Saturday, September 29, 2012

“What’s New”

Happy Saturday !!!
Here I am again with new fabulous jewelry made by EtsyMetal members.
The EtsyMetal mark is your assurance of hand made craftsmanship, quality, and that the artist follows ethical trade practices.

betsybensen                                           lsueszabo

LjBjewelry                                               SCJJewelryDesign

 Michele Grady Designs                      2Roses

 NinaGibsonDesigns                            aroluna

 e5jewelry                                                GeckoJ

victoria takahashi / experimetal      Quercus Silver

simplyMegA                                           revonav

I will be here next Saturday with much more new items.
Have a wonderful weekend !

Friday, September 28, 2012

Charm Swap 10

Hello everybody! Happy Thursday evening!
We have a couple more charms that are finished. Pictured above are Nina's charms. Finished and shipped. They look beautiful!
Lou has also finished and shipped. These charms are so lovely, I can't wait to see them in person!
Be sure to check back next week, more charms will be coming in!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ask Auntie EM

Holy Cow where did the summer go?  Well, after taking the summer off from our duties here, we are ready to get back to your questions! 
If you're new here, this is a weekly blog post written by Sue and Ann where we tackle your metalsmithing and non metalsmithing questions. Having trouble with your solder? Need some help with stone setting? Have a problem 2 year old? We and EtsyMetal's 100+ members probably have the answer. If you'd like YOUR question answered in the future, please email your questions to and we will get to it as soon as we can. If you'd like to read past posts, they can be found here.
So, let's get right into this week's question.  It is from Marie-

Hi auntie EM!

 Love the blog and had a question that's been haunting me for a while. I oxidize sterling silver a lot in my work, and find that the results can vary greatly. I'm trying to figure what I'm doing wrong when the results aren't as great. Especially on CHAIN!

Sometimes, I get a great dark grey finish on my chain and it's not dull and it's just great. BUT, there are other times that I get a dull light grey finish with lots of flakes coming off of it! I also notice sometimes that the chain is not evenly darkened.

Here are a few things I've tried to do to improve my results:

  • I use heated water with a gel sulfur dissolved into it
  • I put my chain into a tumbler first to clean it off
  • I dip the chain into the sulfur for 10 sec then dip it into water, alternating until the desired darkness is reached
I'm not sure if any of this is helping! Can you help me! What am I doing wrong!

Good question Marie and a problem I have run into myself.  I think I have figured out how to deal with this situation.  First of all, let me say that it sounds like you are doing a lot of things RIGHT.  You want to use hot water (mine is near boiling temp- I heat in the microwave).  Here's some things I think might help you-
First and foremost- invest in a good soft brass brush.  Use it for finishing only.  I have one from Rio that I love.  There is also a smaller one available for more delicate work.  Not the stiff kind you get at the hardware store, that's for other things.  This will help you to get much better results.

Let's start at the beginning.  Heat your water nice and hot and dissolve your liver of sulfur (LOS).  DO NOT make it too strong.  If you are seeing flaking occurring on your pieces it is because you have built the oxidation up too thickly.  A thin coat will not flake.  Thick oxidation occurs by making your solution too strong or by leaving the piece in too long.  As a general rule, I like a golden yellow to my LOS that I can still see through.  It should not be dark or murky.
BEFORE you dip your pieces (especially chain)- clean them with your brass brush and some liquid dish soap - just a little on the brush will do.  I use Dawn because it has no oily stuff in it (like hand moisturizers etc) that will inhibit proper cleaning.  Ivory will also work.  This will get all of your finger oils, sand paper residue, and polishing compound off your pieces.  This stuff you can't see is to blame for many uneven oxidation problems.  As a note to your specific question about chain- I have found many manufacturers have a polished coating on their chain and this inhibits the LOS from doing it's job.  I think this is what you are running into when some of your chain will not oxidize properly.  I either brass brush the chain or I take pumice in my fingers and run the chain through a couple times until it gets clean.  I don't think tumbling the chains is getting rid of this polishing compound well enough.  A couple runs through my pumiced fingers has never failed to get an even oxidation on chain for me.

Once your pieces are nice and clean, then start dipping them in your solution.  I usually let the piece sit for a minute or two, take them out and brass brush them (with a bit of soap) and repeat until I get what I am looking for in terms of color.  The brass brushings in between the dips continues to keep the oxidation even.  Believe me, it really helps!

I am sure you have noticed that when pieces are sitting upon other pieces that those areas do not oxidize well.  To deal with this problem, I make sure that my pieces are not touching and that I flip them over during subsequent dippings to be sure it is nice and even.  This is especially a problem for chain.  There is no way to oxidize it without it laying on top of itself.  Make sure you keep stirring your chain with your copper tongs and this will help oxidize it more evenly.

Please note that if you have fire scale on your pieces, this will take up the oxidation more than the non- fire scaled areas.  Many people think that liver of sulfur will help to cover fire scale and they could not be more wrong!  It is not a substitute for good finishing.  If you are doing everything above correctly and you are still seeing uneven oxidation, please take your pieces out into good light and look for firescale.  It could be your culprit.
I sure hope this helps you Marie.

Until next week, happy metalsmithing.  Please ask some questions so we can continue to write our weekly blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

“What’s New”

Welcome to “what’s New” on EtsyMetal”.
Every Saturday I am here to show you the new listings from our team members on Etsy site.
We on EtsyMetal team set our mission to support each other as independent artists and Etsy as a platform for selling quality handmade goods.
The EtsyMetal mark is your assurance of hand made craftsmanship, quality, and that the artist follows ethical trade practices.

Rebecca Bogan                                      Inbar Bareket
aroluna                                                    Michele Grady Designs

LjBjewelry                                               betsybensen

e5jewelry                                                  2Roses

 lsueszabo                                                Danielle Miller Jewelry

FacetandForgeJewelry                     ArtigianoJewelBox

silentgoddess                                         Gecko J Designs  

rubygirl                                                    Lichen and Lychee

 PeculiarForest                                      Etsy Metal   

Be here on next Saturday for much more jewelry !
Subscribe to our blog for reminders.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Project Runway Season 10, Episode 9 - It's All About Me

Season 10, Episode 9: It's All About Me
Air 9/13/12
The designers get to create their own fabric for their outfit inspired by their cultural heritage and get special home visits from their family.
For our Etsy Metal Translation:
Make a piece inspired by your cultural heritage.

“I grew up in Ohio in a traditional Greek Orthodox family. My grandparents lived with us and passed down many rituals and superstitions from 'pieces of the real cross' that my grandmother would give to her son for protection when he went to war to reading the mud left in the bottom of a cup of Turkish coffee.
We'd go to bed every night and hold our small wood and metal icons, do the sign of the cross, kiss them, and then go safely to sleep. I was always fascinated with the icons and when I got older I began to think about making modern icons from old photos of my family. I combine the photo with copper and enamel and stamp part of a story from my favorite book of Greek myths, "Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, a Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths" by Charlene Spretnak.”

Our next week challenge:
Season 10, Episode 10:  I Get a Kick Out of Fashion
Air 9/20/12
My Lifetime, Thursdays 9pmPSTE
The designers were challenged to create a costume for the Rockettes. The winning design will be featured in a future Rockettes performance.
For our Etsy Metal Translation:
Make a piece that is glitzy and glamorous!
Deadline: Thursday, September 27 by midnight, your time.
Make it work!

**Guidelines for Guest Submissions** 
Please read this every week as there may be small updates and changes. The pieces you submit must be pieces that are made specifically for that week's challenge. Then post a link to your challenge creation in this week's comment area before the deadline. 
*We are only accepting guest submissions from our blog comment area at this time, insert your links there. Then Please cross-post this to your Blog, Flickr, Etsy, etc. and tag them with "EMPR 10.3" We will post your name with a link and a picture of your piece on our blog. The deadline for guest submissions will be Thursday at 12:00 midnight, Pacific Standard Time. The new blog posts and the new challenge will go up the Friday after the new episode airs.
Thank you !

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Charm swap 10

Hello! It is Thursday again!
We have a lot of news, so many people are starting to finish! Pictured above are Michele's charms.  She is done and they look amazing!
Meg is done. Here she shows us her sketch and materials. They look really cool!
Here are finished pics!

Evelyn is also done! Here are pictures of her amazing charms:

From Laney we hear, "I FINALLY decided on a design and now I am madly working towards getting these done before the deadline. I am combining copper that has a roll printed canvas texture with an upcylcled canvas clothing tag (I love collecting fabric tags!) that will be captured in the copper using rivets. Should have more pictures next week of some completed charms. For now here is a sneak peek at some of my supplies:"

Lou also shows us her components:

I (iacua) have been a little behind but have finalized my charm.   I will be doing a longer, brass variation on the shark tooth with roses seen here:

Nina is half finished with her charms! Here is a sneak peek....

Shae is completely done, they  look so cool!

That wraps it up for this week, be sure to check back next Thursday for more updates!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

“What’s New”

Welcome to “What’s New” on EtsyMetal.
We are here again with gorgeous jewelry listed in our shops this week.

betsybensen                                            lsueszabo

Rebecca Bogan                                       Juju By Sarah

Michele Grady Designs                       VirginieMartinStudio

2Roses                                                       NinaGibsonDesigns

LjBjewelry                                                wildflowerdesigns

LiliaNashJewelry                                  SCJJewelryDesign

kathryncole                                            PeculiarForest

simplyMegA                                             e5jewelry

Be with us here again next Saturday.
Have a wonderful weekend !
It’s the Jewish new year tomorrow – I would like to greet everybody with “Shana Tova” “A Happy New Year”
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