Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rings Galore

This weekend was my Rings workshop. I went back to silver-smithing for a weekend. The workshop included two rings - one band ring and one ring with a stone in a bezel. I figured I will make the two rings for me and my future husband. :) But I ended up making four, figure that. :)  I made three band rings and one bezel stone ring.

Disclaimer : If you are my future husband reading this blog, sorry my dear, but all the rings are the size of my fingers. But to be fair, it's your mistake that you haven't met me yet. :)  Today, "Haven't met you yet" and "Put a ring on it" songs were on my mind.:). Guess what, I just thought, like Cinderella's story, maybe I will find my husband by the size of his finger that would fit one of these rings. :)

Long story short, it was because of human error. :) I was supposed to practice with copper and then make a silver band ring yesterday. But I made a full ring while practicing. The first one I made was below. I was trying to compress the edges and leave a bulge at the center to give it a curvy look. I pressed it too hard and one side was compressed and the other side did not want to. I tried to un-compress the metal, which obviously broke the ring and my teacher said, forget it as it is un-fixable.

I started working on my silver band as that was the one that had to be finished by yesterday's end of the class. This one, I tried the opposite which is a little flare at the edges and narrower in the middle. I used a round edged hammer and added some pattern to it with stamps. This looks much better in person than in the picture, because you can see a little bit of flare.

If you know me, you know that I am so determined at doing something if I set my mind to it. I started  with a second band ring with copper late in the evening but I was really fast this time, as I had the experience of making two rings already. I did not add the little shiny silver balls though.

That was it, I was so exhausted, and out of time that I had to call it a day.

Today's ring was more interesting. I picked a blue died agate stone for my ring and a scalloped bezel to for my ring. It followed similar principles as the bezel in the pendant I made last time. Still sawing was my most difficult task of the day but I guess I am getting better. I did manage to not break any saw blades this time around and I got it more precise too. :)  The challenge was the band attached to the ring than the bezel itself.

You might be wondering how the first ring is closed, when I left it open yesterday. I couldn't give up on that ring. I annealed it today and then uncompressed it again, soldered and then formed it into a band. Of course all these rings have a nice finish as I spent a huge amount of time, sanding them, buffing them, oxidizing them again and again till they got the finish I wanted. I didn't know why one would oxidize a silver ring until now. You can see the silver band I made yesterday and you can see why. It is to make the pattern be more obvious. Otherwise the stars would blend into the shine of the sliver. I was so excited, I wanted to keep on going but it had to come to an end. Hopefully I will do something more in the new year. :) Till then, have fun my friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Life as a silversmith for a weekend

I have been doing a lot of beading in the recent times and I had also setup jewelry stalls at multiple events during this month of October. I felt like I was doing the same thing as a routine and I wanted to step it up a bit. So I decided to try making something from scratch, which meant I had to learn sawing, filing, soldering etc. When I searched online, I found one place which was offering Introduction to sliversmithing workshop for this weekend. I signed up for it on Friday, it was so impromptu. 

They said, just come in and we will give you the materials. As promised they gave us a piece of Copper for the first day yesterday. The task for the day was to make a brooch out of copper. We cut out little shapes out of paper and stuck it to copper piece with rubber cement. I chose butterfly shape. I cut it out sawing all around and broke about 4 blades in the process. Seriously it's tough sawing these shapes. 

We then had to cut out inside shapes, for which, we had to first drill a hole and saw the remaining part. Then we did embossing using metal pattern stamps as they call it. Then lifted the center, the belly of butterfly a little bit again by different embossing technique (using wood at the back). The next step was to solder the pin at the back. Even that we made from scratch.Soldering was a huge process. You have to de-oxidize it first, called flushing, then you have to apply flux, called fluxing. Then you have to put solder (there are easy, medium, hard types, you have to know the right one to pick), then use the fire to solder it to the right temperature , otherwise the metal will anneal. It took a good 8 hours to finish this piece. Then we had to put it in a tumbler (rotating shaft with moving silver/steel pieces that add shine) over night to get the shine. My  least favorite part of the whole thing was sawing and the most favorite part is soldering.

Day 2 task was to make a pendant. I thought since we learnt so much yesterday, it will be relatively easier. We used fine silver and sterling silver today and a stone set in a bezel. 

We used a silver strip as a bezel for the stone, cut it to just fit the stone and then soldered it. Then took a fine silver wire and then made a circle out of it and then cut it and soldered it. The first was the outer circle and then the inner bezel. We then took a silver piece and our task was to solder these pieces to the silver piece. We had to then cut the piece just by the round shape. We added some pattern to the silver piece and then added some silver dots. This whole thing took another 8 hours. We had to flush, flux, file using filer and sand paper and solder so many times till it looked decent. Attaching the dots the pendant was using sweat soldering technique. There is a silver hook we added at the back that you cannot see, that too had a different soldering technique called right angle soldering.  

There are so many new terms that I learnt just this weekend.  I was joking with the teacher saying she should do a trivia at the end to check how many people remember any of these words. But I should say she was very patient and took the time to explain every little detail. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You cards for Asha Poker event

Asha, the non-profit I volunteer for, is hosting a Poker tournament tomorrow. So I was approached by one of the volunteer to make 10 Thank You cards. Of course I did not have anything ready to go. But since it's been ages, I got a chance to make cards at home, I readily said I will make them. I had no idea what I was going to make however. :)

I tried couple of ideas but not every day, you can get creative. Especially when you have had a long day and you got back home tired, there is no way you can think straight. So I resorted to an old friend to rescue - my Silhouette Cameo. I had not even unpacked this stuff out of the boxes after I moved apartments in August. So it was a challenge to get this all working. I set it up, and browsed through some designs in online Silhouette library and liked one Thank You card template. I never used these templates before, so you can imagine that also was an experience. I downloaded the template, un-grouped all the parts as I had to print each piece on a different pattern paper. Though it meant less work on my side, it took forever to cut all these shapes for 10 cards. So waiting for all these pieces to be cut patiently was a huge task.

After that was done, I quickly put them all together. On second thought I should have used brown for the white pieces I added, but I like how it came out. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Paper used: Recycled paper for the card, polka dot pattern paper from Michael's I believe, do not remember anymore:)
Everything else: Silhouette Cameo's magical powers :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Turquoise Jewelry

I made some more jewelry as I mentioned earlier, for the Give month coming up. The common theme turned out to be Turquoise. It was not planned though, but the Turquoise caught my eye this time around and I could not help but get some of those beads home. I debated for a while, should I really invest so much, as these ones were expensive. Actually all the beads I get are from a local bead store that ensures quality.  I try to pick different colors as I do like to have some variety but sometimes after I come home, I realize that some of the colors I picked are pretty close. :) It's funny how your mind thinks, isn't it?

One other thing I realized is that I do like vintage jewelry, like big earrings etc. You saw some in my earlier post and I have added few more to that list. Without much further ado, here is some of the jewelry. More jewelry is in the making but whichever is done, I took pictures to upload.

September Cards

Here are some cards I made this month. Some of the techniques used are dry embossing, embossing with embossing powder and emboss resist. The paper used is from Stamping Up and so are the stamps, as I made these cards at the card making meetup hosted by Stamping up demonstrator.

For embossing, used Versamark embossing ink and clear, white and black embossing powders. Besides that used Stampign Up embossing folders, framelits, ribbons, etc. Made a mix of Birthday cards, Thank You cards and a Halloween card too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Jewelry from the weekend

After a long break, last week I felt I need something positive in life. Something creative that reinforce some positive thoughts in me. So I took my stash and started making some jewelry. I also learnt to do pearl knotting and made couple of chains. Thought of sharing with you all.

Please leave me feedback to let me know how you guys like it. I am going to make some more this coming weekend. The goals is to make some jewelry for the upcoming Give campaign here. I plan to put all these up for sale and whatever money I get will be donated to Asha for Education, a non-profit organization that supports children's education and women's empowerment projects in India. I have been volunteering  for this organization for the last  3 years and I do not know how much change I am bringing to people's lives but it has definitely brought changes in my life and my thinking.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crafting after a long break

After a long time, this is my attempt to get back to crafting. The only way to do it was in a group setting. So I decided to go to one of the local meetups again. We made three cards and a box to keep these cards. Though I hope to get back to crafting regularly from now onwards, it might not happen for the next few weeks at least because of my move. Hope to get back to it soon. In the meanwhile, here are the cards we made.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Different Points of View

Another weekend, that I could not go biking. So what do I do? I got the crafting therapy I needed, from the local Impress Store. They had a class called "Different Point of View" - Using 1 stamp 10 ways. So the stamp we used is the one below shown in the first image. I thought I will go in the order of complexity and list them out here. 

The first one was a simple black and white combination card with just the stamp on the card front.

Second one: Simple Thank You card. Just stamped the card on a scrap paper and cut out the flower to use it on this card.

Third one: Stamped the image on pattern paper and cut it out.

Fourth one: Used the image as the background. Used Versamark embossing ink for this but did not emboss.

Fifth one: Stamped the image on a scrap paper and used a flower punch to cut out the shapes and colored them with orange and red Memento markers.

Sixth one: Uses a kissing technique. Inked the stamp in brown, inked tag stamp in basil color and pressed the tag stamp on top of the original stamp and then stamped it on paper here. Also used checks background.

Seventh one: This did not come out as good. But we used Stazon Ink on laminated sheet (transparency) with sticky back. After we stamped, we removed the adhesive backing and added glitter to it leaving out the edges and then stuck it to white background. I think the Stazon ink pad had too much ink and hence the smudging and maybe this stamp was not ideal for the transparency. But you get the idea.

Eighth one: We used Inchi squares here to stamp the image and used copics to color them.Then we used Mango ink for the yellow background on inchies

Ninth one: Scrunched a white sheet of paper, applied orange, blue, green inks directly from ink pad randomly leaving some white spaces. Then stamped the image using Black ink for the background. Also stamped the image on another scrap paper using versamark black ink and embossed it. Then colored it using copics, cut out the shapes and used dimensionals to lift'em up.

Tenth: Kept the best one to the last. :) Used a resist technique here. First stamped the image  with versamark ink and embossed using clear embossing powder. Stamped the butterfly on a separate paper and cut out the wings and colored it yellow and green. Then stamped the same image for the center. Also stamped with the diamonds background stamp on the right top corner and the side border. Then used lavendar, mango, basil inks to sponge the background. Then added the butterfly at the last using dimensionals.