Being G. Moffat


Required Reading for Tool Junkies

Originally posted on metal+mettle:

1388 title photo copy

G. Moffat’s set square.

Is there anything more exciting that browsing through a tool catalogue? (Don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question) Of course, the printed ones are the best kind as you can write on them and put sticky notes on your favorite pages, but I love them all. To me, tool catalogues are fun because tools are synonymous with possibilities.

Many years ago, when I was still a jewellery student, I was given an old set square
by a friend. It had been passed on to him when he was apprenticed to a
shipwright, designing and building wooden boats. I’ve always treasured it as a
symbol of our friendship and appreciated its beauty and elegance.

1381 e preston and sons copy (1280x960)1384 G Moffat copy (1280x960)

Its patina and slightly worn edges betray a long working life. And it is intriguing; it has a trademark logo with the letters “E P”, and “E PRESTON & SONS    BIRMM

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Saw Pierced Tree

Saw Pierced Tree

To get more skillful at using the jeweler’s saw, I chose a random drawing from my sketchbook, traced over it with a graphite pencil, transferred this to a sheet of label stock and then attached this to a small piece of leftover copper. The real reason for doing this is to distract myself from the fact that A) there is a mouse running loose in my studio and B) the cat is trying to capture it.

When I locate the original doodle, I will post it here along with more photos of how the piece is progressing. I will not be posting results of the other scenario described above.

Sterling Metal Clay: PMC3 plus PMC Sterling


Celie Fago posted the results of her year of experiments with combining equal amounts of PMC3 and PMC Sterling clay. Celie’s blog explains this in more detail, but this combination of clays can be fired on an open shelf (no messy carbon!) at 1500 degrees F for 1 hour. This is the most exciting development in metal clays in a long time.

Often I wait for new trends to settle and let others experiment before I try new techniques or materials, but Celie was quite confident about the strength and ease of this combination. I immediately tried it and used the result to make the earrings above. The flower components are the new sterling combination, riveted to a backing of patinaed nickel silver sheet metal.


Experimental Photos of Bronze Earrings


Digital photography is definitely not my forte. Each day I learn a bit more about it so that I hate it less and less.

These earrings were both made using Metal Adventures BronzClay. I like BronzClay better than Fast Fire Bronze Clay. The BronzClay has a better working feel to it. The Fast Fire Bronze (or FFB) feels grainy, gritty  and crumbly and dries out quickly. I’ve had better sintering results with BronzClay, whereas FFB sometimes – seemingly for an unknown reason – fails to sinter completely.