Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blues, Greens and In Betweens

After receiving about a quart of Liver of Sulphur from Rio Grande, I've gone a little crazy with it. I'm throwing pieces of jewelry into the pot that I had never considered putting a patina on. It's always a surprise to see the results after a dip or two in the heated Liver of Sulphur, followed by a little steel wool scrub. This new pendant was made from one of the Australian Opals I bought in class a couple of weeks ago. The slightly antique look of the silver really brings out the blue of the stone, another unexpected effect.

Below is an example of my attempt to use some of those new skills I learned in the gemstone-setting workshop that took place a few months ago. : ) Practice, practice, practice.

This is Rebecca, the senior student I've been "mentoring" and teaching metalsmithing skills to. She made a lovely Egyptian spiral bracelet and just finished the pendant hanging from her neck. The picture is wacky because the camera was accidentally set on "Manual" by mistake. Whoops!

Here we have a couple photos from our trip to the Georgia Aquarium last week. Ken and Sharon, friends from Michigan, were in town and we acted like tourists with them for a couple of days.

The beginnings of my next project...such pretty stones...what shall I do with them?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Red, brown, dappled, gray, big, small and in-between dachshunds everywhere you looked! Yes, it was time for the yearly Howl-O-Weenie Festival put on by Dream Dachshund Rescue in Atlanta. David and his friends, Matt & Jacqueline, joined us in the park for a morning of dachshund mania.

This little "Princess" was quite the eye-catcher! She had her own well-decorated pink float to ride on in the costume contest.
This was one of the funniest! You can't see the Obama dog next to this pup, but that dog had a Biden doll sitting on it's back.
How cute is this?
The scary spider dogs!
This little pup is named Daisy.
Oh, let's not forget our own little ones. Yes, I'm aware they look rather disheveled and tousled here. Poor little Bella - the excitement of driving into the city was too much for her and she had a "foam at the mouth" seizure when we arrived. Luckily, I had brought some valium (doctor prescribed for just these types of moments) and we got a half of one in her mouth. So if she looks a little out-of-it, she is! Plus, the hippie costume thing just didn't work. Their skirts kept falling off. I must plan better next time.

Ahhhh....home at last. Sure was a fun outing hanging out with all those dachshunds, though.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ball of Confusion

This past weekend I took a class on Granulation. Getting those tiny, little spheres to fuse to the silver without melting is not an easy task. There's no random torching here! What you see below is an experiment. The spheres did adhere, but I somehow over-cooked the silver so it now has a mottled appearance. I need to find out what I'm doing wrong here because it happened on both pieces. In November I'll be taking another workshop with the lovely Jean Stark, and will have to be proficient at this by then because I'll be using gold ($835 an ounce today). Overheating will not be an option. But I've been told that if you can fuse silver, gold will be easy. I'm counting on this to be true. :)