Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Enameling Fun

So yes, my latest love has to be Enameling.
I am having so much fun! I love that I can blend (sort of) colours together, to give the illusion of texture and I love that I can pair enameled pieces with silver. Below are 3 pairs of earrings I have made so far (available in my Etsy store).

My biggest challenge has been how to attach an ear wire that compliments the earring. I don't really want to do plain french ear wires, I wanted to do something a little bit more fancy. The Aqua blue pair of earrings have an enameled center ear wire, so they add to the look and the function of the earring.

I have just finished an animal piece last night, now I just have to work out how I want to attach it and then it's good to go too. I just ordered 2 liquid enamels yesterday to try and I have gotten some Cloisonne wire with my rio order last week, as I would really like to attempt torch firing Cloisonne too :)

The only booboo's I have encountered thus far, is when I don't balance my piece on the trivet properly and just as I go to fire it, it falls off and in the process, dumps half of the powder too :( But fortunately it's a pretty easy fix :) I really need to seriously consider a hydraulic press in the near future as I would like to be able to cut ovals, squares and circles quickly and neatly (which pancake dies are great for I hear!). As for flowers and animals, well I will continue to hand saw those.

I have just washed a nice Prussian Blue transparent enamel last night, I want to give it a go with some fine silver cups tonight at some point. When I get some time and some very fine tipped paint brushes, I will also give that Cloisonne a go too. And eventually when I get back to some etching, I hope to give Basse-taille a go as well :) So many techniques, so little time!! But I love having something new to try.

Hope you are having as much fun as I am?!
Em ♥

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

long post ahead .....

Sometimes I want to write more about how I'm feeling here than I do. But I have tried to make this blog more about my journey of jewellery making, rather than about personal things. Though by personal things, I mean jewellery personal things, not 'life personal' things. If you know what I mean??

*I just wrote down everything I wanted to and decided to delete it. I think I just got things a little out of perspective and needed to 'see' my thoughts written down in black and white to help answer some of my own issues*

Basically I'm still a little down with how I'm doing on Etsy, or rather how I'm Not doing on Etsy (as I touched on in my previous post). If I don't sell some of my pieces, I can't restock supplies and then I can't continue to create - as I'm sure those of you who craft are well aware of that vicious circle. I don't want to sound martyr like. I have so much to be grateful for. And sometimes I just need to be reminded of that.

All negative things aside, I have been having an absolute blast with torch fire enameling. Below are some pieces I have been experimenting on.

The leaf and the flower shapes (sawn by hand) are in copper. And the little yellow cup is in Fine silver. For once, this is a skill I have picked up rather quickly and haven't really had any boo boos yet. Even my other half is surprised at how good the enamelling is turning out, he tells me they look better than he thought they would. I think though, that it comes down to how much time I have spent reading and researching torch fire enameling (countless hours). Most likely also helps that I have my little Orca torch to do it with too. I haven't really tried much firing with my butane and I probably won't bother, seeing my Orca works so well for this. It would also be great to not have to hand pierce/saw every shape I want to make, as in all honesty I'm not a huge fan of it - but I do love the end result of course, so it's all worth the work. Though I'm not against using my disc cutter for my circles!!!  I'm working on an earwire that compliments the enamelled pieces too.

Below is a picture of most of the colours I have thus far. I do have a couple on my bench that aren't hanging up and also 2 transparent colours in my locker, that I have to wash first (boooring). I have some *hopefully* nice little clear containers coming, so I can store my enamels in them on a shelf and then I will make a little colour swatch board for the discs as referral. But before playing with the enamels, I spent time cutting and doming a copper disc for each colour and firing them 2 - 3 coats so I could see what colour to expect after firing. I will have to do this with fine silver also, but costs in doing so are substantially higher than with copper (obviously). Doing this with the discs gave me practice too for my other later pieces.

I was struggling to find those 3 point trivets here in Australia and eventually found 1 supplier and so I grabbed them right up, but I could do with more as it could certainly speed up the process not having to share a trivet between firing. So with my next Rio order I think I will stock up on a few more and some more enamels too :P  Honestly I haven't enjoyed myself like this in ages. I've always been a fan of instant gratification (come on who isn't?!) and I feel that enamelling somewhat gives me that. As much as I love the beauty of metal in it's natural state, I also love bright colour especially in accessories. And what better place to put bright colour than in my jewellery!!

This is a picture of where I am at with the custom order I last wrote about:

One will be a pendant and the other a ring. Both a gift from a daughter to her mother for christmas. My muse swiftly evacuated the building when it came time to do these too. Sooo frustrating!! I just hope I can finish them with no more issues.

So there is the latest for me. I think I am falling in love with enameling and the endless possibilities for incorporating it into my work. And I can't wait to experiment more with it and also accumulate more colours hee hee :)

Em ♥