Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Update!

Just want to remind everyone to check out the amazing sales of our EtsyMetal members!
We have one to add - Colleen Baran is offering free shipping from Canada, which is a great deal - check out her shop!!
I'm off for a little shopping myself!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tis the season for holiday shopping!

Several Etsymetal members are having sales this weekend...Black Friday to Cyber Monday!
Put your shopping hat on and check out the deals!
Please see individual shops for sale dates, details, delivery and policies:

  • ashleyjewelry = free shipping on all items AND a sale on selected items
  • bcyrjewelry = buy one get one free on certain earrings...check her shop, she's keeping it a little bit of a mystery!
  • daniellejewelry = free shipping on all items AND a 20% off sale on selected items
  • discomedusa = free pair of Simple Gesture Hook earrings for purchases over $50
  • duckduckGoosestuff = free pair of Dimpled earrings with purchases over $40 AND free shipping
  • KathrynRiechert = free Lucky Penny keychain AND free shipping with all orders over $40
  • lpjewelry =free pair of Tiny Droplets earrings with every order over $50
  • ninadinoff = free pair of Silver and Resin earrings (in the color of your choice) with purchase over $100
  • nyhedy = free Abstract Earposts or Earrings with purchase over $50
  • sarawestermark = free shipping on all items AND a sale on selected items
  • tangerinetreehouse = free shipping on all orders AND a free pair of Seedlets or Seed Hoops earrings with a $150 purchase

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekly Review: Manufactured Landscapes

Recently recommended by a fellow Etsy Metal artist, Manufactured Landscapes is a documentary on the world and work of Edward Burtynsky, a renowned artist. Known for his large scale photographs of 'manufactured landscapes' such as quarries, recycling yards, quarries, etc., Burtynsky creates beautiful works of art from the debris of civilization.

Much of the film is about the work Burtynsky did in China documenting it's industrial revolution--part of which shows Chinese workers reclaiming precious metals from old computer parts. Such processes are very toxic and detrimental to the health of individuals, towns, and the environment, and gives a different take on what exactly goes into recycling in various parts of the world.

You can read more about the movie at the Zeitgeist Films website, as well as a Review from the NY Times.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cynthia Del Giudice

Cynthia Del Giudice is an inspiring metalsmith, hailing from Argentina. It is a blessing to have her as part of Etsy Metal! Cynthia uses a range of mediums and strives to use items that are sustainable, found, or up-cycled. For more of her work, check out her Etsy Shop.

1. Where do you live, and where are you from?

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to an American father and an Argentine mother. I have lived in both countries, and have chosen to live in a rural home in the Argentine Pampas at the moment.

2. How did you get started working with metal?

I have been engaged in the arts throughout all my life, and while I was taking a sculpture class in L.A., I started welding sculptures with an arc welder. I found working with metals to be fascinating. Years later I took a basic jewelry metalsmith class and began designing and making jewelry, buying tools little by little, and selling my pieces to friends and family. When I came to Argentina, I continued working on metal, and was thrilled to discover Etsy, which has been a bless, because I am able to sell everywhere in the world from my remote area.

3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?

Some of my favorite pieces include my plastic fused pieces, which are made with recycled grocery bags. They are of course, eco-friendly, which is always good, and are original, and very “wearable”. I am also working on some new pieces at the moment which I haven’t listed yet, but will soon. They include an unusual “found object” with a tribal feel, with lines and textures, which I find fascinating.

4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?

I like the abstraction, spontaneity, and drama of Abstract Expressionist artists. It is my favorite art movement. Basically anything that moves me inspires me, and I am pretty sensitive, so I am bombarded by inspiration. I find having limited tools, materials, resources, and overall knowledge pushes me to be more creative and resourceful.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?

Absolutely! I like all kinds of art. I like to paint, when I have the time. I do horse sculptures with soft hay wire. I am learning to tango, and I like to do creative meals, which may also be an art. I love music, and have 2 musician boys in my life. I love photography, and gardening (does that count as art?).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tumbler Rundown

A great many jewelers use a tumbler to speed up their polishing process. I was a doubter till I invested in one. Now I've found it's almost essential on some pieces & a lifesaver when I'm sick of hand polishing. If you're a chainmailer or make anything with jump rings & tiny parts, I couldn't recommend a tumbler more's amazing for polishing in those crevices.

A before & after shot of tumbling gold chain mail for only 30 minutes!

(Image & chainmail courtesy of redpandachainmail)

There are several varieties of tumblers that jewelers can use & a plethora of media you can put in them. The main varieties are vibratory & rotary versions. These shake up the media in various ways.
Rotary versions have a belt or motor that keeps a cannister rotating at all times. This one has two cannisters, which is a huge benefit of rotary versions...each cannister can have a different kind of media for different finishing options.

this version is around $110 on ottofrei

vibratory ones do just that...they vibrate to swirl around the pieces in the media. The boat shaped one to the left is the style I have & I love it. It is available on ebay. The version I have is slightly smaller & was around $130 or so a couple of years ago. I highly recommend this one. It is VERY quick for finishing & is easy to work with. Most of the time, I just pop the red top off & throw what I need in. The cannister is rubber & can be removed for cleaning. The downside of this one is that it is loud & I have to store mine in the garage or a separate room. Since it can finish a job in minutes rather than hours, I consider it a worthy trade off.

magnetic versions are AWESOME, but sadly, are priced accordingly. I used one at school a few years back & it was incredibly quick working & did a fantastic job. The smallest one on otto frei is about $500, the largest well over $1300. Sadly this is out of most of our budgets.

this small version is around $110 on ottofrei

what you put in your tumbler is just as important at the machine itself. Many jewelers prefer stainless steel shot. This gives your pieces a nice polish & also has the benefit of work hardening your pieces. I love to tumble things like post earrings & ring bezels in makes them MUCH more durable. When buying shot, you really only need a small amount. I have a quart sized container on my tumbler & have 2lbs of shot in it.

Shot comes in various shapes & sizes. I prefer a mixed pack of shot that has different shapes-pins, rounds & oblong shapes. These all work nicely to get into the crevices.

The cheapest place I've found mixed shot is at Santa Fe Jewelry Supply

When buying shot ALWAYS make sure you get stainless steel rather than regular steel. it will prevent it from rusting & last longer.

When tumbling with stainless shot I add just enough water in the cannister to go up to the edge of the shot. Less is more. Then I add either a burnishing compound or a squirt of dish soap.

Other media jeweler's use runs the gamut from corn cobs, glass beads, ceramic pellets, plastic pellets & walnut shells. Some are used dry, others (like the shells) with water. When using a rotary tumbler, it can be nice to start with something like steel shot & move to a final finish with dry walnut shells.

Walnut Shell media makes a light abrasive final cycle

I'm partial to the vibratory versions as they're super easy to access during the process...just pop off the lid (in mine, you don't even have to turn it off to do this!) & dig around for your piece. In rotary ones, it's a bit more tricky as you have to open up the cannister & take it off. Maybe I'm lazy, but I like the simplicity of mine :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

EtsyMetal News 11.14.08

November has been full of EtsyMetal Birthdays!! and we are just now half way through the month!

Ashley's was on Wednesday, Norsola's was on Thursday and Sophie's is today! Happy Birthday to our lovely ladies!!

For her birthday Ashley was having a sale and tomorrow is the last day of her give-a-way promotions - check it out for your last chance to win!

Sophie is having a sale - stop by and check it out!

Sara Westermark is also having a sale - check out her sale section in her shop (and of course all the rest of her jewelry too b/c its gorgeous!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Design Challenge: 30 Minute Earrings - from Lark Books

Lark Books is having a design challenge - and here at EtsyMetal - several of us are jumping on board to participate!! It sounds like loads of fun and a great way to get inspired and to inspire others!

Check out more info here on the Lark site.

Entry Deadline is January 26th!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekly Review: Chasing Tools by Kirsten Skiles

Kirsten Skiles is one of the artists in Etsy Metal, and she also happens to be absolutely amazing at chasing and repousse. In addition to creating amazing jewelry and sculpture using chasing, repousse, and forging, Skiles also creates her own chasing tools. Skiles teaches her students not only how to create these tools, but how to use them as well. Occasionally these are available in her Etsy Shop.

A typical set of 10 chasing tools includes one small curved undercut planisher, one catseye planisher and a nice selection of small liners, with lengths ranging from 3-1/2 to 5 inches long or 9 to 13 cm long.

Skiles can be contacted for information on custom sets and classes via her Etsy Shop.

Friday, November 7, 2008

EtsyMetal News 11.07.08

Friday and Saturday two of our famous EtsyMetal-ers, Danielle Miller and Lena Marie Echelle, are going to be showing at the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show! If you are in the Atlanta Area, you should definitely check it out! Here is more info from the site.

Nectarjewelry was in a storque article about a new additional etsy feature.

Ann of tuizui was blogged about here.

Kathryn Riechert
is participating in the Telfair Art Fair in Savannah this weekend. She is also featured in the Coastal Antiques and Art magazine - a magazine in the Savannah area. And she is the artist of the month at Gallery 209 for the month of November!! Kathryn is one busy gal!

And of course, lots of front pages including ones curated by EtsyMetal members! yeah for front pages!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Colleen Baran

1. Where do you live, and where are you from?

I live in Greater Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. A beautiful city of 2 million that‘s tall buildings mixed with lots of green. Trees, parks, ocean and bit of wildness mixed with the city.

I grew up near here, in half a dozen local suburbs.

2. How did you get started working with metal?

I worked in many mediums growing up (clay, paint, fabric, paper, etc) and metal was one of them. I first started making jewellery from thread and beads when I was a kid and it progressed to classes in metalwork in my teens. Classes and many books from public libraries. It was wonderful and I was immediately in love. Of all the mediums I’ve worked in jewellery is the one that I kept coming back to time and time again.

It’s ridiculous how much time I spend thinking about jewelry!

3. What are a few of your favourite pieces at the moment?

I usually have a few dozen favourites at any one time! But a few of my favourites are ‘I Miss You’, ‘Cloud Ring #4’ (or anything in my Cloud Series), Floating Saucer Ring Sets, and My Floating Saucer Series in general.

Rings are often my favourites. I love making variations on the basic shape and discovering ways to make huge dramatic pieces surprisingly comfortable.

But for Nov/Dec I’m working on more pendants and earrings! Many pendants, earrings, set stones and bits of gold in my work room right now.

4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?

I am really inspired by making things. Sitting down with the materials and seeing where they go. It’s the excitement and enthusiasm for new projects that gives me ideas. Many new ideas also stem from older projects so sometimes I’m inspired by looking through old work or sketchbooks.

Good art/design/beauty inspires me as well. Beautiful well made things enrich the world and put off a bit of positive energy that’s just generally inspiring. Good design makes life better!

I admire from afar all ‘good artful design’ and am particularly enamoured with chandeliers and architecture these days. I find myself wishing for high ceilings and many rooms for chandeliers.

Architecture is an area I admire from afar. When I was a kid I spent many, many hours designing and furnishing ‘future homes’ that were not in the least practical. Hollowed out hills or mountains covered in grass were among my favourites. Also houses in trees. Or castle-like houses on Islands with oubliettes, 20 foot high ceilings and vast libraries. In exploring contemporary architecture I’m amazed to find whimsical and flawlessly, excitingly executed building that remind me of these childhood daydreams.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?

I’m a big believer in living life creatively in general, making things on a daily basis. Other creative endeavours have included making clothes, clay things, handmade books, photography, drawing, sculpture, writing and cooking extravagant time consuming meals.

I’m also working on a series that involves the collection of love letters and stories. This combines my love of collecting, books, secret stories, writing, the mystery of foreign languages and jewellery all in one!

So far I have stories from Canada, France, Spain, the UK, and the USA in Arabic, English but I’d love stories from many, many more countries and in many more languages- because the world is full of love! I’m open to sincere stories from anyone and everyone in all languages.

You can find more of Colleen's work at her Etsy Shop, Website, Flickr, Blog, and 'Share Your Love' Blog.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cleaning Castings

Recently, I've been taking my second casting class, and have these forms that are very pod-like. Especially in the sense of having crevices and holes that investment is very hard to get out of. I brought these castings home, and followed Beth Cyr's suggestion of using vinegar to get rid of the investment. I soaked them overnight in a mixture of rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar (we don't have plain at the moment).

After the soaking, I carefully took a toothbrush to them (over the vinegar container) and brushed as much of the investment off as possible. However, I came across a problem. How could I get the investment out of those holes?! I looked around the kitchen and saw one of our water bottle brushes! It fit perfectly into the crevices and I was able to get the investment out wonderfully.

If you are in need of such a tool, I suggest heading to your local store's baby/baby food section and looking for a bottle brush. Some stores sell bottle brushes for water bottles and they come with a smaller one for the lid. Good luck!

Etsy Metal Finds

Got a toothache after eating all that Halloween Candy? Enjoy todays finds! Irked tooth pin cushion by Buttonarcade.
Mini tooth soap set by LoveLeeSoaps.

Weekly Review: The Penland Book of Jewelry

The Penland Book of Jewelry is a fantastic collection of techniques from master metalsmiths across the country. I bought this when it first came out, and immediately fell in love. Personally, the section done by Jan Baum on hollow forming helped me to perfect my own hollow forming techniques, using a hydraulic press, and I now have the knowledge to tackle a variety of problems (such as my Thorn Brooches).
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