Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Silver jewellery class week 3

Week 3 was a bit more interesting. First Ian went through all the tools we might need, most of it, I had already used, but there were a few I hadn't seen, he also explained uses for some that I hadn't realised you could do.
He then showed us how to make wire narrower and into square wire , triangular and basically any shape you wanted. Copper wire was annealed, to make it soft, then it was pulled through shaped plates. It was time consuming, as it had to go through several times and had to be filed each time to make the forward end, small enough to go through a smaller hole. I did think it would be more efficient to buy square or half circle wire etc, but I suppose its good to know how to do it, and until I start making jewellery a lot I wont know if I need to use this technique or not.

He also showed us how to twist wire together and to twist a single piece for a nice square patterned effect.
Then he showed us how to make very neat squares from bending wire. I have bent wire before but just bending it with pliers gives you a rounded inside edge. To get over this then you cut into the wire to leave a gap for the wire to fold into. You have to be quite brave as you could easily cut right through the wire, you would also need to solder the corners for strength at the end, as it leave them quite weak. The picture is of my practice , not measured just done by eye. I was quite please and can definitely see the difference it made to the neatness of the corners. I added a jump ring that I also made.

Even though we have thought for the last 2 weeks we would start to make our rings then the last part of the session was starting to prepare for making them. I was going to do the swan ring on my previous page, but decided with a little bit of encouragement to do this ring, it will be in silver and copper and with be raised up on the top in an unusual manner, I am quite excited about starting it now.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be able to show you its progress.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mc Millan Coffeee morning

Last Friday a Colleague at work was holding a coffee morning in aid of McMillan cancer support. As she doesn't work on a Friday and we all do, we couldn't take part, so we decide to do a large cake bake and sell the cakes at work to help her raise as large amount of money as possible

I wish I had taken photos of all the cakes that the 3 off us made, but forgot to take my camera in. There was Carrot cake, Lime and Ginger, Rocky road, Flapjacks, Banana cake and my Fairy cakes.
I made chocolate and plain cakes then decorated them with butter icing, melted chocolate, chocolate stars and flowers
They were all very yummy and we made a total of just under £65. My colleague raised £50 in her coffee morning so in total McMillan will get £115.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Silver jewellery course week 2

I was a bit disappointed this week, we were told to bring in a ring design and we would start making a silver ring. Not a chance! only 3 of us had designs and Ian our tutor spent most of the night talking to other people about what they might like to do.

We did cut a disk out and then made them into domes using a mould and punches, the frustrating thing is we only had 4 benches and piercing saws, so I had to wait 20 minutes to cut the disk out, that is a lot of waiting in only a 2 hour session. He briefly spoke about, how I might make my ring, he also melted a bit of silver wire to show us how it made a ball.

I decided on one of the swan designs, so while he was with other people I decided to have a go at cutting out the swan shape in copper to see what happen. I am quite pleased with the result and hopefully next week I can start making something and perhaps start working with actual Silver.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ring design

For my next jewellery class I need to design a ring to make in silver. I have decided I am rubbish at it. It doesn't really help that I have no idea after one lesson what I can actually make and what skills I will need for it, so I am trying to second guess what I may be capable off.
Having no limits at all is harder than if I had to stick within certain guide lines.
When I paint and I am not sure of colours or have no references I limit my pale
tte or I have a tendency to go all over the place with it. I have always found it easier to design jewellery based on what materials I have not to just design something and then figure out how to make it. I know this is a contradiction as I only have one material - silver, but I don't yet know my limits.
These are some of my sketches so far I am sure there will be load more by Monday, now all I have to do is decide which ones to take with me......
What would your favourite be?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Silver jewellery making course week 1

I have been excited for weeks about my jewellery making course and last night I finally got to go on it.

I loved every minute. There were 13 of us and most people were there just to learn a new and interesting skill. Me and another lady already made jewellery so did have some knowledge. Although most people hadn't had any done anything like it before, they did know roughly what they were letting themselves in for but one lady just kept saying " Oh I never expected to be doing this", she obviously was shocked to have use tools and a heat source, she seemed very nice, but I think she thought it was going to be a beading course.

Anyway, my tutor is a guy called Ian. He seemed quite nervous, and I wasn't really sure if he had taught before as he seemed a bit disorganised but he was obviously very knowledgable and also very keen, so I think we will keep him...

Our project for the night was to make a ring out of copper. We had to work out ring size, make a guide wire and then cut the copper out to size using a saw. We learned to make adjustments for size to allow for the width of the metal, how to mark the metal and how to make it easy to saw or 'pierce' it by using a gental but long action. As the metal had then become 'work hardened' we then had to anneal it, to make it pliable again. We then re-pierced the joint, cleaned it, shaped it, fluxed it, and soldered it. We learned about different types of solder, and how to heat metal to allow certain areas to relax and so the joint moves together rather than apart. We didn't pickle the ring but just had time to hammer it to harden the metal and shape it for a final look.

Of course these were not fantastic rings we made, much to some peoples disapointment but I feel for a first 2 hour session we learnt a lot. There was a lot of info about tools and techniques which was brilliant.

Next week I get to make a ring from my own design in Silver so I am off now to have fun in designing for next week.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm going back to school

...well not exactly but I am quite excited as I have signed up for a silver jewellery making course. Its a beginners course that I have wanted to do for a while but not been able to fit it in with my work commitments, but its once a week at my local college after work , so ideal.
I have been making and designing jewellery for as long as I can remember, I made tiaras and have taught myself beading and wire work and moved fairly recently into Precious Metal Clay. I love to make a wide range of lovelies and have done quite well across fairs, at work and now am delving into the strange and complicated world of the Internet, with my Folksy shop.
I have become rather frustrated that I can't do some of the things I want to do and so I decided what I really lacked was some of the basics that I missed out on by teaching myself and being quite specific in what I wanted to learn.

So back to school I go. Hopefully I will be able to realise some of those designs I have worked on but can't quite bring to
fruition because of lack of skills.
I have always believed it is never to late to learn and had the best time, when I did my Art degree which I achieved in my 40th year and then my Post Grad in teaching the following
year. But I have become lazy and I miss learning new skills and developing my creativity, so I am really looking forward to my new challenge.

Watch this space and I will let you know how it goes....wish me luck

Friday, September 3, 2010

Welsh Folksy Friday

I have a sense of pride in the fact that I had a Welsh mother. She died when I was quite young so I don't unfortunately have the sense of belonging or a true claim to being Welsh, but I have a few small memories of some welsh traditions, one of which was the beautiful welsh love spoons I remember seeing in relatives house. So I decided to make my own little love spoon this week ....
So For my Folksy Friday this week I thought I would go with a Welsh theme, these are just a few of the wonderful items that have a Welsh connection, It is worth clicking on the links below each one, to check them out as they are truly wonderful items