Same ol’ same ol’ really.
I haven’t used the old JoolTool for a while now. Not since I learned how to fix the thing. So I thought it was time to get the old girl out and give her a whirl.
So I threw her a little turquoise.
She worked like a dream.
No showing off and throwing her attachments across the room.
I didn’t have to swear at her once.
So encouraged I got out some old sketches.
And picked one.
(That one on the left looks a bit creepy. Must have been my gothic insect period.)
And here’s the sketch posing with its forever friend.
Then I thought I’d try my luck with another piece, but although I liked it in the sketch it didn’t look as good when I started fiddling around with it.
I tried drawing it another sketch, but didn’t really like that either.
So it’s back to the drawing board with this one.
First up I cut out all of the leaves for the new design and soldered them onto a piece of silver sheet.
After my nice chat with the old man at the craft show I’ve started coating all of the silver with flux instead of just the parts that I’m going to solder and it does seem to prevent the fire scale.
It’s cleaned up here, but the back plate was pretty much how you see it now immediately after soldering.
Next time I am going to cover the leaves also and see what happens with them. Perhaps I can eliminate all that lovely gunk in the center.
It will be a shame to see it go as we’ve become such good friends, but…
I have already cut away the inside of the bezel here and the turquoise slips nicely through the bottom.
I like doing this as it seems to give the piece more depth.
Next up I play around with it and gather all the components that I think will work.
After I’ve worked out where the pieces are all going I draw an outline that will support everything visually.
I do this before I take all of the little pieces off, but forgot to take a photo with them all on there.
You’ll just have to be surprised all at the end.
Now I saw the piece out.
And file it until it’s as good as I can get it.
Next I get another sheet of silver (I’ve used 22 gauge for both pieces here) and trace around the top piece and inside the bezel area with a Sharpie.
As you can see from the photograph below, I then draw a precise grid on the silver with pencil.
And decide on a pattern for the back.
At this point it’s extremely important to be precise.
Make sure your grid marks line up as perfectly as mine below.
Now I make a hole in each area I’m going to cut out, except for the center, and saw away.
And then I file the cut out areas until I like what I see.
Next I freshen up the outline.
This helps to place the two pieces together in the exact position for soldering so that the back pattern is centered.
I know I was joking about the grids above, but this part is actually important, otherwise the back will look awful.
Been there. Done that.
Now I solder the two layers together using the special broken pick technique and at the same time I solder all the little components on.
A bit tricky, but doable…
Here’s the back.
I forgot to mention that I stamped the back before I soldered it onto the front.
You can stamp it afterward if you forget by supporting the silver on something solid that will fit into the bezel space.
I typically use one of my disk cutting punches to do this because there are enough sizes to fit into a variety of tight areas.
It can be a bit awkward balancing the piece this way but serves me right for forgetting.
Sometimes I forget to do it on purpose because I don’t know exactly where I want the stamp mark to go. Then I congratulate myself on my tricky balancing trick stamping technique.
It’s all in the perspective.
The cutting out of the final shape.
I had to take a break here, because when I drew the final shape around the top layer I didn’t like it.
So much for planing ahead.
So I decided that perhaps I would put some more ‘stuff’ on it, but that I needed to sleep on it.
O.K. so I didn’t need to sleep on it at all, but I had to go inside to make dinner.
Hate it when that happens!
Anyone would think that P was out working all day just so I could sit in my studio and play.
The guy wants dinner as well!
Actually it was a good move because as soon as I opened the fridge I realized I was starving.
We had chili so’s you know.
And it was yum.
Now it’s the morrow and I decided I needed brain food to start my day. So I made myself my all time favourite breakfast sandwich which I reserve for important thinking days.
The toasted Philadelphia cream cheese and banana sandwich.
(It’s almost too good to share with you.)
After which I was ready to face the studio with brilliant ideas.
Or so I thought.
It started out O.K.
I added some more doohickeys.
I cut out the little drop holder area which looks uncannily like an old mans mouth with a drunken nose.
You can’t un-see that now can you
And then I added the bale.
The next step was to blacken it.
And polish it.
And therein lies the problem.
Look at it.
This smacks of my pottery making dilemma.
I can make the darn pots, but I’m always disappointed with the glazing.
If I ever go take a jewelry class it will be on polishing.
I swear, if I could make the piece and someone else polish it I would give them my first-born child.
Although that might be a bit hard as she’s 26 now and doesn’t live here anymore.
But I will track her down if it means my pieces could buff up the way I want them to.
tomorrow I have decided to give it a rest and clean the house instead of going into the studio.
I know. Desperate times.
I’ve decided to give the piece a little time to knock itself out and enjoy the joke, then I’ll be back out there working on it until I either figure it out, or chuck it in the scrap box.
It’s up to you new jewelry piece.
It’s up to you…
I leave you with poor Spud.
She could care less about the drama going on in the studio.
Bless her cotton socks.
Got to lub her