For a Luddite, I’ve been doing an awful lot of computerized messing around: editing photos on this blog, linking blog posts to my Off The Grid Designs Facebook Page, re-reading books on blogs, blogging, creating crazy graphs on Excel about how we artists *really* spend our days… I should be making stuff. Instead, I’m probably annoying everyone. But that madness will stop very soon. For now, I beg you, just go along with all my experiments.
What metalsmith can’t use a new few tools? These might be my most frequently used tools – grungy, beat up hammers from estate sales, basements and alleys/dumpsters around Denver. My absolute favorite has got to be the one that was originally offered at the exorbitant price of $3 and then marked down to a more reasonable $2.00.
Patty made this when she visited us in January. The beetle design was carved from a block of soft carving material, similar to an eraser. CopprClay (by Metal Adventures) was rolled out onto the design, then dried, refined, fired and riveted to hand-dyed veg-tanned cowhide.
Jewelry designs mostly start in my journal or sketchbook. Lately I always carry both. The journal is filled with random rants, telephone numbers, grocery lists and Personal Stuff That Would Bore Anyone To Death. I tried to keep everything in one book, but I always felt guilty about scribbling names, book titles or other minutiae in the sketchbook with its *good* paper, and didn’t want to waste plain paper with serious sketching. I still have not solved this dilemma.
This sketch of mountains, hills, trees, rivers and grasses became a small design which I carved out of eraser material using linoleum carving blades. BronzClay (by Metal Adventures) was rolled out in a thin layer. The design was trimmed, dried, refined (sanded) and then fired at high temperatures in a specially designed kiln.
The oval medallion was riveted to a leather bracelet. I used teeny-tiny brass rivets that you might find in your local model railroading shop.
Not a day goes by that I don’t discover some gem of wisdom in the daily string of Facebook posts. This quote was definitely worthy of wearing on one’s wrist, so I immediately made it into a leather cuff bracelet.
Yes, the price of silver is down a bit, but sometimes another material is called for. I ordered several pieces of aluminum sheet and large gauge wire. This is an experimental test barrette. I have several cloud designs that I’ve been wearing and testing until I find a new hair stylist! This barrette really should have been sawn out of a thicker metal, but I still think it’s fun and someone will enjoy it. In a future (soon!) post, I will post more details about its construction.
Post a comment on this blog and I will private message the winner. After I get at least 100 comments I will use a random number generator to determine the winner. The barrette will be shipped to you anywhere in the USA or Canada. I will even email you the tracking information for it. Any customs/taxes/duties will be your responsibility, but everything else is free!
If you feel like it, you can like my etsy shop or facebook page, or follow this blog or my twitter feed. But you don’t have to do any of these things — only post a comment on this blog! Helpful comments are welcome, but if you post an unhelpful comment you will still be eligible to win the prize: This is a judgment free blog zone.