Tuesday, January 5, 2010

While I can do a lot of wirework and stringing in a spare room in my house, much of my metalwork and soldering has been delegated to the garage. Living in the midwest, that means it's incredibly hot in the summer and terribly cold in the winter. In the summer I leave the garage door open in the hope of a cooling breeze while I solder. And in the winter, I sometimes work with a coat on. But often, the garage is not too inviting or it's just too much much of a hassle.

Here's a pic of my garage working area. I think you'll see what I mean.

Not a pretty sight, is it. (And I have to work around the car!)

So during the Christmas break, I decided it was time to set up shop in the basement.

First it meant cleaning out years of accumulated boxes in an unfinished storage area. Then it meant cleaning out my garage work area and hauling all my stuff to the basement.

But it was worth it!

After getting everything set up, I spent a lot of time during the holidays working on new designs. In fact, I had so much fun doing that, that I didn't even want to "waste" any time photographing my new jewelry or listing it in my shop.

I have quite a backlog now and lots of new works to post on my blog. So I'm going to try to spend the next week or two showing off some of the things I've been working on and some of the new techniques I've been trying.

Today I'll start with a set of earrings and matching necklace that I made as a gift. A couple posts back, I mentioned that I bought a Pepe disc cutter, and I've been using it a lot. I also bought some metal stamps. (Oops! I should have blogged about those! Maybe later.)

Both these pieces were made using my disc cutter on some sterling sheet which was then stamped, and then domed on my dapping block. (Of course I practiced on some inexpensive copper before I went to silver.) I added some turquoise and antique whiteheart beads for a southwest look.

I'd never made anything like this before and I had fun designing it. I can see modifying this style into something I might offer on my Etsy shop in the future. I have tons of old African Trade Beads and antique Venetian beads and I think they would look great with this type of design.

Stay tuned for my next blog. It'll be about a lovely cabochon I bought from a wonderful seller on Etsy that I incorporated into a pendant.

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  1. SHUTTERWHALE said...
    I just love your new pieces! I stumbled upon your blog one day while looking up silver rings, and I am very glad that I decided to follow it. I really love your work! Your puppy is ultra cute, and the puppy posts are always a treat.

    Congrats on your new workspace and your disc cutter! Whenever I get some ducks in a row and purchase my own silver tools I will be sure to use your pieces as inspiration.
    Virginia said...
    Congrats on the new workspace! I'll bet you are so much more productive. I know all too well how hampering it is to work in cramped, uncomfortable conditions. I've been dyeing scarves on my hands and knees on the living room floor for 5 years now but I'm DONE with that now. We'll be moving to a new house this spring with a working studio w/ running water. YAY! But as soon as the Christmas stuff is all picked up, I'm having a large counter top moved into the livingroom so I can dye more comfortably.
    Contrariwise said...
    That sounds great for you. Really, 5 yrs of dying scarves on your hands and knees shows great dedication to your art. I know you will LOVE the new set up. I know I love mine and I now spend way too much time at my new workplace. (But I love it!)
    Contrariwise said...
    Charming Mittens,

    Good luck to you.

    Metal working tools aren't all that cheap. I used my funds from Etsy to buy my tools, which allowed me to try new techniques. I really never would have been able to expand without Etsy and without the many wonderful folks who support independent artists and crafters.

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