Monday, January 18, 2010

Enameling Experimentation and First Attempts at Fusing Fine Silver

Enameling Experimentation

So, I wanted to spend a few minutes playing around with enamels.

I took a charm I’d made out of bronze clay.

First I enameled the back (for strength).

Then I put black enamel into the channels on half of the charm.

And here’s what it looked like after my first firing.

Then I added enamel (powdered glass) to the other side of the charm.

And fired it.

Here’s the finished product (after I polished the bronze back up).

I’m not impressed with the charm, but I was experimenting so I’m cool with it. And now I have some ideas for things I can work on.

First Attempts at Fusing Fine Silver

These were very unsuccessful. As I mentioned in my other blog, I had to use a torch with more power than the Blazer micro-torch.

But it’s going to take some finesse and practice for me have better skill at fusing. This…

Was my first jumpring attempt. A section of the ring just balled up, separating from the rest of the ring.

This makes me think I was aiming the flame (not pin point, unfortunately) NOT at the seam.

I tried fusing a jumpring four times… it finally worked the forth time.

But then I wanted to make a really fat ball-end headpin.

It’s here on the left, 14g.

I’m going to keep it as a memento… along with a bead I’ve been saving (it’s an Alex bead).

That’s it for now.

This weekend I also made a lot of jewelry out of components I’d already made or had. It’s more of my attempt to use what I have rather than buying more.

I’ll let you know when I get the listings started.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Enameling and Upcycling

I tried some enameling this week.

My son questioned the fact that I'm breaking the law (defacing coins), so I investigated a little and found this:

Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States. This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

I think I'm okay. :-) And it's a great way of upcycling, IMO. For those who don't know, I often use pennies as a base for my enameling (see photo below).

Anyway, I may get some more colors (of enamel powder), but I definitely also need to work on technique. Heh… What I produced last night leaves me unimpressed.

I do have one bracelet I like and will list soon…

And I have a set of four (in black and red) but they are only one-hold punched so I'll have to turn that into a necklace.

But speaking of bracelets, I do wonder how hardy these are for people like me who run their bracelets into walls, doorjambs, furniture, etc while being worn. More testing will be required.

I have some cloisonné wire and might try working with that this weekend. One of the things I want to do is make more defined lines between colors.

I also need to organize a bit more so I know what some of the products I already have actually are. I know, that sounds terrible. It IS terrible. Sigh…

The cabinets were a great start… I need to get a photo and show you. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to get to more organizing.