Monday, December 31, 2012

Copper Ring Love

Check out what I did with some of
the copper parts I whacked out with my new
Swanstrom Disc Cutter. 

Okay. Okay. I know you've probably
seen similar designs before. 
Never-the-less.....I love it!  :)

The steps involved:

1.   Cut a disc. Sand edges smooth.
2.   Cut a washer. Sand edges smooth.
3.   Follow directions on RioGrande web site to make ring from washer.
4.   Clean disc with Comet. Solder silver casting grain of various sizes into center of disc.
4.5 Toss into pickle pot to clean firescale.
5.   Flatten silver casting grain with planshing hammer.
6.   Dome disk with casting grain in cheap wooden dapping block.
7.   Sand & file a flat place on the ring.
8.   Sand and file a spot on the back of the dome.
9.   Clean ring and disk with Comet. Solder domed top to ring.
9.5 Toss into pickle pot to clean firescale.
10. Clean and sand yet again.
11. Clean with toothbrush and soap to remove loose particles.
12. Dunk ring into Liver of Sulfur until black - stop LOS bath with Baking Soda Water.
13. Clean and sand...especially around the edge of the top piece (to reveal a copper glowing edge.)
14. Toss into tumbler (1-2 hrs.) with stainless steel shot to strengthen the copper.
15.  Enjoy! :)

It's not listed yet. 
Listed now.
It's a size 6.75 (approximately.)
I think it worked really well to leave it mostly black and
just highlight those warm, copper edges. 

And if I haven't mentioned it lately, I need to remind you about this site
See the filters on some of those photos? Okay, now that I looked again, all of them
may have a filter. is so easy and best of all, it's FREE.
You don't even have to register. Seriously, go try it. 
I'm hooked.

And again I say: Happy New Year!

And Carpe Diem!

ps: If I haven't told you already, I highly suggest a vinegar/salt solution for your pickle pot.
Completely non-toxic....and works GREAT. I just heat plain white vinegar in a big glass measuring pitcher in the micro. Keep adding salt (stirring) until the mixture won't take any more salt.
Put it in the pickle pot. Trust me on this one. That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seamless Rings

I figured I better post today so I wouldn't
completely miss posting in December.
How did that happen, you say?
Well, I'll tell you.
I blame Etsy.



Well, Etsy *and* the holidays.
Thanksgiving and Christmas
Cooking and Cleaning
All that good stuff.
I love it.

It's great finally having an Etsy shop open, but I do
find that I'm a little too obsessed with checking on it.
I didn't want that to happen. I have sold a few things,
which pleases me to no end. But I don't want to be
obsessed with the selling. I'd much rather be obsessed with
the making. And Santa brought me some new toys so
I'm really anxious to put them to good use.

Swanstrom Round Disc Cutter Set
 I've been wanting a disc cutter and have read lots of reviews....
and seriously, how can you go wrong when this thing has
five stars on Rio Grande from 37 reviewers.
It's amazing!

Santa even sprung for the Center-Positioning Die Set

Seriously. Who thought of this?! Well, I know who did...I think I read about her
the  other day, but it's seriously amazing. Someone on a jewelry blog said she
couldn't imagine what you'd want a 1/8" hole for...but I sure can.
Look at those little gems! If I had a better dapping set, I could really turn those into
bead caps. My little set will just barely dome them. 

Yes! You can turn the washers into seamless rings. How cool is that?!?  

I'm blown away by this. And here's a great 
video on Rio to show how it's done.
I can't wait to try it with silver!

Blogger is acting so weird tonight.

Maybe I'll look back over the last year
of blogging for the next post. 
I sort of know how the year has gone, jewelry wise,
but it's always good to take inventory.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

And Carpe Diem! :)



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bangles & Earrings & Rings & Bangles, Uhhuh

AMPHITRITE was the goddess queen of the sea.
 I'm pretty happy with how these earrings played out.
Sea Glass, Fine Silver Disks, Black River Stones, Handmade Ear wires

Heavy, hammered, textured copper bangles.
I recommend the making of bangles as a way to relieve frustration.
Oh, and be sure to wear ear plugs when you're hammering away. Yup.

And hey! Guess what?! I'm in a treasury. 
Ok, I know you're probably in hundreds of them, but I was
pretty excited to make an appearance in one.
See my river stone necklace in the top row. :)

I'm in a treasury!
It's called "walking in the cave."
Thank you, Ieva Birgele! :)

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. It's my
very favorite holiday. We were so lucky to have lots of family
join us for the day. 
And I was lucky that some of them agreed to help
smash pennies that will be used in jewelry! :)

Thank you, my people! :)
Carpe Diem!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Soft Opening: WoodridgePlace on Etsy

The Shop Is Open

That's right.


I've been on round two of jewelry creation for over a year
now and I've built a bit of an inventory.
At least enough inventory for me to take the time
to set up an Etsy Shop.

I've named the shop Woodridge Place.
So I've also re-named this blog Woodridge Place.
Yes, I know.
Ah well.
 I can't believe how much time and effort it takes to 
photograph, describe and post items on Etsy.
I've been at it for days.

Then, there's the Profile and the Welcome and the Shop Policies 
and and and.....

In the end, I finally just said - ENOUGH.
I'll go ahead and open and deal with it
little by little.

If you have any advice for me, PLEASE do share it.
I'm new to this Etsy business but it looks like
it could work quite well.

Eventually I think I'd like to add
a couple of other shops.
Woodridge Place Vintage
(Because I'm vintage & have lots of junk good collectible stuff to offer.)

Woodridge Place Photography
(Because I'm a photographer & have been for years and years.)

Possibly: Woodridge Place Jewelry Components(?) 
Or should those just be in with the jewelry? We'll see.

In the mean time, here's what I'm working on when I have time.

I bought some really, really heavy copper wire a couple months ago
at an Ace Hardware. I think it's 8 gauge. It is HEAVY.
I bought it with the intent to make bangles.

This stuff is HEAVY!

After cutting into sections, my intent was to braze it into circles.
 It was not to be. I ended up having to use my dandy new
huge torch and solder the pieces together.

But even after soldering, I had to wait on an order for a round mandrel. I only had an oval one.
The first mandrel was full of rust and had to be returned. 
The second one arrived quickly and is a work of art in its own right. It made
quick work of turning misshapen bracelets into circles.

I am most fond of the tang that holds my mandrels in a vice. Very handy!

I picked up an old flat iron at an antique all & it makes a great small anvil.
I brought the circles into a flat round with the small flat iron anvil
and leather mallet.

See? Nice and round and flat.
I haven't been back to them since. But I have plans for textures, hammers, beads, stuff(?)
to happen to them...and for sure patina.

This gorgeous tin box grabbed me in an antique mall.
So I have a question to those of you who cut these things apart.
Do you simply cut the shapes and sand the edges? 
It just seems like they would still be sharp.
I really want to cut this one apart.
This is how my work table looks most of the time.
And I'm really ready to get back to it after all that time playing with Etsy stuff. 

Again, if you have any quick advice for me with the Etsy shop, please
do share! I'll do what I can there, but I really want to get
back to creating.
Ya know?
Yeah, you do.
 Carpe Diem!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stones, Shells & Puppy Dog Tails

Smooth River Stone and Shell Fragment Pendant

I ordered some diamond coated twist drill bits and 
can't seem to stop drilling holes in things. 
I use my battery operated Dremel because I'm
afraid to use the Foredom. You know, that whole thing
about electricity and water.

And I do love the new fire blaster torch. It's allowing me
to work more with copper.

Copper Headpins

Copper Raindrops
Lots of small, flat, black river stones....
Some of the flat, black stones mixed with copper raindrops on a sliding knot leather cord.
And a detail of same....
Brazed, forged and hammered copper teardrops....
And they're turned into earrings with dark blue fresh water pearls....
More drilling on a shell fragment & white sea glass.
Am also having fun trying out new ways to hang pendants....
I finally found a supply of copper chain on ebay & love having
a big supply so I can cut the length I want.
Then all it needs is Liver of Sulfur, sanding & sealing.

Yet another smooth, flat river stone..and one of the copper raindrop charms.
I've been sealing these stones with Dorland's wax and
really like the smooth, rich finish it gives them.

One of the copper headpins was used here to secure the raindrop & form the hanger.

More small drilled river stones....
And Chase, the Shih Tzu Wonder Dog...was 9 years young on the Nov. 2nd. :)

Carpe Diem!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Form Folded & Etched Copper Cuff


Form Folding



Works for me!

The thing is, these cuffs are light enough that you hardly know you're wearing them.
That works for me too!

ps: Something is askew with blogger. I have several blogs that I follow
that appear and disappear at random on my blog list on the profile page.

And speaking of a little something for you to try.
Put the word 'askew' in a Google search.
Watch what happens.
Carpe Diem!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Form Folding Copper

Form Folded Copper Cuff Bracelet
Cynthia Murray has some great form folded copper cuffs
on her blog. In addition, she has some beautiful jewelry
and paintings. Her form folded cuffs inspired me to
try form folding again. Thanks, Cynthia!

Annealing, folding, hammering flat, annealing, opening...repeat, repeat, repeat.
And so much fun!
I tumbled it to get some strength back. It was pretty
lightweight copper, so it was easier to manipulate.
After dunking in liver of sulfur and hitting the
high spots, I called it done. 
Although I haven't sealed or waxed it yet.

I think I'll try some etching on the next one.

I finally got a hotter torch...well, just a plumber's torch. 
But I'm able to use propane with it, so annealing the copper
is super easy. 

I opted for one with a 5 ft hose, and I'm very glad I did!
It said it was for use with MAPP gas, but that you could also use propane.
I got propane. I wonder if MAPP is hotter.....need to find out.

But it works to anneal the copper and now I can also
ball the ends of copper wire.

In other news, I figured out what to do with some of the
fine silver clay pieces. I used them in conjunction with some
black glass beads on this rope necklace.
The long silver piece seemed like it was a good pendant drop
for such a piece.
Sterling silver chain, sterling bead, sterling loop & a little liver of sulfur.

This was an experiment in scanning a necklace with a piece
of paper on top of it. I think it worked pretty darn good!

I just love these little seed pods....picked them up yesterday during a hike along the river.
They're so delicate and perfect. 
Green Heron
I leave you with this handsome guy. He's been hanging out at our
neighborhood lake. Isn't he great?!

Carpe Diem!