Sunday, November 18, 2012

The new techniques update

     Well as most of you know I am going on a mission to try out some new techniques. The is an ongoing journey for me, there is so much to learn in the metalsmithing creative process. So many new things to try to learn and master if you are lucky enough. Since the return to my farm I have very limited places to go to take classes so must of my learning is going to have to be self taught using the web, wonderful friends who are willing to pass on info and mostly just trial and error although having an established research library is a plus. That is something I personally think all of us need, I am constantly returning to these books as my thirst for knowledge is great. Although I will say as I become more knowledgeable in metalsmithing I discover that often books leave out information on some topics which I find rather annoying. 
    The technique I have been working with is stamping on metal. Sounds simple enough doesn't it well not quite so simple depending on which approach you take. Me I am a nonconformist I do not follow rules very well, to free spirited I guess. There are a some artists work that I find so inspiring now his work is totally awesome, I don't know if Hoss just randomly knows how to place these fantastic designs of his or if he is structured and disciplined and measures where and when each stamp goes but his work is totally mind blowing and is one of the true inspirational artist to me. After seeing his work I knew I had to learn and try out this technique please go and check out his work, as well as Rochelle does stamping as well as etching on her jewelry which is fantastic. Her designs mimic mother nature. Rochelle was kind enough to give advice to me on stamping. I think its great when another artist is welling to part with information and not be scared that someone is going to steal their ideas to me this shows their strength and confidence in their abilities as artists gosh if I worked day and night it would take me a hundred years to even be close to the level of these two artist, their work speaks for itself.

     Any how yesterday  I finished up my first stamping project, with a little bit of success. I did get the stamps on the metal reasonably well. I did learn that I need to maybe mark where I want some of the stamps to go. At the bottom of my earrings I put a pair of horseshoes, well they did not match up very well but thats okay it's a learning experience and next time I will be a bit more careful. They were fun and I love the southwestern feel to them since I am spending more time in the studio I find my designs going more into the southwest area of design well I do live in horse country down here in FL and my farm is located in the rural farming area . I also finally stepped back into the cabbing studio so here are some cabs I created yesterday not bad since I haven't touched  the cabber in three months. Although I do not know what stone the brown one is , it was just a few slabs I had collected from somewhere when I went on my graphic shopping spree a few years ago. Anyone knows please tell me, lol. Oh I still need to add the hooks on the earrings. The other stone is Amazonite  one of my favorite stones. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trying out new things Project 1

This first project is STAMPING ON METAL:

20 ga copper scrap
stamping tools bought on etsy at
and another supplier I use
these are excellent suppliers highly recommend them!

Liver of sulphur in the bottle
hot water (warmed in the microwave then added LOS)

Brass hammer, I also use this one for punching out disks and dapping.

Here goes , cut the copper I just used a scrap I had since I am experimenting with this technique. I just randomly stamped the design now I know you can plan it all out and get it just so so and perfect but that"s not me. Sorry. I wondered about annealing the metal but thought that may have made the metal to soft to stamp on. Please always remember the hand should be at the end of the hammer when holding it to get the power from the blow to your object. I only hit once. I loved it.

Once the design was stamped I placed a cup of hot water in the microwave and heated it for 1 min , dropped in 5 or 6 drops of LOS(Liver of sulphur) into the cup and dropped in the practice piece. In just seconds it was black. I like using LOS lots of folks don't but I wanted the stamping to show up . Personally I use the green scrubby things you can get at the grocery store for removing the liver of sulphur and it also gives the metal a matte finish which I like instead of the shiny.

In the photos you can see the process I took ,
I see design ideas with this technique , If you have any questions please just ask and I will help if I can. 

It's Been a Moment in Time

Well finally I decided to reopen my blog. I know it's about time, Life often throws us little ups and downs and we learn to flow with them or mostly how to survive them. That's were I am surviving or at least making a heck of an attempt. I have moved once more how home to my farm where I am safe and secure, snuggled in the nature surrounding me . I am starting to pick at the jewelry supplies a little bit, feeling the pull and the lure of my bench. I just kind of brought all of it and just dumped it and tried to forget about it for a while. All artists know we must take a break from time to time, we are such emotional creatures and I think maybe a little bit more sensitive than most people. Our feelings are always so intense no half way measures for us, its full out total emotional impact. So I have picked myself up and dusted myself off, returned to cutting hair for a living, enrolled in college for the spring quarter. Now its time to do some jewelry. I think I am going to concentrate on the unique one of a kind stuff that I so like to make. I have bought some stamps lately may incorporate them into some designs we will see. I still want to flow with the southwest design ideas that constantly flow through my brain, begging to be created into jewelry. Gotta go dig out my stones I feel turquoise or maybe some chrysocolla coming out of the box to put into design elements. We will soon see.