Friday, August 30, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Check out what the participants of the Inspired by Reading Book Club made for August's book, "The Infinities" by John Banville.

Resin Crafts Blog
Making a locket picture last is easy with resin.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Have you tried Chinese knotting yet? Carmi has a wonderful tutorial on her blog this week!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean's teaser post for Beads & Baubles and what she received from the store to design with is pretty dramatic! See her blog! Jewelry Making
Combine shells, bamboo beads, and hemp for this unisex necklace design.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Metal clay and metal fabrication tutorials from around the blogosphere

Hinged project from Rings & Things

Since metal isn't my primary thing, I always feel that I need to supplement what I share with you during Metal Month!  Here are some gorgeous projects that I've been collecting from all over the web, along with great instructions to go with them.

Metal clay and seaglass

Four free projects from Jewelry Making Daily

Making a hinged project (pictured above)

Adding patina and texture

Enameled copper tube beads

Using an alphabet tool with clay

Stamped metal bracelets

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Bead Journal Project: August 2013

August cabochon, finished

I chose to play with right angle weave (RAW) to make my August piece for the Bead Journal Project.  RAW has never been my favorite stitch , but it does work really well in the round, so it would have been pretty silly to skip it!  It took multiple tries to get the bead count right in each round, but once I had it worked out, the piece came together quickly and easily.  

I'm 99% sure that I will be using this stitch again in an upcoming embroidered project.  It is a very useful as a filler, and is easy to convert from beadweaving stitch to embroidery stitch.

Bored By Back Stitch will teach you how to create twelve different bead embroidery motifs, using nine different beadweaving stitches.  Learn how beadweaving stitches can be morphed into beautiful bead embroidered motifs, created to surround and enhance your cabochons or accent beads.
The specific motifs you will learn are designs that use embroidered forms of basic peyote, Cellini spiral peyote, brick, Russian spiral, herringbone, chevron chain, right angle weave, square, African helix, and double or single St Petersburg chain.  In addition, there are step-by-step instructions for three projects to help you use your motifs.  The e-book is available now, 127 pages, $3.00 US.  

January plus explanation for the series



Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Resin Crafts Blog 
A simple resin bird mold becomes a wonderful piece of jewelry. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean shares a great free guide to etching jewelry by Jewelry Making Daily ! It is great! Jewelry Making 
Say good-bye to summer but not your flip flops with this fun flip flop earring tutorial. 

Art Bead Scene 
Check out Brandi's colour palettes drawn from ceramic beads from Pajego Art House - yum! 

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CopprClay help from Christine Ritchey

My friend Christine Ritchey took one look at my miserable pieces from the Tuesday post and promptly sent me some more suggestions for what could have gone wrong.  Aren't friends wonderful?!
Hi Cyndi,
First, it's refreshing to see someone posting failures! Heaven knows, we all have them. Here're are some thoughts, although you've probably thought of them yourself.  
Did you reconstitute with distilled water? Were the pods and twigs really really dry? Could the clay or brush have been contaminated in any way? It does look like the clay might have needed a few more coats, but of course I'm having to look at the pictures on this itty bitty screen! ;-)
I wrote back:

Chris, you're such a sweetie! Thank you for your ideas. I did NOT use distilled water, but it was highly filtered. Still...hmmm... The twigs and pods were bone dry, but that's a good thing for me to mention to readers anyway, and I forgot. I think the major problem was two-fold: the clay was not reconstituted quite fully, with little tiny lumps of hard stuff still in the mix, and I also don't think I did enough layers. I'm going to post your comment as a follow-up, so I thank you for pointing out those additional things that I missed! I think it's important to occasionally show failures...many of my readers are beginners, so I want them to know that we all have our days!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Metal fabrication books

Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle
Simple techniques and recycled can you beat that?

Mixed Metal Mania by Kim St Jean
A fabulous manual that will take you through beginner techniques right into intermediate.

Heat, Color, Set and Fire by Mary Hettmansperger
Surface effects for fabrication artists who have mastered the basics. 

Rustic Wrapping by Kerry Bogert
An amazing section on adding patinas to metal.

Metal Magic by Kim St Jean
Picks up where Kim's first book left off.  Great projects and techniques.

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin 
Merge your chain mail mania with other materials, like textured metal.

Metalworking 101 for Beaders by Candie Cooper 
Want to add creative metalwork to your beaded designs?

Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelry by Melissa Hunt
Not a beginner's book!

Metal Jewelry in Bloom by Melissa Cable
If you love flowers, you must get this book.

Bead Meets Metal by Kay Rashka
Learn-as-you-go style makes metal seem possible to tackle.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New CopprClay pieces - failing

I collected some twigs and pods from around my house to do one of my CopprClay experiments.  If you've been following along with me, you know that I actually had some success at reconstituting some old clay and forming new pieces, firing them, and finishing them with a lovely LOS patina.  Now for the ones that didn't work out so well!

I gave each of the twigs and pods coating after coating of copper slurry "paint", allowing each coat to dry.  I propped up and hung them between coats.  Before firing, I baked them at 200 F in my oven just to make extra extra sure that everything was dry.

I carefully buried them in the activated charcoal and fired them in my kiln, and this is what happened:

Every one of them crumbled, broke, flaked, and crunched away.  The problem is that I can't tell you which of two possible problems was the ultimate cause of the failure.  The clay was old and reconstituted, so as you may have noted on my other pieces (the ones that actually succeeded), there were lots of rough spots and air bubbles.  The second possibility is that I simply didn't add enough layers of the clay.  I've done this before with PMC silver clay and Art Silver clay with no problems, so my instinct is that it was probably the unevenness of the reconstituted clay.  But we'll never know for sure, huh?

Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

New CopprClay pieces - finishing

Ok, so I've made some new pieces, mostly from reconstituted CopprClay, I've fired them, and now I'm ready to give them a nice finish.  All of these pieces are going to be wire brushed and then treated with a simple patina solution.  If I wanted a shiny finish, I would have followed up the brass wire brush with a red rouge polish instead.  You'll find more information on finishing pieces at my prior post, but I'm going to be using the same basic method here.

The pieces come out of the kiln with no luster at all.  If they've been fired properly, the metal in the metal clay mixture has sintered and formed a solid metal pieces.  Impurities, moisture, and chemical reactions may get in the way of that.  But if all is well, you can get a wonderful shiny finish, though not mirror bright, with just a simple brass brush.  I use a few drops of dish soap as well, to remove the charcoal residue while I'm brushing.  The shot above shows one piece brushed and one unbrushed.  Can you tell which is which?

I brushed the key and the insulator very gently, since they have thin coats of copper "paint" brushed onto them.  I was hoping that the copper would stick and not flake off as soon as I started brushing.  Both were successful.  I got a little bit of flaking in a few spots, but since I'm going to be aiming for a rustic finish anyway, that's alright.  Here are what the rest of the pieces looked like after brushing with the brass brush:

My next step was to use a patina solution.   The liver of sulfur formula I used was provided by Katherine Palochak on Ganoksin. Follow her directions, using the three bowls and setting up your dipping stations as instructed.  I use the formula of 2 c hot water, a small piece of LOS, 1 T ammonia, and 1 t salt.  

After heating the pieces in the hot water, I dipped them into the LOS solution, and then used a container of cold water to rinse them.  Most were dipped through this process several times until they got the tones I wanted.  I used the brass brush on some of them again, just to shine up the high points.  Here's what they looked like when finished.  Scroll back up to compare them to the pre-dipped pieces:

See the crack across the top of the lavender-impressed charm?  Yes, it did end up cracking a few days later :-(  But stay tuned for pictures from the truly Epic Fail that I'll be showing you tomorrow!

Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Art Bead Scene 
Check out Erin's big news - she will be presenting a webinar on Fibre Findings and Finishing Techniques for Jewelry for Interweave/FW Media! 

Carmi's Art/Life World 
Do you have a charm bracelet? Wear it again as a necklace! 

Resin Crafts Blog! 
A vintage Parisian frame and a very old dried flower makes this new resin filled object special. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean reviews the 10th Anniversary Collector's Issue of Bead Style Magazine and it is GREAT! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Andrew was (subconsciously) inspired by the color palette of his shirt when working on this brick stitch bracelet. 

A Bead A Day 
It's new product sharing day on A Bead A Day blog! It's all about stainless steel findings. Jewelry Making 
There is still time for some summer time earrings. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gorgeous metal clay work to share from around the blogosphere

Copper Clay elements by Kristi Bowman

Nothing like some beautiful eye-candy to inspire you to dive into working with metal clay!  These pieces are not part of any tutorials that I know of, so please respect the artists' rights and be inspired by them only.

Bronze Clay beauties by Aja Vaz

Copper and Silver Clay brooch by Angela Crispin

Beautiful patinas by Hattie Sanderson

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Metal clay books

The Art of Metal Clay by Sherri Haab
Artist and instructor Sherri Haab demonstrates metal clay’s remarkable versatility, showing how it can be textured, molded, carved, and sculpted to create gorgeous beads.

Metal Clay Magic by Nana Mizushima
Packed with color photos showing each step of working with metal clay. Covers more than just beads, but has lots of techniques that can be used in making beads.

Metal Clay Beads by Barbara Becker Simon
A highly rated book by a highly rated author 

Pure Silver Metal Clay Beads by Linda Kaye-Moses
Wonderful step-by-step projects

Enameling on Metal Clay by Pam East
Learn how to add a whole new dimension of color to your metal clay projects

Metal Clay and Mixed Media Jewelry by Sherri Haab
How to combine this magical material with everything from resin and concrete to fibers and polymer clay

Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry by Tammy Powley
Disclaimer: one of my projects is in this book, so of course I'm biased. I also think it is an excellent beginner's book which will answer practically any question you have about working with low-fire silver clay...a huge bonus if you don't have a kiln!

Silver and Bronze Clay by Hadar Jacobson
A wonderfully inspiring book from one of the pioneers of BronzClay work

Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry by Kate McKinnon 
An amazing book by a master jeweler

Bronze Metal Clay by Yvonne Padilla
A technique and project book for beginners

Metal Clay Origami Jewelry: 25 Contemporary Projects by Sarah Jayne Cole
Not for beginners!  The next new big thing?

Metal Clay Fusion by Gordon Uyehara
The most gorgeous advanced work you'll ever see.

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Making Metal Clay Jewelryby Cindy Thomas Pankopf
My new favorite beginner's guide.  Love it.  

Metal Clay and Color compiled by Mary Wohlgemuth
The missing element for metal clay...up till now!

Irina's Metal Clay Collection for Beaders by Irina Miech
Irina's favorite projects in metal clay.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New CopprClay pieces - firing

Yesterday, I showed you my most recent attempts to use reconstituted CopprClay to make some new pieces.  Once they dried out completely, I placed them in a 200 F oven for about 20 minutes just to make sure they were all bone dry.  Then it was into the kiln.  I've got more information on firing copper clay at this link.  It must be buried in a pan of activated charcoal to avoid oxidizing when it's fired.  The picture above shows you only one layer of pieces...all of the pieces I made fit into one firing by layering them with charcoal.

I fired them at 1700 F for a little over three hours, and then ramped them back down over another hour, leaving them to finish cooling overnight.  It says a lot for my kiln that in the morning, the pan was still hot!  Not enough to burn, but certainly enough to notice.

Here are the pieces that emerged.  You'll see that they are all dirty looking, and have no shine to them at all.  Just wait until they're finished makes all the difference!  You'll also maybe notice that there are a few pieces missing from the shot yesterday.  Oh yeah...there was an epic fail (or two or three) to tell you about later!

Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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