!

 Box Link Bracelet
 Abalone Pendant
 Plume Agate and Citrine Pendant

Square-cut Peridot Studs


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Warm Weather Results

July 9 in the garden

If you take a look at my post from June 6, you will see the beginning of our vegetable garden. We have been getting warm, sunny weather for most of the past month. Boy, have things been growing! Despite sharing with the rabbits, we are seeing results.

The row on the right is mostly herbs in front and carrots behind (must plant more of those soon!). Moving to the left, there is lettuce: a few romaine foloowed by mised red and green leaf lettuce.
Next come the five tomato plants -- now huge -- and three sunflowers at the back. My zucchini plants are out of sight behind the tomatoes. I planted some nastursiums in the concrete blocks for color and they began blooming a few days ago. We have already harvested some lettuce and a number of giant radishes. I may get tired of this -- and the work required -- in a year or two but it's fun for now. Kinda slows the jewelry-making, though!

Thinking of trying a craft fair with a few items - trick is finding the right craft fair. Most do not want any more jewelers!