Thursday, 12 February 2015

February 12

View to Make You Feel Warm!

Photo was taken from our spot on the 5th floor at the Kihei Surfside.  Sun had just come over Haleakala.

I am still missing that Maui warmth – sigh – but our unusually mild weather makes it easier to keep the shop warm, so bench work is possible. That's a good thing!

One Ring, Two Rings; Finger Ring, Earrings

I started work on a larger size of the hammered band a few days ago.

The first step is to cut a strip of sterling from 18 gauge sheet. Over the years, I have gotten better at sawing a straight line but I am far from perfect. Here, one edge of the strip is in my vise where I can use a file to true the edge. If you look very closely, you will see most of the edge is shiny from the file but a few wobbles are still rough from the saw blade. You file until the vanish. Patience!

To the right, the strip has now been cut, hammered and soldered but — obviously — needs to be rounded on a ring mandrel.

Below, the same ring after rounding and lots of polishing.

I plan to make several of these in different sizes. It is the kind of project you can work on while more complex items are pickling, cooling or drying.

It also provides lots of practice in sawing long, straight lines ;-)

And The Earrings

I bought a pair of very pretty square cut Swiss blue topazes several years ago for use in earrings but — somehow — I never got around to setting them.  They caught my eye the other day and I remembered a setting I made for some square peridots. It seemed likely to be a showcase for the Swiss blues.

What a Great Color!

These stones start as white topaz and are irradiated to produce that brilliant blue. Hey, the color is a bit like the sea at Kailua Gulch on Maui's north shore!

After I set them, I decided the stones would show their sparkle even better if I frosted the silver.

Below, my wonderful flex shaft holds a brass wire brush. If you dip the brush in liquid soap and use it gently on the surface of the silver, you get a softly frosted finish.

Now I have to wait for a nice bright day so I can take some photos for my etsy shop <>