Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silver Threads & Gold

Yes, it's time to get back to a little metalsmithing! It's drizzly outside and I'm happy to be warm and dry inside my studio, experimenting with some new ideas. I'm taking two classes this quarter with two different teachers, so am learning so many new things. For example, did you know that when the stick you use to pick-solder gets all icky and gooey, you just put the torch to it and then quench it in water a couple of times? Cleans it almost back to new. I used to think I had to replace them when they got bad. 

A couple of weeks ago, we had a great demo on how to attach a domed, circular bottom to a domed top piece with silver, balled wire (instead of soldering). The item we chose to put in the middle was completely up to us, and half the fun. I searched my stash and found this three-piece domed, gold and silver bi-metal creation I had made recently, but hadn't yet figured out what to use it for. The middle of this new pendant seemed the perfect fit. This was seriously fun to make and I'm already thinking about doing another one, domed on each side, but both with an opening, and hanging a pearl or some other pretty bead in the middle.

It's such a pleasure being back in Julia's class again with all my jewelry-making friends. Julia got me started working on these two sterling silver forged bracelets. They began as 6 gauge square wire (6.25" long), then were formed into a circle, soldered, and forged into these shapes. I'm going to make one more because I think they look good as a set of three. The reticulated bracelet that was mentioned previously is still unfinished - just giving myself a little break with that one. (I WILL finish it, I WILL...)

What is this mess of metal, you ask?

A design challenge (per Kristin's instructions)...and a perfect way to get your creative juices flowing. What we have here is one basic shape and three different textures in metal. We cut out about 15 to 20 different size pieces in sterling silver (you could use copper, as well). The challenge is to make something out of it the pieces. Here's one of my ideas in progress, but I'll show you what actually materializes when I figure it out myself. (These pieces are just laying on top of each other -- nothing here is soldered down yet.)

More to come...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog

Howl-O-Weenie Fest 2009

Another great day at the 2009 Howl-O-Weenie Festival, the yearly event put on by Dream Dachshund Rescue of Atlanta. Think you might want to adopt a Doxie? Look here:

Our little wee ones actually made it into the finals for best costume this year! : ) They were Geisha girls. Here's Marci and David (with Hannah & Bella) in the final "line-up":

The "Doggie Lama" was the clear winner! : )

This little pup was the airplane on the Hudson. Sooooo cute


Scary Pirates...

Our wee ones, sitting patiently to hear the contest results...

Dachsunds up for adoption:

This is always a fun day for us and the pups. The Dream Dachshund Rescue organization puts on a great event - lots of contests, raffles, music and silly dog stuff. And the craziest thing of all is how much Hannah and Bella enjoy coming to the Howl-O-Weenie every year. Their tails are wagging the whole time we're there. I guess they enjoy being with their tribe. : )