Subscribe in a reader

Tell me when this blog is updated! Email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner



Older Posts
·· Prehnite and peridot earrings on Argentium sterlin...
·· Rambles...
·· Hammered Argentium sterling "links" earrings
·· Hammered Argentium sterling earrings
·· Various earrings
·· Various pendants
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...
·· Rambles...

Archives
The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog September 2005
The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008


Fair Trade Federation
The Fairtrade Foundation, London, UK

Links:
· Dylan Blue featuring Saura Designs
· True Colours
· Amy Lilley Designs
· Jewelry Making - About.com
· Jewelry Making Forum - About.com
· Ganoksin - Jewelry Making
· WigJig Free Jewelry Making Designs
· Beading How-To's - Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
· Shiana
· Rishashay
· Bali Beads Wholesale - Handmade Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver Beads, Findings and Vermeil Beads direct from Bali. Wholesale beads prices for everyone!


Blog Flux Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites
Eponym Blog Directory.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Resources Blogs - Blog Top Sites

Craft Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory
Find Blogs in the Blog Directory



More blogs on this site:





Powered by Blogger
 

Beading Blog - thebroadroom.net: Rambles...




Google Custom Search
One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
Current blog
Profile
Playlist

I also blog here


Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, September 21, 2007 at 7:55 PM (Pacific)

I realize I haven't been posting as much as before.

I haven't lost my interest in making jewelry, that's for sure. I suppose I've had to accept that for me, it has to be done in phases. I can afford to spend some on tools, but I can't afford to get all the tools I want at once.

For example, I haven't gotten into soldering. It's pretty basic, but it also represents a whole new cost in terms of equipment and materials. So I've had to put it aside and work around it...when possible.

My most recent project was what I call an "engineer's pearl pendant." :D This uses a very large, very nice freshwater pearl in a slight teardrop shape. Now if these pearls were perfect, they would cost a bum; they're not. They all have a distinct "bad side" where the nacre is slightly less than shiny, or else...what's the word for it? A little circle shape is pressed into it. The other side is entirely perfect.

Here's the engineer part:

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"

The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The greenskeeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"


Okay...why can't these guys play at night? Why not engineer the design of the pendant so the bad side never shows?

I took some silver wire and made a regular wrapped loop on top of the pearl as you would expect...but brought the wire down some to make a tiny "bead cap" on top of the pearl. The bead cap shape didn't have to be "machine perfect," just nice-looking. The idea was to use just enough silver, and wrap it just firmly enough, so the pearl wouldn't turn easily (it didn't have to be ultra-tight, which might damage the pearl). As long as it didn't turn unless you grabbed it and turned it...that's the idea.

That wasn't the problem...the problem was the bail.

I didn't want to buy a bail...I mean there has to be a way of making your own wire bail. Right? I have seen some rather elaborate wire wrapped bails on the Net, but what I wanted here was something exceedingly simple, like those rabbit ear bails.

I tried a bunch of designs in wire...I have made bails before, in a design that looks like a small tube fashioned out of wire. (Now that I'm thinking about it, couldn't you make your own tube bail that way? Like a little coil of wire, with a coil in the middle sort of pulled down, or stretched out enough for you to attach something to it?) That works well for casual pendants, but didn't work for the pearl.

Finally I got sick of the whole works, grabbed some soldered silver jump rings I had sitting around, and started hammering them. I hammered three of them flat and then squeezed them into oval shapes with pliers, hammered some more, basically came up with three long narrow hammered oval links. And that became the bail.

(Observant folks will have observed I now needed to redo the wrapped loop on the pearl, since I was using closed jump rings for the bail...oh well.)

So that's been the kind of thing I've been doing. I haven't been buying much in the way of new materials. I've been slowly, slowly, producing better pieces. Did I mention I've been doing it slowly? It took me two or three days to come up with the three-smashed-jump-rings-bail, engineered-top pearl, yet it looks perfect.

Along with this I had some old sterling bulk chain...very fine links. Did the Camali Design trick of finishing the chain using wrapped links...it's really a stroke of genius, it works with any chain you can pass a piece of wire through. You can even make the "loop" part of the wrapped loop longer and narrower, if you wanted to be able to pass smaller bails over it. Here I didn't need to, just made a small loop and hammered it out.

Labels: ,

Handmade Jewelry photo gallery . NO SPAM 0 Comment(s) NO SPAM