Thursday, August 17, 2017

Custom Bracelets with Elks Tooth and Green Stone

Bracelets made for the customers stones


This bracelet started with this pendant.  The customers heir loom piece was a pendant she never wears so she wanted to make it into a cuff bracelet

I have all the parts made and ready to assemble

the parts , at long last, are all soldered together
The second bracelet is a clasp bangle using an elks tooth provided by the customer.  I had to cut the oot off and slightly reshape the tooth in order to make a bezel for it
The bezel is made and soldered in place after shaping the silver wire around it


The clasp at the back is soldered up and ready for the custom cut tooth part I'm shaping into a 5mm stone


finished elks tooth bracelet
You can see other bracelets ready made on my websites here and on my Etsy Store here
 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Elks Teeth Jewelry




This project stated when  customer came to me with these elks teeth. Souvenirs from a hunting trip. The idea is to make a pendant and a pair of earrings 

These are the natural teeth as I received them

I reshaped them and sanded the bottoms flat in preparation of setting them.

Here the wax models are ready to cast.  The teeth can't be heated up so they have to be removed from the wax for the next step

The wax has been transformed into silver and the and the teeth are being adjusted to get the fit back in the cup.
The finished product. . If you have an idea for a project contact me here

Shirt Studs? What's That

Who wears shirt studs any more?  Don't shirts come with buttons?  Well yes but if are wearing a nice tux and a fancy shirt, you might want to have some cool buttons to go with your cufflinks.  This was a custom order for shark heads shirt studs. So this is what I came up with. I was afraid just the heads would be too small and unidentifiable so I included the fins.
The customer loved these sharks head shirt studs. They went with some shark cuff links that had special meaning. they are now available on my web site.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Development of New Farrier Buckle Design


The Farrier series got its name because the original buckle was forged with a black smithing technique and took the shape of a horse shoe.  Originally i thought it would be the only one but since then i have added 2 other conventional style buckles and I'm now working on getting 2 new designs done for the website and Etsy store. These are also in the Farrier series. One for 1.25 inch belts (" The Quarter Horse") and one for 1.5. (the Work Horse"). I already have the Square Farrier  in those sizes but I'm ever expanding and these news ones are more "horseshoe " shaped.

This is the original design idea for the 1.5 farrier.  I'm now calling it the  "Workhorse"


These are the 2 sizes I made to use as the models for the process. These buckles will be hammer textured but they have to start out smooth and must be sanded and polished before texturing. 

The Quarter Horse being textured with a cross peen forming hammer
Preparing to make the tongue. This step is actually quite time consuming.  I make them from the raw bronze wire.
The Quarter Horse with the tongue installed. Testing for fit and function.

Quarter Horse patinated and waxed and ready for the web.
The Work horse installed on the 1.5 belt for fit and function.
The Work Horse buckle in bronze on a 1.5 inch belt
The inch and a half Work Horse and the inch and a quarter Quarter Horse for comparison

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Suburban Tribal Revisited

Suburban Tribal is a line I started several years ago that I have been selling exclusively through art shows and galleries. I'm redesigning the line with some new twists and adding them to my website and Etsy store  The idea at that time was to make colorful, bold, big, but light weight and inexpensive earrings made with anodized aluminum, brass and sterling.  I still make some of the originals. They are all assembled with jump rings and ear wires for an articulated, fun and funky, action look. Everything moves and is loosely jointed. They are heavily textured with hammer and tool marks with some sanding away of color to reveal the aluminum. This gives them a "tribal" look.
  The new designs are more like a collage. Smaller, more refined designs smoother surfaces.  I'm adding some more sterling as well.  The new ones are more work as they are now being bolted together with tiny nuts and bolts or rivets. For the most part, they are more static, petite and elegant. But they still have the great saturated colors, interesting patterns, and light weight of anodized aluminum.   Maybe a bit more "suburban"  Hence, Suburban Tribal.
The original Suburban Tribal collection or anodized aluminum and with heavy texture, tool marks and sanded color. 
Here are some pictures of the new designs





Friday, June 2, 2017

Exploring the Explorer

I wanted an all around buckle that could be worn anytime, anywhere, from the exchange floor to your best friend's wedding, to exploring the south sea islands. I recently discovered Indiana Jones has a similar buckle holding his gun belt. Thus the name Explorer seemed fitting. I first came up with the idea of making conventional style buckles for my line about 3 years ago. I have made them in the past but have not added any to the line. I was caught up in making fish buckles and other non-fish themed buckles (e.g., the Arrowhead, the Spearhead) using prong stye attachments.

The original design was intended for 1.25 inch belts, however 1.5 inch belts have increased in popularity so I decided to scale up the buckle. If I just made it wider, the proportions would be off so I had to re-carve the design to accommodate 1.5 inch belts. Below are some pictures of the process and the final outcome.

This is the 2 wax originals ready to put in plaster for casting.


This shot shows the rough castings just out of the plaster.

 Here are the castings cleaned up a bit in the acid.


 The filing begins.
In order to do the hammered texture, the surface must first be smooth and polished.

 Ready for hammering.


 Top view of the finished piece.


View the final Explorer buckle in Sterling Silver on 1.5 inch brown cow-hide belt. 




Monday, April 17, 2017

Beach Pebble Jewelry


Today I started culling through one of my bags of beach pebbles to look for something that I could use for a repair job. The customer had lost one of her post earrings with dangle beach pebbles. I was trying to find a pebble to match the remaining earring, but didn't have any luck. I did find one small basalt pebble thick enough to cut down the middle to make a bookmatched pair. That's when the repair job turned into a custom job. I used a cut off disk to grind through the pebble and slice it down the middle.



Here is the finished pair.


I really enjoyed working with beach pebbles again. I don't get to do this as often as I would like. I have a stock pile of ocean tumbled pebbles from nearly clear quartz to black basalt, and every color in between. I've collected these pebbles from my travels along the East coast from Long Island to Florida. Contact me if you have any interest in beach pebble jewelry. I'm willing to work with any pebbles you have or we can sift through my collection to find the right match for your style. 

Check my website for samples of previous work involving beach pebbles. I've made a quartz heart shaped ring and a beach pebble crashing waves pendant



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chocolate

If you only know me from my facebook page you would guess all I ever do is think about jewelry making and painting, with an occasional foray out to the bonsai garden. But I also think a lot about chocolate!



I decided to make some chocolates thanks to a gift of 3 bars of 90%. Normally I would just eat them a bit at a time, but 90% is pretty strong and that would take a long time. Not that I'm in a hurry to eat 3 bars of chocolate but I wanted to make them taste better too. 


Some orange zest, sweetened condensed milk and butter took care of the problem. 


I have 2 old heart molds, so I filled one with the orange zest and added sea salt to the other. 

I spread the remaining chocolate out and added the zest, Craisins, raisins and toasted almonds. 


The whole batch came out pretty soft, more like a ganache or fudge. I suspect I used too much better. They were still quite edible and delicious!