Skip to main content

Coming Up With A Design...How I Get There

What a mess!

After a one month hiatus from the studio I do not think soldering was the best thing to start with but nonetheless this is what I did.

Native American legend says that this stone fell from the sky.
It also says that if there is a crack in the stone then the stone took the blow for the owner.
The history behind this stone is unknown but what a blow it must have taken for its owner because that is a HUGE crack!

My mission this month is to make a brooch using this beautiful Arizona Turquoise.

 And just how big is it?
1.75"L x 1"W x 5/16"D to be exact.
The depth varies around the stone which means a Custom Bezel has to be made.

After sketching up many designs for this stone (none of which was chosen), and coming to a paralyzing part in the creativity process, I decided to go ahead and just make the bezel.  

I start off with some fine silver, cut the correct height, length, anneal it, roll it down (rolling mill), and then repeat, repeat, repeat until I reach the thinness wanted.

I then came up with this design.

The design just came to me after making the bezel.  How did I get here?
I do not really know.
It is a struggle for me that is for sure!
Arizona turquoise and Arizona chrysocolla
The bezel shown above did not make it and neither did the second one.  I could not for the life of me get the solder to flow.  I not only had a melt down of metal but also of spirit!
I did the only normal thing anyone would do.

 I stepped away from the bench and had a glass of wine.

Day 2

Let us try this again!
After some thinking and reading I came up with the following.

1.  My torch is not at its highest power.  I want this little torch to "hiss" at me.

2.  Use Primps flux instead of Handy flux
(I heard it was better at holding off the fire scale from forming on copper better then any other flux out there.)

3.  Cut the intended shape for the back plate.
(I normally do not do this first.  I will solder the bezel down to the back plate and then cut out the intended shape but this back plate was just too big and sucking the heat away from the bezel.)


4.  Make sure my metal is clean!

This is no time to be lazy people.

Do you see it?!  1/2 has been soldered down!!!
So excited at this point but I had to calm down before I had another melt down.  
Into the pickle pot it goes.
Solder and repeat.

It took me three times to get this whole bezel soldered and
patience was rewarded.
Time to do the dance of joy!

And this has been my week.  
Three days of sawing, filing, rolling, soldering, melting, throwing stuff, and crying.

Today I get to go out with a client to pick out some stones for a custom job.  I used to dread doing custom work but not so much now.  
I actually LOVE it!  Especially if I get to have an excuse to go buy some gem stones.

Have a great Thursday everyone!  


Popular posts from this blog

A Love Note To My Readers

Dear Friends,
My gallery has decided to move and it saddens me to say that I will not be going with them.  I have broken away from the herd.
So what now?
This is what I ask myself and to be honest I do not know.  
I turn to you.
The ones who come back to listen to my failures, successes, and my angst.  I am grateful that you are still here.

The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) was here in New Orleans.  I was so thrilled.  I made new friends and visited with old friends and we had a blast!

Halstead held an exhibition along with SNAG at RHINO Contemporary Gallery.  200 kits went out and 30 pieces were selected for the Halstead Design Challenge.  My piece, What's Her Story? was selected to be among one of the 30.  I was so honored.
Inspired by the women of Storyville and Bellocq's photography this brooch is the first in its series.
The story behind the story.
Every woman has a story, especially the women of Storyville (red-light district of New Orleans from 1897-19…

Everything Is Beautiful From Far Away...Or Is It?

I'm getting all up there with my new Olloclip.
It just clips on to my iPhone 5S.  I think that is an adapter for the skinnier version of the phone.  I wanted something easier to carry around other then the massive camera to take real close ups.
Here's what I've done so far.

I'm still learning about the clip but for the most part pretty satisfied.  It's good for those close ups in the studio.  Here's me drawing down wire.  This is when I feel like a true metalsmith.  HAHAHAHA!!!
The clip is also good for your morning walks to get those beautiful close ups of nature.
You see...not everything is beautiful from far away.  Sometimes you have to lean in to see the beauty in the macro world.
Have a great Friday!


The Arrowmont Experience Pt. 1

I know from previous experience that I had to ask the driver to stop at a grocery store before dropping us off at Arrowmont.  I was feeling so good about having all my ducks in order and then this happened! I'm sure I screamed WTH because everyone was looking at me but I wasn't the only one in shock.
I was thinking...great!  Now I will have to walk to get my wine.  LOL!!!

Arrowmont for 2 entire weeks!  Yeah....Bring it on.  I can do this...roommate annd all.
I was in Anne Havel's All Fired Up: Who Knew a Torch Could Do All This?
My notebook for ALLLllllll the notes I'm going to take.
OMG!  I don't know where to begin.  I have so much to share.  Let's see...
I fell in love with a cup.
Annnd...then I bought a cup made by Jason B. Burnett.  He had me at the hexagons. Just an aside here.  I couldn't buy the cup I fell in love with.  Arrowmont has an assortment of ceramic cups in the mess hall to use.  I could post a cup a day on Insta but my friend did that.  …