All posts tagged: silver

The life of a Maker… studio time

I managed to get in some studio time of late to finish off some orders, and get a few pieces photographed. Years ago I read that an artist should take photos of everything they make regardless of whether it is going to be a personal gift or go up for sale (or already sold for that matter). Time to start getting into the habit. Jewelry photography is a tedious task, requiring very bright lights with a light tent to control reflections and shadows. I keep thinking I need to set up a photo spot in the studio, such that it is not such an effort setting everything up each time. My children spend quite a bit of time with me in the studio.. asking questions, playing on the floor.. digging through all the tools and supplies while dreaming of what they want to make next (they now even have their own cupboard of supplies). It has been a productive time, and with studio visits scheduled later this week with neighborhood children, there will be lots …

Kiln fired enamel

Enamel – a fantastic way to bring some colour into what can often become a world of black and white when working with silver. This week, I have been testing a set of colours from Thompson Enamels – transparent/lead free for use on silver/copper/gold.¬†Enamel is powdered glass which, when heated melts, flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal. Enameling can also be done on glass or porcelain, but requires enamels with a different COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) – expansion rates must be suited to the base surface material. Prior to using enamels, they need to be washed to remove the “fines” – (extra fine particles which can cause your enamel to be cloudy). This can either be done: wet: by rinsing in water multiple times until the water runs clear or dry: by using a series of sifting pans to separate the particle sizes (60, 80, 100 mesh etc.) Regardless of which technique you plan on using to apply the enamel, the silver must be properly prepared, polished and cleaned to …

Naughty by nature?

… what would you like written around your finger? ūüėČ I have always loved words and I am an admitted font addict. I have a font for every occasion! I am continuously amazed at how a font can carry almost as much weight as the actual text in a graphic setting. When I first put words in silver, my head swirled with ideas. What, and how to write it – the possibilities were endless. Rings are my personal favorite. There is a significant amount of work involved in the creation of a custom ring. The graphic design (size matters) is crucial, the actual sizing of the ring (size matters here even more so!) ¬†– it all needs to be taken in consideration. ¬†I start at my computer where I work in Photoshop to create a template from which to work. From there, I go through a series of steps to convert that 2D image into a three dimensional form that I can use to sculpt the ring. Working with photopolymers and some japanese techniques. I …

“what is precious…”

This was entry for the Cheongju Craft Biennial in Korea: suffice it to say I did not win ;( The theme for the competition was: (you can skip this part if you want.. a little long winded!) The theme for the 2009 Biennale,¬†Outside the Box, proposes that craft be considered or approached as a composite whole, rather than as a series of fragmentary and contending disciplines. To think outside the box, as the phrase goes in the West, is to transcend spurious divisions through the human faculty of imagination. In newly-merged artistic and managerial discourses, ‘outside the box’ is where the indispensably ‘innovative’ is to be found. But it is also where a state of integration becomes attainable; where meetings become possible. As what is devised as a necessary means to an end, craft and innovation have ever been one and the same. By the same definition craft is integration; with nature, with others, with its collective self. It therefore has the power to unite and represent all human values, in the here and now. …

Etsy.. the handmade movement

Etsy.. the place to buy all things handmade If you do not know what¬†Etsy is (actually in Norway, it is relatively unknown), welcome to the land of the living and take a look. Over a hundred thousand artists showcase their wares for the world to see, and everything you see there is either handmade or vintage. Etsy offers artists not only a fantastic opportunity to expand their market, but it is also a very special place to meet like minded people who appreciate and/or create handmade works. If you are an artist, do look into the community and forum pages, they are excellent resources, with information on marketing, photography and more. I have been featured on the front page of Etsy on a few occasions, it never ceases to make me feel proud when something I made with my own two hands is chosen for one of their coveted front page spots. etsy front page featuring my “linen pendant” etsy front page featuring my “bark ring” I have been fortunate enough to have been contacted …

the studio today – inside the kiln

Another ring in the works…¬† This is a photo of my next piece in the kiln. The ring is sitting on a bed of vermiculite and some fibre blanket for support. I make plugs out of investment (powder that is mixed with water and then set – here is the brand I use) in the correct size such that the ring will be a specific size once I am done. This one is made size 8 1/2 (American sizing – to convert click here) I own a Paragon Xpress E-14A it is such a fantastic piece of equipment. I did a ton of research before choosing my kiln and this one will allow me to move on in other forms and media including glass fusing/slumping, ceramics (I do silkscreening and have a serious set of custom dishware patterns in my head), enameling as well as lampwork beads (I chose the option of a beaddoor) because I know myself… It is just a matter of time! I am reasonably well versed in all of these techniques, …