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What’s new…

What’s new…

I haven’t posted here in about a year so I thought it was time to revamp and bring my personal site to life again…

I am giving this website a makeover so please be patient with me!

Lots of things have changed this past year….I am no longer teaching classes or doing shows this year and am only selling my work online now. I have also been selling my hand cut stones, jewelry tools and supplies online as well. Currently you can see my work in my jewelry etsy shop and my hand cut stones and supplies in my supply etsy shop but I am planning on having everything in one place and moved here by the end of this year/beginning of 2017.

I also will be retiring the rose and patchwork collections. If you would like to complete a collection you can only find the pieces here on this site until the end of 2016. After that I will be retiring both collections and will no longer be making them. My focus has shifted to my hand cut stones and one of a kind pieces which I will be listing mostly here starting in Jan 2017. I will be working my way slowly away from having 2 separate etsy shops and bring everything together here on one site! Jewelry and hand cut cabs!

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I’ve started to cut my own stones!

I’ve started to cut my own stones!

I am very excited about this new venture. I have been making my own jewelry for over 25 years now and I have finally moved on to the next logical step. Learning to cut my own stones that I will be using in my jewelry! I took a lapidary class at the local rock club last month and learned how. My instructor was excellent and I learned a lot from him. He was such a good teacher that one of my stones won a blue ribbon with a score of 99 out of 100 in the rock club’s annual competition!  Not too bad for a beginner!

cabs i cut
some of the stones I have cut

my awardMy award 🙂

my stoneMy Birdseye Rhyolite stone

my scoreMy score sheet

 

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Etsy Metal Charm Swap 15

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 15

Every 6 months Etsy Metal holds a charm swap. Members sign up and everyone creates a charm to swap with each other. Everyone participating also makes 2 extra charms. One to be sold in the team shop as a charm and the other to be turned into a charm bracelet which is also sold in the shop but the proceeds go to a childrens art organization chosen by the members. This post is to show you the progression of my charms and how they were made….

Step 1: I have made molds from some carved stones that I would like to make into metal clay charms. I’m not sure what kind metal clay I will be using as of yet. They will be either made from copper clay, white copper clay or bronze clay…or maybe all of the above!

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Step 2: I have used CopprClay to make little skulls from the molds I made last week. For those of you who know anything about pottery they are in the “greenware” state at the moment. Which means they have not been put in the kiln and are still soft enough to work like clay. I still have to let them dry a little more, clean them up and fire them in the kiln before they will become metal.

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Step 3: I buried the the little skulls in a pan filled with carbon. I put the pan into the kiln and fired the pieces for 2 hours. When they are done they look like this:

CS155Step 4: When they have cooled I removed them from the pan and oxidized them to bring out the detail.

CS154Step 5: After they are oxidized. I put them in the tumbler to polish them and then they are ready to go! I have this little charm on chain for sale in my Etsy Shop…. I can’t wait to see what everyone else has made for this swap!

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Bead and Gem Show

Bead and Gem Show 

So I spent the day at the bead and gem show yesterday…..

beads

stones

I went with a friend who also makes jewelry. We looked through trays and trays and trays of stones and after 4 hours at the same booth we both had picked out enough stuff to last us each of us for months of jewelry making! I bought so many pieces that I couldn’t fit them all in the same photo! So here are a few photos of the stones I had picked. There was labradorite….

labradorite

Lots and lots of green stones…swamp bog jasper, green serpentine, opalite and lemon quartz…

greens

Ocean jasper, blue chaldony and deep blue lapis….

blues

And then I found these….hickoryite, Botswana agate, striped onyx, smokey quartz and royal Savannah jasper…

browns

I bought a few strands of beads as well but I haven’t photographed them yet. I can’t wait to get to work on creating with these beauties! If you see anything you like feel free to contact me for a custom piece!

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Etsy Metal Charm Swap 14 – step by step how I made my charms

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 14 – step by step how I made my charms

We’ve Gone Batty! Twice a year Etsy Metal, which I have been a member for quite a few years now, has a charm swap. This is my 7th charm swap since joining this amazing group of metal smiths from all over the world. The way the swap works is that 20 members sign up and all volunteer to make 22 charms each. When the charms are complete they send all 22 of the finished charms to whoever volunteers to collect and sort them. That person sends one of each charm back to each member who participated so we get 20 different charms back, one from each person who participated,  while the 2 extra charms go to the Etsy Metal team shop. 1 gets sold as a charm and the other is put on a charm bracelet with all the other charms and the bracelet is then sold. The money from the sale of the bracelet is then donated to different childrens art organizations all over the world. Here are the charms I made for the most recent swap (I went with a Halloween theme since it is October) and a short photo version of how I made them…..

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How to make a pair of Patchwork Wedding Bands

How to make a pair of Patchwork Wedding Bands

People ask me all the time “How do you make that?” so I thought I would document myself making a pair of patchwork wedding rings.

Step 1. Cut the silver to the correct length and width.

Ring band steps 1-1Ring band steps 1-2

Step 2. Stamp my name on the inside of the band…

Ring band steps 1-3

Step 3. Cut all the little mixed metal pieces to size to make the quilt pattern.

Ring band steps 1-4 Ring band steps 1-5

Step 4. Solder all of the little pieces to the silver ring band with a torch.

Ring band steps 2-1 Ring band steps 2-2 Ring band steps 2-3

Step 5. Shape the ring to make it round and then solder the ring together.

Ring band steps 2-4 Ring band steps 2-5

Step 6. Clean the fire scale (black color on metal due to heating)  off the ring in the pickle (a mild acid that cleans off the fire scale).

Ring band steps 3-2

Step 7. File the ring to make it smooth.

Ring band steps 3-1

Step 8. Oxidize the ring (make it black) to bring out the detail.

Ring band steps 3-4 Step 9. Buff off the oxidation keeping it only where you want it.

Ring band steps 3-5Ring band steps 4-2

Step 10. Rinse and polish the ring.

Ring band steps 4-3Ring band steps 3-3

Step 11. Repeat to make the second ring band.

Ring band steps 4-1

And there you have it! 2 wedding bands ready to be shipped out!

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Where the magic happens…

Where the magic happens…

Since my studio is not open to the public, people always ask me about it and where I work. Here is where all the magic happens. This is my bench where I sit and create all of my jewelry that I offer for sale. I love my bench! It has space for everything I use/need and then some! It took me quite a few years and lots of hard work to get my studio space the way it is now but it was well worth it! I love going to work every day!

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New work!

New work!

I’ve been working on few new pieces…I just love Labradorite and how pretty it looks when the light hits it just right to produce the lovely blue color flash in the stone and I’ve been playing with some CopprClay lately too (the heart and wings in the last photo are made from CopprClay). I am loving all the detail you can get with it plus I am trying to come up with an idea for a CopprClay workshop that I would like to offer at some point this year. Below are some of the new pieces I have made this month….And of course they all incorporate wire in one way or another as well!

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