Wednesday, 31 March 2010

right, having already written all this (and deleted it) already here goes again!
i had great fun today playing with my new batch of copper, it's very strange after working solely in silver for so long-i've also had to sacrifice some of my tools to the cause, in case i contaminate one metal with the other at the wrong stage. i have experimented with a few methods in the copper, to see how they turn out-i can't wait to get out there next week and see what's happened! i have tried two different ring ideas, one as a complete copper ring, with a leaf-printed shank and berry detail to disguise the join, another, just a basic plain shank, to try and embellish with the silver later on. i have also attempted a hollow bead, and we'll see how that comes out, i'm not sure what i want to do with that yet.
in my spur-of-the-moment search of the studio to try and find my ring mandrel, i also came across some pieces i'd half-finished a year or so ago, that i'd completely forgotten about! two of these i've finished nicely today (although i seem to have misplaced the stone for one of them, that i made a specialised setting for!) and another one i utterly failed to fix (again!) that is to say i fixed the bit that wasn't working-and somehow managed to damage another part, d'oh! i have also discovered that i really do need to buy a new camera, as my phone is not proving a worthy replacement!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

copper cobana

right, following much research, and many, now very bored and exasperated friends, i have discovered a copper i can fire in my kiln without having to use activated carbon! i've not been so excited in a long time. i really can't wait to get my hands on it and have a play! i have started my first hairpiece, so far i have the basis for two leaves, hopefully, the copper will come, and then i can make it doubly gorgeous, and be able to display it at the dorset art and craft fair on the 10th. (which i have just completely emptied my cashpot to pay for a pitch at!) i spent a lot of today organising my workstuff, since i am currently using my friends conservatory, instead of the studio. (which is full of spiders, cobwebs, and scaffolding, and coated in sawdust.)
i have a business proposal for a friend of mine, who i'll be seeing over easter, so we'll see how that goes. this afternoon i have also vetted my rather huge parcel from vistaprint, and found 5 mistakes, joy. tomorrow i'm going to try and fire a hollow-form bead i've made as a retirement present, and hope nothing goes wrong!! ok, now i am very tired and must get to bed before i end up typing utter nonsense. over and out.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

mixed metal madness

orchid brooches done!! i have now sold two beautiful orchids for £140. although, being me, i have handed them over before taking any money-i really must stop doing that! the enamel worked out very well, and although i know i shouldn't, i mixed the yellow with a brushful of grass green, without the fondant base, and it was a transparent tint with tiny green spots-just like the flowers themselves-i was very impressed! by using the klyr-fire i was the able to apply the enamel directly onto the flowers, without the need to integrate channels into the design.
i have also refined my guitar picks, and they look fantastic now, and feel amazing. the only thing left is the engraving-which, i have to say, i'm not terribly confident about, hopefully i'll get the guts up next week.
on the reasearch front, i have changed my silver supplier to someone who, although doesn't give me the discount i've been used to, actually stock the things i need. these suppliers also stock copper and bronze, and are running a day-course in aylebury in may on mixing metals. i have been getting very excited about this, and have been trying to arrange a trip up. i'm really looking forward to being able to incorporate the different metals into my designs. this will also allow me to make bigger items, and experiment with more sculpturable designs cost effectively.
i have just ordered some new tools as well, which will hopefully make life a lot easier-but really still need a new kiln, if only i could afford £600! (having said that, if i could sell on my current kiln for £300 it wouldn't be so bad.)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

website wonders

wey hey, thanks to a lovely friend of mine dowloading a web-site maker to my computer i can now take charge of my own website!! so far this has proved fairly idiot-proof, so surely even i shouldn't be able to make it go too badly wrong! this is the single most helpful thing anyone has done! i can now write anything that seems appropriate, change it later, change all of my photos around so that they're not getting terribly out of date, and constantly update the entire site as and when i need, hooray!
i am thinking of setting myself a project inside the theme i am working on, a set of rings. i'm looking to explore the organics idea,, and see how i can translate that into several ring designs. i will make a set of ring bases, and see how many differentt things i can do on that basis. not only will this spur me on in my chosen theme, but will also improve my ring-making skills considerably-which at the moment are basic at best. i am very much looking forward to immersing myself in this project, and as soon as i get paid for the work i am currently completing i will buy the silver and hopefully crack on! (this is assuming that my partner will take his agreement of looking after the children for set hours a week seriously!)
wish me luck.......

Thursday, 11 March 2010

even despite the fact that no-one reads this, i still every now and again, feel the need to write a bit. having had a great summer work-wise last year, i am keen to promote the business this season aswell, the hopefully by next year the season won't control me so much! i am currently trying to promote myself and my work by getting people to book me for jewellery parties-this should enable not only a format for sales, but should also spread the word about what i do and give me the chance to discover what people really want from me, and what i should focus on....sort of like an on-going critique from my customer base.
having no formal tutor or advisor to help guide me, this seems like the bestt idea. i am consiously attempting to move away from the pieces i have, up until now, been making-and focus more on alllowing my own style and methods, and exploring how i feel most comfortable working. i shall continue to work to specifications for commission pieces for the time being, so as not to discourage custom too much, but will most definitely be putting my own spin on things from now on!
i have no idea if i told you about the test party i threw back in the autumn, but it went very well, and i got some great feedback to allow me to perfect the idea, and gave me the chance to ask people what they really wanted from the experience. following on from this experiment, i encountered a lot of problems with my pregnancy and have only just been able to get back to work, unfortunately not as much as i would like yet though. but i am hoping to work things out over the next week to peermit me to get to work more, and hopefully pushing the parties will pay off, and the business from that will aid this.

anyway, in the mean time, i have made a very nice prototype for a pair of orchid brooches i have been asked to make, and have taken this chance to play with some japanese enamels-which turned out very well indeed, and a pair of guitar picks that came out nicer than expected, but i'm having trouble getting up the nerve to do the engraving-which is making the project take a lot longer than expected, and i will now feel quite bad about charging for the work.

i am looking into beginning a range of 'organics' -simple to quite elaborate explorations into natural influences and images. this will involve a lot of paste work at first, and hopefully may lead to something...