26 August 2011

On my bench today

Work(s) in progress. Wires that have been textured and annealed but not shaped yet. Some that have been shaped and are waiting to be finished.

A pair of copper hoops that needs a bit more polishing.

Silver hoops.

Abacus earrings - a little wonky. My first try. Actually, I seem to specialize in wonky.

And today's finish - Boho Bangles. Not perfect either, but sometimes finished is better than perfect.
The camera and I still haven't made friends again, I used the camera phone for these. Easing in slowly. And I'd better get back into it, I have a huge backlog of photos that need to be worked on.

From the garden

My first attempt at growing onions (and garlic - no picture). Not a great harvest, but not bad. Not much is doing well in the garden this year - weeds don't count. Not sure if it's the cooler than normal summer we've had or the rainy season that lasted longer than usual. But the lettuce is puny, the beans that managed to survive aren't producing as much as they did last year and something ate about half of my bean plants even though I did what I could to protect them. Better luck next year.

22 August 2011

What I learned in the last two days

I am taking on online jewelry making class ( http://somethingsublime.typepad.com/jewelry_works/bo.html). We're making earrings, several different types. There are videos to watch, there's a message board to post questions and there's a flickr group for photos of finished eye candy.
I joined late because I didn't find out about the class until it was well on its way and I'm trying hard to catch up. Thankfully, I had most of the supplies - tools and materials.
I've learned during the last couple of weeks:
Copper is a lot softer than sterling. It is much harder to ball the ends of copper wire than sterling wire. And it takes lots longer to work harden copper.
Sterling likes a cooler flame. I have been using the propane torch to ball the copper and used it on the sterling this morning and those balls fell right off into the quench bowl, three times. After that, I turned down the flame and had no more problems. Oh, and those balls shattered completely in the water.
Brass and bronze are much harder to work than either copper and sterling. I pounded those two until my arms hurt and still didn't get to where I wanted to be. I've put them aside for now.
Worm binders from Bass Pro Shop are excellent for storing and organizing wire. We actually made a road trip to one of two Bass Pro Shops in California, quite an interesting trip. Photos are here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150274659593129.328904.708398128&l=f654373a2d&type=1)
Okay, I needed to put that down somewhere before I forget it, but now it's time to go back to hammering and shaping.