Thursday, February 21, 2013

New rings

I'm pretty smitten with this new ring style. I was skeptical going into it, I wondered how comfortable they'd be to wear and I have to say they are very comfortable! I have a hard time wearing rings of substance they often cause my fingers to swell and are uncomfortable. This style going underneath two fingers leaves lots of room for movement and makes a big statement ring really easy to wear.

I've got some ideas kicking around in my head for one with some etched brass in a pattern I've been hoarding for months now, it's got a lovely swooping pattern to it that would stretch across the second finger and possibly show off a couple small stones. It would be more than double the size of these though so I need to make sure that it will be wearable before tackling it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tin Types

I had the pleasure of watching the tin type photo process done. Ken Miner of Zulu Dog K9 Services did a photo shoot with one of our trucks. The process is lengthy and complicated (at least it seemed complicated to me!) but the end result is so worth it. I really like the feeling the tiny type photos have, almost like they have a life of their own.

Here's one of the finished photos on the drying rack!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day sale

Happy Valentine"s Day! Since this IS MY special day I'm offering 25% off in my etsy shop use coupon code VAL2013 at checkout to get 25% off.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Be positive

Stamp Textured Ring

Start with a plain ring stock cut to length.

Using a stamp texture the stock leaving the last 3-5 mm on each end UN textured.

Using pliers roughly round and solder seam. With files and/or sand paper clean up solder seam.

Slide ring onto ring mandrel. Note I do not hold the ring mandrel while I am hammering on it. My ring mandrel is clamped into a steel block clamped to my anvil.

You can also use this method, I used it for years before having the steel block on my anvil. Bore out a hole in a sturdy bench leg that your ring mandrel fits snuggly in.

Not the block added underneath the hole to add bracing to the ring mandrel when you hammer on it.

Again, place your ring stock onto your ring mandrel with your solder seam up. I place my stamp onto the solder seam that we left un textured when we initially textured your ring stock. Strike stamp with your brass striking hammer while holding it steady. Move ring stock and/or stamp a few times to achieve your desired texture. I prefer to do this as opposed to texturing the entire ring stock and soldering it. I find the texture doesn't match up nicely where the solder seam is when you texture the entire piece before soldering. It's not a look I like, so this is how I do it!

Buff, patina and finish ring!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm celebrating

I'm celebrating! Yesterday I had an appointment with a hand specialist and he told me I'll be having no hand surgery! I've been waiting a long time to get in to see him and the wait was worth it. He's a no sugar coating it kind of doctor (which I appreciate) and talked about the pro's and con's of surgery. Interestingly enough he was pretty much the same as the info I got from the sports med doctor I'd talked to. They both talked about how surgery can fix the problem at the time but often leads to problems later and a shortening of the lifespan of the body part in question. I knew this was a major issue in the sports world, surgery often allows the athlete's to keep competing but often results in a shorter life span of the athlete's career. 

I have degenerative damage, part from riding (my ring finger has issues from that being my rein finger for many many years) and part from the repetitive work of bead making. Some is probably from using my hands as tools too much.

The gist of it is I need to change my way of working. No bead making for days on end, I need to change things up often to try and break up the repetitive pattern. What was interesting is he asked if there was "a lathe type tool" I could use or have fashioned to stop myself for having to turn mandrels over and over. I guess this means I need to take time to learn how to use my Bearfoot Art mandrel spinner, I've had it for two years now and used it minimally. I'll be spending time learning it now! 

I've also got to change a few things in my studio set up and use tools not my hands and while this will be a lot of changes I'm really happy surgery is not happening!