Sunday, March 27, 2011

Silver owl.

At the beginning of the month I made a copper and silver owl pendant, and I promised myself I'd make another using just Sterling Silver.
Here he is in his Rosemary Bush "tree".........

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Design is evolving...

Week 6 - Etching has been a pain - tried to do it at home but the photocopy was 6 days old by then and it just wouldn't transfer the ink to the metal. I think a fresh photocopy is the go - then the toner should transfer all OK. For those that don't know - the transferred toner then acts as a resist. The raw metal will etch but anything covered by the toner is protected from the acid.
I wasted my day in class last Tuesday a bit, My middle aged brain I forgot to take my master pattern along - I could have made a fresh photocopy there if I had been prepared. Note to self: I will pack my school bag the night before, I will pack my school bag the night before..... It did give me time to finish my hollow form project from week 4 though, so all was not lost.
Today I played catch up at home. I successfully transferred my pattern and etched the text to the metal. Next up, I spent ages trying to work out how I'd add another layer to the design as the lecturer suggested,  but finally settled on an off centre tree. This fits in with my original design as the reverse of the backplate (text layer) is textured with a skeleton leaf imprint.

Bit more work to do on it yet, but I'm confidant that all will end well when it's all riveted together:) Pin It

Friday, March 25, 2011

Did you know I can't draw?

Week 5 - We got the written brief for our assignment. Luckily, the ideas I'd had fitted in all OK. The issue is drawing them - we're expected to present ideas and drawings in a visual diary. I had drawn a very rough sketch but I think I'll have to work on this side of things. Maybe that's why I gravitate to simple clean lines in my work - because give me a ruler and I can draw them! Not so easy for me if curves etc are involved.
Anyway here's my rather lame visual diary entry - definitely something to be improved upon in the coming weeks:
I was going to etch some text in my design (the dictionary definition of "Nature") and I'd drawn it all up in Publisher and printed it out.
Then I photocopied it on Acetate and reversed the design and copied it again to PNP transfer paper so the text was mirror image. This way when transferred to the metal the writing would read correctly. Bit of a rigmarole but I'd done this at home.

 I spent time in class sawing out my metal, and although I didn't get around to etching my piece, we did see an etching demo. We were shown foldforming too so I had a little play around with that in the afternoon.
Our lecturer talked to each of us about our designs and while she said my idea was good, she suggested adding another layer, perhaps partially covering the text to draw the viewer in and add more dimension.
Well this left me with lots to think about (and draw up!)during the following week. Pin It

Tafe on Tuesdays.

I love everything about Tuesdays now (oh, Ok with the exception of the Parking Ticket Machine at the Train Station that refuses to recognise my Smartrider card - but now is not the time for whinging about Transperth!)

I enjoy the train ride into the city even though I never get a seat and I enjoy the walk to TAFE through the city station, then up past the Museum & Art Gallery. But best of all I love 8.45am till 4pm when I'm in class.
Being a student after all these years is so much fun!

Week 4 - in the morning  we were shown how to file a strip of metal to mitre nice sharp corners in metal and form a square. Then we got busy on our own little square hollow form. I didn't finish, but did manage to get back to it and finished it in week six. Later we were shown cold connections and rivets and given a few practise exercises.
I added holes to add a chain and it will hang as a diamond shape. Hope to do another in silver with horizontal holes to hang as a square.
 Our homework was to think about a design project for an upcoming assignment  - The theme was "Nature" and the project was to design (yes, on paper - aargh help!) a piece using the skills we'd been practicing, such as sawing, filing, texturing, and cold connections..... but no soldering! Pin It

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Mixed Metal Challenge

In the Metalwork Section at the Beading Forum  we've just had a mixed metal challenge.

I spent a month procrastinating about a design and finally on the second last day, I posted in the forum that I was dropping out of the challenge because I'd run out of time. Hmmm...weird, but dropping out took the pressure off me (as it does!) and kick started me into action with a brand new idea! 
I finished this little fella that evening (within the deadline!) and I'm really chuffed with the result - the sawing, filing and soldering exercises we're doing at my TAFE course have given me a bit more confidence and all the steps went smoothly :)

Oh and here's my inspiration for this little fella. A greeting card that I bought for an friend's birthday last week. Cute huh?

My next task - I'm going to make a slightly smaller all Sterling version....stay tuned :) Pin It

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

JAW Finished - TAFE Started instead :)

You may have noticed I haven't posted up any new creations for my Jewellery A Week Project (JAW). That's because I've abandoned it.
I started it to encourage myself to create to get out of a slump. Well now I don't feel the need to do that..... and the reason is.......I've gone back to Study :)

My friend Jane from Planet Lime encouraged me to join her in a course this year. So each Tuesday this year I will spend the day at TAFE completing a Certificate 2 in Jewellery Manufacture.  I've had three days at class so far, and we have started with the basics. (There are complete beginners in the course, as well as some with more experience and it's designed to prepare for apprenticeship or to go on to the Diploma Course).
I've spent the last three lessons, sawing, piercing and filing and I'm loving it. Even though I've been doing these things for several years, it's a very hands on course and some of the piercing and filing exercises are a lot more intricate than I'd normally do in my own pieces. I'm feeling challenged and loving it! I'm learning lots of new tips and techniques too, which is great.

Week one, we spent the morning sawing and piercing the whale from Brass sheet..

Afternoon, we spent filing  4 x 4mm square copper wire to form different shapes. All I'd ever done with a file over the years is to smooth edges of  hand sawn work, never anything like this! Definately felt like a beginner with this exercise.

Week two, Morning - Sawed  Brass, measured up and formed into a wide band and soldered and shaped into a ring, then filed, sanded etc.
Afternoon - Started with a 4 x 4mm square copper wire, formed, soldered and shaped into a ring and then filed this into triangular type profile.

Week 3 - Were introduced to the rolling mills, we'll be making out own wire and sheet for class projects. We practised on copper first, then we were given an approx 25mm x 6mm rod of sterling which we milled into a long rectangle, taking the piece to 5mm x  1.5mm thick. We measured and made up a plain ring band from the result. The workshop has about 5 (yes 5!) rolling mills. So, the second project was to work on while we were waiting for a mill, as there's 12 in the class. We cut brass, domed it, soldered it to sheet, sawed around the shape to remove the excess backing sheet, the aim being to not see the join when we've finished our clean up.
The picture below is of my Works in Progress. I still have finishing up to do on these.

This is giving everyone good grounding in sawing, piercing, filing & soldering as well as introduction to the various workshop tools and equipment.
Next week we'll be starting on some design work - Really look forward to Tuesdays these days  :) Pin It