Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another chance to play with enamels today..

I have been struggling with keeping the lovely blackness at the edges, it looks fine then flakes off the very edges (I guess that's the firescale or very thin enamel), then I figured that maybe it's better for the edge not to have a depth, you can see the copper edge on the bottom flowers where I didn't do anything to the edge after cutting, on the flowers behind and the leaves I cut then hammered the edges lightly so they go to a point which I suppose gets a lot hotter and gave a better finish?
I also discovered that making copper headpins is different to silver, they look fine but if you grab the balled up end with finger and thumb and pull, they often come right off. It seems better if you heat the wire more before allowing it to ball, then you get the sort of balled up end that looks more like a raindrop coming off than a perfect sphere, these seemed to be stronger.
I'm now feeling confident enough with the copper to move on to playing with silver shapes and headpins, I'm especially after the pale transparent blues and greens and maybe even some surface design showing through..

Friday, April 20, 2012

Experiment two..

I have some copper blanks which I bought ready made, discs and shapes, but for me they are a bit big and heavy so I really need a disc cutting set and some thinner gauge copper.

In the meantime, I used the rolling mill to take the thickness down, and just used shears on the resulting pieces, then hammered and shaped by which time they were nice and stiff again (last thing you want is to put enamel on a flexible piece of metal as it will just crack off)

I enamelled the smaller squares by holding them at the very edge and just managed but I think I'll either make a hole in the middle in future or work out some sort of tripod and mesh affair to heat them on.

The edge of the pink on one of the pieces cracked a bit as it was quite a thick area of glass but I reheated, pulled off a bit of glass and flame annealed more carefully so we'll see if it has solved it.

The headpins are just an ongoing challenge, for some reason they are one of the more difficult things to get the glass to stay stuck to! I made four, only two have survived to the photo and who knows if any make it through the night :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

some worked, some didn't..

I think this is where you discover whether the 'copper' beads you bought are actually copper or have something else in them.. several of the items fizzed green sparks like a firework (which would imply copper present) but the enamel wouldn't stay on and flaked off quickly afterwards revealing a brassy colour metal surface so I think maybe they weren't right..

However, the headpins worked and the flat copper shapes, I hammered some discs and drilled, and made a version of Barbera Lewis' fab projects with layered discs and a headpin through the middle. (see above)
Will have to think of what to make, they seem a bit heavy for earrings! Need to buy some thinner gauge copper sheet and cut smaller discs, a disc cutting set would be rather nice too.. I feel a shopping list coming on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

three years later.. hi again!

I thought I would ressurect my blog as I start out with flame enamelling. I am still lampworking and my designs have changed a fair bit since this blog was last updated. I hope to have more time now to keep up with it but time will tell!
I have always loved enamelled jewellery, and have some lovely brooches by Jane Moore, however as she became more and more skilled so her work lost it's appeal for me, looking too factory made and not hand done by an artist.
For a long time I have had an interest in learning enamelling myself, it wasn't one of the myriad craft areas we explored at uni, however I am a bit impatient and prefer instant results, to see things being transformed in my hands in front of my eyes, which is why I never got around to it, too much preparation and too many stages for me to hold my interest..
Until I discovered that you can enamel metal in a flame! I already have the propane/ oxygen torch set up for lampworking, so I had to do very little really, just get hold of the right enamels and have a go.
My first attempts have been very promising, but with things to figure out and much to learn.
Tomorrow I'm planning to have a little play - perhaps I'll have something to post!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Silk ribbon necklace

I have been lampworking again, I have been replenishing my stock of silver core beads, here are a few examples..

And making most of my beads tube shaped at the moment!
I'm really pleased with this, I love the watercolour silk and blues are my favourite colours..

I love the amazonite milky minty colour stone!

I am trying to build up my stock for the 'handmade' fair in Winchester Guildhall (July 5th), getting nearer all the while!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

exhibition at the library

I have just set up my beads and jewellery in the gallery at the library in Winchester. I was a little worried when I turned up to see four shelves to fill, but hopefully I had the right amount of things, and now I need to make some more in case they sell!

I also have the Winchester handmade fair coming up in July, so I need to crack on and get torching..

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My beads in Nemeton's necklace!

I just spotted some of my beads in Lynn's beautiful jewellery, and earrings too, and they look fab, Lynn has made something really pretty with them.. :-)
The ones above are a bit similar, not the same as the ones Lynn has have a lovely pale pinky base..