Saturday, January 21, 2017

What's New!

This week's new work from etsymetal.
Click the link under each photo and see more from that artist's shop!

                    Leslie ZemenekJewelry                  Michele Grady Designs

                           simplyMegA                                       Juju By Sarah

                         Christine Mighion                        Nina Gibson Designs     

                        Sarah Hood Jewelry                   Le Chien Noir Jewelry     

                                bluepiranha                               EMW Metalworks     

 lsueszabo                                            Evelyn Markasky

 PureDichotomy                                       AmityJewelry

Cynthia Kurth                                          Debbie Ritchie

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Auntie EM returns! Just this once.....How to HINGES!!!

I hope at least one of you remembers good 'ol Auntie EM.  Years ago there were two Aunties...we wrote "how to" blog posts and answered reader questions.  It was awesome.  Then we realized that all our blogging was cutting into our studio time and we couldn't have that so we went on extended hiatus.  I, for one, have missed you.

I have resurrected Auntie EM today for a VERY quick tutorial on hinges.  This is, by no means, the only way to make hinges.  It's the way I do hinges and I love it.  It's quick and dirty and almost fool proof.  If you're good with a torch, you will have NO problem with this technique.  Let's get started.

When I took these process photos it wasn't intended for a blog post so they aren't awesome, you'll have to look closely.

The actual first step is preparing the pieces you want to hinge. In this case, it's a hinge charm that I sell in my shop here.  I cut out the oval and then chop it in pieces and file the edges smooth.

Step one is cutting your knuckles.  Did you know that the hinge pieces are called knuckles?  No?  Well, now you do.  Hinges always work best with an odd number of knuckles so for this tiny hinge I use three.  I could use any odd number of knuckles but, dude, I'm no masochist.  Keep in mind, however, the more knuckles, the sturdier the hinge.  This charm is about 6mm wide so each knuckle will be about 2mm.  I cut the middle one to that length and leave the other two longer.  I leave them longer so there is no chance of any solder sneaking in there later and freezing the hinge.  I hate that.  It sucks.  I check for fit and then insert my silver wire.  I have to say here that I hate yellow ochre.  HATE IT.  So, when I say "white out" you can sub "yellow ochre" if that's your jam.  If you look closely, you can see that I have closed the ends of the hinges with white out.  It's not totally necessary but it keeps everything from sliding all over the place and being annoying so I do it.  I also put a little white out where I didn't want solder to flow but I don't know why I did that.  It was messy and stupid and not necessary.  Just do the ends like this:

Next comes the tricky and most awesome part of this technique.  You are going to use three of the smallest pieces of hard solder you can make.  Like, really small.  Here is the trick:  You are going to place your tiny balls of hard solder in the middle of each knuckle where you want it to attach to the piece.  So...and I'm only going to say this because someone will write me later and say they soldered all the knuckles on the same side of their want to alternate sides for soldering.  I hope that makes sense.  You'll see in a second.  Anyway, you are going to heat your piece JUST ENOUGH TO TACK THE SOLDER onto both the hinge knuckle and the piece but DO NOT FLOW THE SOLDER.  I'm going to say that one more time because it's the essence of the technique:  You are only heating the solder to the point where the solder gets grainy and sticks to both the knuckle and the not let that sh** flow.  If you let it flow you're screwed and you will have to start over.  Here is what it should look like when you're done:

Can you see that?  Can you see where the solder is still a ball but it's holding the knuckle to the charm?  Yes?  Well, if yours looks like can breathe a sigh of relief because you are now golden.

The next step is the usual, pickle and clean everything and come back to your soldering station.  You're now going to flow either medium solder (if you'll have more soldering to do on this piece) or easy solder (if you don't...or are like me and are lazy) around that little bit of hard solder.  To do this, you're going to remove the sterling hinge pin and separate the pieces.  Don't try to flow the lower temp solder with everything intact...that defeats the whole purpose of this technique.  So, separate and flow your lower temp solder around the knuckles and then pickle and clean up.  It's like magic!  Before you clean up, it'll look like this:  (maybe even better!)

So...that's it.  You're done!  You have soldered hinges that work and are gorgeous!  Hinges with this technique aren't hard at all.  Obviously, the smaller the hinges the harder it is but it's really all pretty simple.  I'm assuming you all know how to set the hinge pin...right?  If not, let me know and I can do a part two.

Happy Hinges all!
Much love,

Auntie EM

3xr2107 - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Challenge

Shall I give you some secrets from the life of a goldsmith?

Every time I create a wonderful piece of jewelery, a heap of precious metal remains.
Too expensive to throw it away; Too big to melt. And at all, maybe I still need that!

Every time I visit a trade fair or a stone merchant, the hunter and collector awakens in me.
There are so wonderful stones and stone chains. And immediately something comes to mind, which I can work from it.
But later in the workshop, I am certainly missing a completely different stone, which fits the latest piece of jewelery.

Not every time, but often enough, a piece of jewelry remains unfinished.
I call it "Lost Pieces" - in line with the “Lost Places”. They share the fate of the abandoned houses: Once designed with enthusiasm and animated with passion to a workpiece, is somewhere and sometime drained the life out of the metal.

Something is missing, perhaps a last piece of material, which is not in stock. Or the final touch, a suitable idea for the complete piece. Or just the right - the matching stone.

And really, it looks like this in every jewelry workshop. Although - probably everyone who works creatively will now say: I have such collections, too.

The Etsy Metal Team is facing the challenge this year again:

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle 

From reduction to recycling, all the rests should be reused, which has accumulated.
It´s an individual challenge. There are no other rules. Everyone decides what works for him.
I will try to create 52 projects. One for each week.

Finished pieces can be found under the hashtag #3xr and 3xr2017 on Instagram and Co. Visit our group account. 

What has accumulated with you? Write in the comments how you want to process these treasures this year.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What's New!

Sparkling, firey, earthy, whimsical, contemporary, elegant, colorful, playful, rustic... have I missed anything?

Christine Mighion                                      AmityJewelry

Sarah Hood Jewelry                                PureDichotomy

Michele Grady Designs                           Laura Bracken

KathrynRiechert                                       Quercus Silver

Nina Gibson Designs                                   Ankanate

EvelynMarkasky                                          LjBjewelry

                        Lichen and Lychee                        Le Chien Noir Jewelry

    wildflowerdesigns                                    Blue Piranha

simplyMegA                                                Schmuckburg

                             betsybensen                      Victoria takahashi/experimetal

Monday, January 9, 2017

December Challenge- "GIVING"

For December we wanted to create a piece under the theme of Giving and donate the proceeds to a charity of our choice. We have three submissions for you to enjoy.

Winged Face brooch inspired by the FABER GRAVESTONE collection and based on the 1748 New Haven, Connecticut, headstone - designed by carver William Holland. Made for a local historical association auction.

Sweet and beautiful small guardian angel - necklace pendant from 925 sterling silver.
He wears a small heart on his chest. Love and security

"Home is where the Heart is"- Sterling, brass, street sign and vintage dollhouse tin. I am donating the proceeds from this necklace to Habitat for Humanity.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

What's New!

Lots of sawing, forging, soldering, enameling, and setting happening this week!

 Evelyn Markasky                                        LjBJewelry

 simplyMegA                                          Kathryn Riechert

                          SeverinMetals                              Le Chien Noir Jewelry

                          AmityJewelry                                     EMW Metalworks

                         Fenton Designs                          Leslie Zemenek Jewelry

                    Michele Grady Designs          Victoria Takahashi-Experimetal

 lsueszabo                                               betsybensen

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