Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Preparing More Earrings for the Order

I've been busy at my workbench making the third style of earrings for the on-line store order.
As with the two previous styles, I needed to be careful and consistent as I made each pair.
Even though I have a pretty good eye for creating balance, I needed to have a more reliable method for locating the center of an assortment of discs.
Discs were cut from 24 gauge brass.
In order to cut out a small, inner disc, I needed to determine the center of each disc.
I ended up cutting out a cardboard disc and located the center point at the intersection of two drawn diameters.
That intersection point was punched out allowing me to use a Sharpie to mark the center of each disc.
With the center located, I cut out the interior disc.
The discs were then annealed and sanded.
Connection holes were drilled and the discs were formed in my wooden dapping block.
Now my consistent (or fairly consistent) discs are ready to become earrings.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Preparing an Order

I was recently asked if I would want to be one of the featured artists  for an online store.
Well, that was an easy "Yes"!
In contrast to how I typically work, I would need to provide multiples of each featured piece of jewelry.
Many of the supplies on my workbench did not seem to be appropriate candidates for this new request.
My etched metals have too much variety in the texture.
Lots of the gemstones have too much variety in the color.
I ended up making 4 earring prototypes that could be recreated with minimal variation.
After presenting the 4 styles for review, 3 were selected, along with one of my necklace designs.
When I develop a new style of earrings, I always wear the prototype for a while to understand if I need to make any adjustment to the design.
My opinion is that earrings should look lovely without being heavy, noisy or too.....anything.
This is one of the pairs that I prepared.
I've been wearing them for around a week and they are my new favorite.
The design is simple and elegant, and I get complements each time I wear them.
A request was made that I add texture to the piece of brass.
No problem.
I knew that I couldn't trust my intuitive approach to be able to make multiple copies and was careful to measure and document each step.
The size of the brass tab, how long the wire is, where I bend the wire to make the connecting loop, which plier was's all noted in my book.
Ready for the sterling earwires and delivery this week.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Earrings Project

I'm working on a couple of projects that might lead to multiple orders of the same (or 'sameish') item.
It's not typical of me to repeat my pieces, but there is the possibility of a good business opportunity and I want to see how this plays out.
One style of earring started out with a piece of silver that had already been cut for discs.
I keep my silver in a special bag that only comes out for special projects.
Even though the price of silver has dropped from its recent high price of almost $43.00 per ounce in 2011, I still tend to be conservative in using my supply.
I wanted some surface texture,
so I used my trusty hardware store hammer and pounded away on some paving in front of my house.
After measuring and marking,
strips were cut, filed and sanded.
I knew I was going to do a simple earring design and wanted a slight curve to the strips.
I normally use my wooden dapping block for that kind of forming, but wanted a slightly less pronounced curve.
I wanted only a smidge less, but often that little smidge is what makes a big difference.
I use that base of my steel bracelet mandrel for broad curves, but I didn't want to form the strips on metal.
Metal on metal forming can sometimes flatten a textured surface....just a bit.
And again, that little bit can make a big difference. 
Searching around the house, I located a thrift store wooden bowl that held bits of whatnot in my studio.
I used one of my large daps and got the subtle curve that I was hoping for.
Green pearls wrapped with fine silver, balled wire dangle from the bottom.
Simple and elegant.