Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chilaili - Snowbird

As if you didn't know, I have very much enjoyed my silversmithing class. (Although I did 99% of the work on this piece in my home studio.)  This piece is called Chilaili. It's a Native American name meaning Snowbird. It seemed an appropriate name since I use a Snowy Owl icon several places online. I really like how she turned out. I say "she" because it looks like a sweet, little Native American abstract female to me.

I own a few turquoise pieces, but haven't worn them often. (This piece feels different & seems to have more meaning for me.  I really don't want to take it off!)  When I signed up for the Silversmithing class, I bought a few turquoise stones...with no real plan in mind....But these two made a good pair.

messy original sketch
the silver has been cut and polished a bit
bezels & silver beads  have been soldered in place
hash marks have been stamped on the perimeter
shank has been soldered in place  & the ring dipped in liver of sulfur to give it patina
ring was polished & stones were set and Chilaili was born
Chilaili, my little Snowbird spirit ring.  (Not that little actually...she's approximately 1.75 inches from top to bottom and .75 of an inch at the widest point.)

There's a lot of information out there about Turquoise. Google it up, and you'll see what I mean.

Carpe Diem!

ps: The photo frames are part of the "Camera+" free app for iPhone.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Turquoise Ring Test

Here's yet another ring that was actually a test. I wanted to see if I could solder a wire design to the flat back piece of the ring. And while I'm not crazy about the final design of the piece, I did prove to myself that I can, indeed, solder wire to the backpiece...without melting any of the ring parts. :)

I actually planned it before starting. (As opposed to letting it happen as I worked. ;)

Carpe Diem!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Stick Earrings
Between ring projects, I played with sterling silver...sawing, shaping, filing and sanding. These silky smooth sterling silver sticks are light as a feather. I made the sterling ear wires hardly know you have them on.

Open Hoops with Black Onyx Beads
And speaking of 'light as a feather' these upside down sterling silver open hoops are that too! So dainty & really  can't even tell you're wearing them. They seem perfect for dressy days or jeans. I love them! :)

Carpe Diem!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finished and Not Finished

Obviously, the Front.

I've always pretended to believe that I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to my creative endeavors. Now I fully admit to you that I am. So here it is. This ring is will NEVER be finished. ;-) I can't stop filing here and sanding there and polishing, etc. But since it's my very first effort, I'm also content with the flaws. Because, that makes it like me. Not perfect. So there. Not to mention that I'm really happy it didn't end up as a liquid puddle of silver. ;)

And of course, this is the side/back.

Carpe Diem!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


the stones have been placed with a tiny drop of 2-part epoxy

The shanks have been soldered to the settings...sanded and re-sanded...and polished.
After cleaning, the stones were placed with a tiny drop of two-part epoxy. If the epoxy holds, the next step will be to bend the bezel over the stones. I can only hope that the bezels haven't work hardened too much to bend over easily. (The rings are sterling, but the bezels are made of .999 fine silver bezel wire, which is softer than sterling.) Even though the torch soldering was a challenge, the next step is a little scary for me. ;)

carpe diem!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

:: sketchbook - black onyx ring ::

sketchbook: rink shank decisions.....
It's time to add the shank....shall it be a double half round shank? a single half round? a double that has been split just below the stone?...decisions to be made...

The solder has been heated & the tiny pieces of wire solder have been placed.

The solder was heated with a torch to attach the fine silver bezel to the back of the sterling silver setting.

The piece was then placed in the pickle pot (a crock pot of hot water & pickling solution) to remove the firescale. Afterward, the extra silver was sawed away (and saved!) and the piece was ground and filed you see in the top photo.

Now the decision about the design of the shank must be made. It will be soldered to the setting and the process repeated...filing, sanding, smoothing, etc. In the last step, the  black onyx stone will be set.

Carpe Diem!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Silversmithing Class

Black Onyx and White Agate Stones

I've now had three classes in silversmithing. I am loving everything about working with silver!
The class runs Tuesdays & Thursdays through February.

Tonight, the bezel will be soldered to the back piece. Saws, files, torches...what fun! :)
The  front stone will be set in the's not as large as it looks. Eventually it will become a ring.
Stay tuned.

Carpe Diem!

Friday, February 3, 2012

JAX Green Patina

...bronze clay with JAX Green Patina
These pieces were made with Bronzclay™.
They were fired and tumbled and the large
square piece was first treated with
JAX Pewter Black to turn it dark.

You can see the  a few highlights of the shiny color
of the bronze showing through.

This week I cleaned and sanded them and applied JAX Green Patina.  It took several repeats of
coating them, letting it dry and re-coating to achieve
this look.

Don't they look like they were brought up from the
bottom of the sea?  I love these textures!

...the backs of the pieces

 Now I will put a couple coats of Krylon Matte Finish sealer and then finally a coat of wax. I use Johnson Paste Wax. I could spend a lot of money for Renaissance Wax, but i don't.  The Johnson's works beautifully. I apply it, let it dry and then buff.

Carpe Diem!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


...from this morning's walk

Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation.  Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others.  It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin. ~K.O. Eckland, "Footprints On Clouds"

We all must remember to find our star dust and slip into those elusive boundaries.....

I hope to find a way to put some of these goose down feathers into a glass remind the wearer to fly and go beyond boundaries...

But of course there's a whole different discussion about trapping feathers (ie: flying) between glass pieces. ;)

Do you let yourself fly when designing jewelry? Sprinkle some space lint & star dust in your next piece and see what happens. 

Carpe Diem