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Monday, April 22, 2019

Finding beauty in left over pieces of jewelry components

 These are watch backs from Bsueboutiques.com
About an inch in diameter I bought some for creative purposes. When they arrived my first thought was to make one into a bracelet.
 Leftover bits of rolo chain and a clasp with a few jump rings complete the basics.
 This beautiful ceramic rose fits perfectly into the watch back.
 This makes an attractive combination.
 Holes were punched through the watch back to accommodate the jump ring.
 The jump rings make a smooth transition to the chain.
 E-6000 glue will make a strong bond between the roses and the metal.
All finished with a lobster claw and a jump ring to accept it. A quick project and a nice result. Re-purposing old parts works.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

 To follow up on the making of the Ostrich cabochon I am in the shop using a roary tool to cut down the shell. First I mounted a diamond cutting wheel in the Dremel.
 I hold the Dremel against the bench pin and rotate the shell against the bottom side of the wheel. I use the bottom as it throws the ground off bits away from me.
 After cutting very close to the line traced on the inside of the shell with a sharpie, I have switched to a fiber cutting wheel as it is less aggressive. I check frequently the fit with the bezel as I sand it down. Finally it fits easily into the bezel.
Lots of labor and the result is a bit bland in this bright light. But the natural opalescence of the shell will show.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ostrich Egg Shell Cabochon

 I bought an Ostrich egg to make a slump mold for my ceramic work. After casting the inside of the thick end of the egg, I had lots of material to do something else with. I immediately thought of making a cabochon.. I traced around the outside of an open back bezel with a sharpie.
 Next I cut through the line with a small rotary diamond wheel. Any rotary tool with a diamond bit can handle the thick egg shell quickly.
Now I have a rough and slightly oversize oval about 30x40 mm. This will get pared down to fit the bezel. Next time I will show how I complete the shape.

Monday, March 5, 2018

 Hi Folks. Been a while. I have found many things to keep me busy and I have felt bad about not posting for so long. Last May 26 I had a stroke which made my eyes work very poorly, not together. I had to retrain them to see well enough to read. I learned to walk with a walker for a while and still have balance and dizziness issues. And tremors. For a jewelry maker, the tremors are the most time consuming condition. I can spend a minute trying to close a jump ring. So to force that away I chose to start doing more beading. Crazy , right? But when I run into a challenge I work hard to work around it. And that has carried over into my photography. I found a new camera that has 5 way image stabilization. That suppresses the tremors quite well.
 I shot this Eagle in a tree near the nest. Handheld 600mm in a high wind. You can see the feathers in disarray on the eagle.
 Part of the practical application of my self therapy is making earrings. The challenge is to combine a few elements into an interesting presentation. To this end I have been shopping at https://www.bsueboutiques.com/ Where I can buy quality components from the B'sue by 1928 section. The pewter wings are from there. The beads also are from Bsue. You can find great quality and a massive selection of interesting components for your art.
I also mix natural stone beads with jeweled roundels and vintage glass pearls.
Pewter bunnies and Czech glass components make designing both fun and profitable.

I hope to post more often in the near future.
My collection of mostly one of a kind jewelry is available at


I also carry vintage components and antique dolls from around the world.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Creating from broken things,

 In addition to making jewelry I work in ceramics. One of my favorites is antique German dolls and figures. I recently acquired a box of Angels from Germany. They had been discarded in the 1800's at a ceramics factory. They were discovered and dug up and have come to me.
Each is a bit different . Some have heavy glazes that cover some details. Others have thin glaze and sharper details. As a mold is used they do lose detail. 
 These were Holy Water fonts but the bowls have been broken off. They do have holes on the back to hang them on a wall.
 Now what would you do with them? First you could re-purpose them and just hang the piece on the wall. Perhaps if you have a rotary tool with a diamond cutoff wheel you could remove the rough bottom to make them look better. How about making a mold? Find a Cardboard box that is 1-3 inches deep fill the bottom with non hardening oil clay and press the figure into the clay slightly. Spray the figure and the box with cooking spray and pour plaster of paris into the box. When it has set in an hour or overnight for more strength remove the box and clay and carefully pull the original. You can now use the mold to make reproductions. Those could be used for mixed media art. Or pour liquid clay slip into the mold and make a new piece.
I do that and fire the clay as Raku or use porcelain Precious metal clay could be pushed into the mold and you could create metal jewelry with the result.

Really so many things could be created. Even restored pieces could be made.

Of course you can find these for sale at my Etsy shop Oscarcrow. Come take a look


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Autumn Jewelry and Recent Sales

 These are some pieces that have found new homes in recent weeks Late September has been a good time to sell.This first piece is a ceramic piece I made. A bit Boho with a fabric necklace.
 This a copper wire with a Raku bead
 Shoulder duster earrings
 A fall necklace
 A bit more romantic
 This combines my sense of whimsy with an antique doll.
 More whimsy skull dancer is one of my faves.
 This to me is dream like 3d hand made backing hammered to fit
 Finally some simple little earrings.  Each piece comes with a little bit of my heart, born from my imagination and built with my hands. And now going to enhance some ones life. That is what it is all for. Creating to create a smile.
 Today I made a set of Old Rose Copper leaf jewelry. The components mostly come from https://www.bsueboutiques.com my favorite supplier. The leaves are connected by jump rings so there is movement in the pendant

 The necklace is pure copper 24 inches with a magnetic closure
 Earrings are hung on Niobium hooks, lightweight strong and non allergenic.
 I made this ring riveted with a 3/32 rivet and covered that with a small green cab of Czech glass
 That is the only spot of color in the set.
 The shank is a cigar band style adjustable size.
The bracelet is simply chain and leaf with a magnetic catch. The chain is non soldered links so it attaches just by opening the link and closing it after inserting the links through the opening in the leaf.
This is the whole set and all the tools required were a punch and pliers. Plus a riveter. Some times the easy projects are good ones.    This link will take you to my shop.                 https://www.etsy.com/listing/469102050/handmade-old-rose-ox-antique-copper

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creating a backing for a framed doll necklace Basic hammer work.

 This doll fragment is about 100 years old from Germany. When I saw her I knew that a frame would create a great necklace.
 After placing her into the opening and gluing her down with E-6000. The back protrudes about 1/2 of an inch.
Her arm is also proud of the surface about 1/4 inch.
 I cut out a piece of 28 gauge copper sheet for the backing. I could have made a box form but having too much depth behind the figure seemed clumsy.
 So I decided to hammer form a depression into the metal. This is 28 gauge which is about 1/2 mm and must be stretched slowly with a lot of annealing. First step is to locate the point that will be deepest and mark it with a single hammer blow.
 The metal is placed over a depression in the dapping block and light blows begin to form the cup.
 8-10 light blows or taps will result in a rough depression. Anneal the metal and repeat.
 The cup will form and the surrounding will wrinkle a bit. After more annealing and work on both top and bottom the metal will become close to what is needed.
 Next I outlined the area to accommodate the dolls arm with a pencil.
 More annealing and hammer work gives a good depth.
 Many light blows later and the form is complete.
 I placed the frame on the background and loosely traced the shape.
 More trimming and it is almost ready.
 I added a name stamp to the corner.
 The backing was trimmed more and pickled. Then heat was applied to make the color dull a bit. I spread E-6000 around the edges and clamped it together.
 The glue was left to set overnight.
 I added a rivet center top and a chain.
 The result is a pleasing and unique art necklace.
 The back is smooth and trademarked with the Oscarcrow label.  I used a tiny magnetic catch.
 Total time is about an hour of actual work. She will be listed in my Etsy shop for sale   https://www.etsy.com/listing/275461112/handmade-doll-emerging-from-a-frame
I hope you liked this simple tutorial .  It is easy to use sheet metal in you own pieces. Sometimes I find beating metal is just fun. Give it a try.