Sunday, October 30, 2011
Danielle Miller-Gilliam's "Ridge Collection" will be represented by llyn strong fine jewelry at SOFA in Chicago, IL from November 4-6. SOFA: Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair is a gallery-presented, international art exposition dedicated to bridging the worlds of design, decorative and fine art. You can see the "Ridge Collection" by clicking on the link.
Danielle Miller-Gilliam will be at the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show in Atlanta, GA on November 4 & 6.
Jen Lawler Designs will be participating in an invitational art show called "Art On The Prairie" in Perry IA. The dates are November 12-14th.
Jen Lawler Designs will also be participating in the Black Friday Market Day Event on November 25th from 9-2.
Meg Auth is a featured artist for the month of Nov at CircaArts Gallery in South Bend IN. She will be presenting a new collection of jewelry incorporating Lake Michigan beach stones entitled "Stoned Love". Gallery opening is Nov 11.
Lena Echelle is at the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show November 4 and 5.
Lena is also teaching thorn setting in a one day workshop called Thorn Theory 101 at the Spruill Art Center in Atlanta. Click on the link for more info.
Beth Cyr changed her shop name! bcyrjewelry is now just BethCyr.
Andrea of Amuck will have jewelry in the exhibition titled "From Minimal to Bling:Contemporary Studio Jewelry" at The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Ma. Nov.4-Dec. 30 2011.
Andrea would also like to announce that she is a member of Susan Lenart Kazmer's Ice Resin design team for the next year.
Well, that the November happenings here folks. Stay tuned, the members of Etsy Metal continue to make the news...
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Recently I saw this little guy and thought "oooh, how fun! I need one of those!" I know I haven't yet used it to it's full extent - so this may not be a great review in those terms... but at least will introduce it to you and let you know that it exists!
I haven't used it as a mini-torch, only as the flameless heat blower. :) It is like a super tiny, super hot hair dryer! Beware - it IS hot. And because it is so tiny, you do have to take a little care in to totally melting out a section of wax. Once you get the hang of it though - it is really amazing.
I use it to lightly melt out finger prints or little imperfections that aren't meant to be there.
Now, you may be thinking, "Well, I use my alcohol lamp for the same thing. How is this any different?"
It isn't A LOT different, but it is. Only having the heat w/o the flame makes for a much more subtle and controlled way of warming up a wax or smoothing out an area.
In the winter when the wax is harder to work with, I use it just a little to get the wax all warmed up before rolling it out or working with it. A lot of my wax work is with soft waxes, so it is great for getting it to a warmer temperature where it is more malleable.
It is always a great way to melt a little wax on to something like... the back of a leaf - won't catch the leaf on fire like the lamp!
A couple of downsides (and maybe someone that has one can tell me?) Refilling the butane is a PAIN! I'm not sure if I'm doing it wrong, but I have yet to figure out a better way to do it. The connection just isn't that great, so I have to wear gloves or the super cold butane sprays out on my hand. And it is a little difficult to tell how full it is.
Overall, I definitely think the pros outweigh the cons and I would recommend it to anyone who does wax work
You can find it here on the Rio site.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Since we are pretty early in the process there isn't a ton to report on but we do have a few sneak peeks for the week.
From Sarah from JujuBySarah:
"Here is a pic of my "stones"...little ceramic baby heads."
and from me, Laney, from Silentgoddess:
"I am thinking I will use this little vintage travel trailer pendant mock-up as my inspiration for my charms. Although I have been known to change my mind... often."
Until next time...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Here's this week's question from Dale, who posted the question on our comments section-
"I've been experimenting with making gem-set bezels, but have been unable to find a satisfactory tool for folding the bezel edge over the stone. There seem to be a variety of tools on the market. Do you have a bezel pusher that you particularly like?"
This is a great question, and YES, i do have a favorite tool. It may be a bit unconventional but I really like a plain wooden dowel. First I use it vertically all around the side of the bezel to get it as close to the vertical edge of the stone as possible. Then I gently start to fold it over- of course, the best way is to do opposing sides first- North, then South, then East, then West. Another way of looking at it is the clock face- bend over the bezel at 12, then 6, then 3, then 9. Then proceed to fold over the rest. I like the wooden dowel because, it doesn't scratch the surface of the stone or the metal and it will take alot of downward force without breaking. Of course, there are times when i need a bit more "oomph" and I just can't get that stubborn bezel edge down- for example, in a tough corner. Then I get out my standard steel bezel rocker and apply downward pressure while rolling the rocker on the bezel surface.
Some people like to use the standard steel bezel rocker to initially bend over the bezel but I don't. If you slip with it, often you've scratched your stone or enamel unless you have protected the surface. I also think it can leave crimps and dents in the bezel easily- it's just too aggressive for my taste. Crimps and dents and scratches will almost never happen with a wooden dowel. I have them in different sizes to use with different size pieces.
There are other tools similar in concept to the wooden dowels I use. Some like to use a standard bone folder that is available at craft stores like Michael's. These also work well, are very inexpensive, and will not scratch your stone.
After the bezel is down firmly, I finish it by covering the stone with blue painter's tape (it comes off easily without leaving residue on your stone) and then burnishing the bezel down completely with a standard steel burnisher to remove any gap and tighten it up. Some people like agate burnishers (available from Rio) as they don't scratch your stones. I tape mine off anyways for the final finishing so I use the standard steel ones which I think work better.
Once the bezel has been nicely burnished down, I then sand the bezel and do all the final finishing with the tape on the stone to protect it. You should end up with a pretty perfect looking bezel.
I am only addressing HAND pushed bezels and not hammer set ones, we'll save those for another day....
Thanks for your question Dale. Anyone have something they'd like to ask Auntie EM? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Til next week, happy metalsmithing!
Monday, October 24, 2011
For some of us a 'day job' is necessary to keep a studio space outside of our homes, maintain supplies, food in our stomaches, etc., etc. Some people that have work (day/night jobs) aside from their creative pursuits often hope or dream of a time when these creative pursuits will be able to take centre stage.
Etsy Metal members share their stories of the work they love, sacrifices made (or not made) in being artists, metalsmiths, makers, etc. This series is about achieving a fundamental sense of fulfillment and purpose, of finding your place in a community of your peers. It's about sharing the truth of what it is to be an artist in the 21st century, in all of its forms. We all walk different paths in the expression of our work, yet we came together through Etsy.
I am a Wife, Mother and Metalsmith full-time. I am a Community Programs Coordinator at an Assisted Living Residence part-time. Sometimes my life is so busy I feel dizzy. I love my part-time job but wish I didn't need it. I must work so that I can BUY health insurance at a group rate. My husband is self-employed and the cost of decent family health insurance outside of a job is prohibitive.
I wish I could be in my studio 80 hours a week. I feel calmer and more grounded when I am creating. I have been creating "things" since childhood. In my twenties I took a jewelry class and even though that first night there were too many people and not enough tools I was hooked. I found my calling. Jewelry making is my passion.
As much as I love making jewelry I love teaching jewelry making to others. My students inspire me both with their work but also by forcing me to examine basic skills and come up with new work of my own.
I hope to be able to retire from my part-time job someday but will hopefully make jewelry the rest of my life. I know there are careers where I could make much more money but my heart sings when I create jewelry and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Make sure to visit Lisa's Etsy shop!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Inspired by Colonel's Row on Governor's Island. I love the tree-lined corridor and green outdoor spaces, and I wanted to take advantage of a small leaf shaped stone I once cut in a lapidary class, so I have the pale green unknown stone a home in this silver leaf pendant.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The month of October brings a brand new EtsyMetal Charm Swap known from here on out as Charm Swap 9 or CS9.
This go-around I, Laney Clark, and my co-curator, Michele Grady , will be working as a team to bring 20 Etsymetal members together to create what promises to be a phenomenal collection of charms. I'm one of the newer members to the EtsyMetal team but I have hit the ground running and I am really excited to be a part of this swap. I am so happy to be working with Michele as she was the co-curator (along with Victoria Takahashi) of the EtsyMetal Charm Swap 8 that has just wrapped up. It will be great to work with someone who knows the ropes! Be sure to watch the EtsyMetal team store for the EtsyMetal Charm Swap 8 bracelet as well as individual CS8 charms for sale.
Here is how the EtsyMetal charm swap works:
Signups are held for members who want to join the swap. We have a limit of 20 members and each member needs to create and mail-in 22 charms. 20 of each participant's charms will be swapped with other participants and in the end, each member will receive 20 different charms back (including one of their own). After all of the charms have been swapped there will be 40 remaining charms. 20 of those charms will be used to create the EtsyMetal Charm Swap 9 bracelet. The other 20 will be available for sale individually in the EtsyMetal team store along with the completed bracelet.
Half of the proceeds from the sale of the bracelet goes towards our EtsyMetal Youth Outreach Program. EtsyMetal will donate 50% to the curator's choice of a Youth Art Organization. I will announce the recipient once it has been selected.
CS9 signups opened up earlier this week. The charms are due the end of March 2012. Over the coming weeks I will be documenting the progress of the swap here on the blog so be sure to check back often.
Until my next installment here is a hint from Victoria Takahashi on what she is dreaming up:
"I had already decided during cs8 what I was making for cs9!
A piece that I believe has represented me for a long time now.
I hope you will like them team!
And I better start now if I am going to be done by march 2012!? ha!"
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Here are just a few of the shops who will be participating
These are just a few of the shops participating in the EtsyMetal Team's 5th Anniversary sale this week. Use the coupon code ETSYMETAL at checkout. (see individual shops for discount amounts)
medium copper floral bl...
Heart necklace with Lab...
Redwoods - 14k Rose Gol...
FOLIUM RING 2
Skull and Crossbones Ne...
Rose Cut Labradorite an...
Rosey Posey Sterling Si...
sterling silver cell ri...
Handmade links with fol...
Cherry Blossom Charm, J...
Chrysocolla Raindrop Ne...
E1038 tiny tart tins
amber crown ring - ambe...
Sterling Silver Tall Mo...
fringe hinge kinetic ea...
Pink Tourmaline Pyramid...
You can click on each picture to visit the artist's shop or you can use this list to visit participating shops:
Juju By Sarah
Lichen and Lychee
Under Distress Jewelry
Cynthia Del Giudice
L. Sue Szabo
Michele Grady Designs
Karla Wheeler Design
Ashley Akers Jewelry
Sarah Hood Jewelry
Each shop owner has set the discount amount, you will need to check each shop's announcement for their own specific promotion. Use the code "ETSYMETAL" at checkout to get your discount! Have fun shopping and thanks for celebrating our anniversary with us!