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Friday, December 6, 2013

Repurposing with 2 part silicone putty

I recently acquired this metal necklace and liked some of the imagery. I could re-purpose it by cutting up the necklace. Or by copying some elements with 2 part silicone mold putty.
There are many brands on the market that all work the same. I have this brand on hand today so it is the one I used. It comes in two containers.
One is purple the other white. Start by measuring out about the same amount and making a ball .
Mix quickly about 1 minute until the color is uniform.
Place enough to cover the piece to be copied over the item and press firmly. If you plan to cast in liquid resin you will want to put the putty down first on a flat surface and press the item into it. I work in clay so a thinner application will work.
Buttons are perfect to duplicate. I had mixed more than necessary so I pressed this button into the remaining putty.
Let the putty sit for 30 minutes at least and you will have a good mold.
These are ready to work with. If you will be using them for resin it is best to allow overnight curing to allow for out gassing of volatile compounds. For PMC a little brush of olive oil will make release of the copy very easy. If you plan to use polymer clay make a thicker mold that will hold its shape under the stiffer clay.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Simple Beginnings A Ring From 2 Beads And A Wire

The color of the two focals is the inspiration for this ring.  The butter cream Miriam Haskell half drilled pearl sets off the caramel of the handmade glass disk. The wire is 16 gauge round Argentium silver
The first step is to put a right angle bend in the wire and start to form a spiral around the upright.
Next fit the bottom focal and make sure there is more than enough wire to hold the second.
Place the coil on top of the mandrel about 3/4 of a size smaller than your finished size.
Pull the wire around the mandrel and past the coil. Next lift the coil and slide the wire under the middle near to the other wire.
Pass the wire around the mandrel and bring it up to the top. Cut it off at the edge of the coil. Then tuck it in to lie next to the other shank wire.
Place the ring onto a fire brick or soldering block and add a bit of solder then hit it with the torch bringing the metal to a cherry red and the silver will flow where it touches.  After the metal fuses and the solder flows we will need to cool the ring and place it on the ring mandrel to finish forming.
Here you can see the coil is fused and the piece is ready for finishing. I gave it a light buff and put it into the tumbler for 3 hours. At the end of that time the pin was filed down and trimmed to fit the two focal pieces. E-6000 glue was added to the coil and the glass was placed then glue on the bottom of the pearl and it slid onto the post and allowed to set.
A simple warm colored ring is the result.
Glue was cleaned off where ever it showed.
The finished product ready for sale at Oscarcrow at Etsy.com

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An Egyptian Themed Ring

 This combination of parts has been rolling around on my work top for a while. This morning they got close enough to be recognized as a ring. The flying scarab is formed and curved but in a way that would make a weak point if a mounting is riveted to the top.
 I annealed the piece with the torch and then pounded the wings with a ball peen hammer.
Next I used a dapping block and punch to deepen the curve to match the profile of the crown mount. After getting them to match I punched a 3/32 hole through each.
 The next step is to use E-6000 glue to strengthen the joint with a tube rivet or eyelet.
 Put a good amount of glue on the top of the ring and push the eyelet through.
 Next add the bug and more glue.
Add enough glue to grab the back of the crown mount wherever it hits the bug.
 Stacked all together and riveted part way to grab the parts. Then fine tune the alignment between the shank, center part and the mount. Then finish the rivet to full tightness.
 Here is the final look with the red glass stone mounted.
Finally the ring is ready for sale. It looks as if the beetle is about to take off with the gem on its back.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heart Strings attached.

 When making components like these two hearts there is always the question of how to attach the piece to a chain or other structure like a filigree or stamping. The raku heart has holes formed into the sides to wire it to something. With this metal heart I did not want to just punch a hole marring the textures that I worked so hard to achieve.
 The solution is a simple one involving a square or round wire and looping pliers.
 Placing the wire into the jaws at the base I pulled the wire around to form a loop.
 The wire was then straightened so it will lie flat on the heart.
 I chose to leave the loop unclosed to add jump rings later.
 Using a third hand, that is a pair of fire tweezers locked into a base, I placed the loop against the heart. Using flux free copper solder in wire form I brought in the torch and heated the mass of the heart to red and the solder flowed along the wire loop. Repeat this for the second loop.
 The whole needs to be pickled for a while then the solder cleaned up a bit. Next I polished the heart and using Swellegant Darkening Fluid turned the bright bronze heart to a deep dark green. I polished back the highlights with a Sunshine cloth and finally sprayed the surface with a matte acrylic spray.
This heart is ready for adding a chain which will rise from behind giving the illusion of  the heart floating on the chain.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A simple necklace made easily A Framed Skull

 This project started like most of mine with a sweep through the junk on my bench. I found a vintage brass frame that fit a recent silver frame and connected those with the prongs on the brass piece. Simply folding down the top two the inserting the silver frame and folding down the bottom ones. I knew I would want a background to set the focal on. Bronze sheet called NuGold was the right gauge 26 and a good color. In order to make a good fit I resorted to the dividers.
 Setting them to the width of the silver frame on the back of the piece.
This then was transferred to the bronze sheet by running the points along one straight edge while scratching the sheet with the other point.

 You can see the marks where I slipped off course before getting a good score. No problem because this will get textured.
 The same procedure is used to size the length.
 Again marking along the edge.
 Shears were used to cut the sheet and to clip the corners of the piece.
 A reasonable fit. Not too concerned about perfect at this point because the next step is texturing with a hammer. That will spread out the metal and it will get trimmed again before setting with E-6000 glue.
 Nice texture from a special pattern hammer and its ready to glue into place. The focal for this frame is a silver skull which has had its crossed bones removed with a jewelers saw. Next a bead was glued into the back of the head to give a good mounting point. Glue was then added to the bead and the skull set in place.
The finished piece has a large jump ring and a rollo necklace from Bsueboutiques
and the inner frame and skull from Vintage Jewelry Supplies. The outer frame was from Ebay

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Simple ring riveted construction

 Todays project begins with the elements and one tool. The BeadSmith EZ-Rivet tool is used to punch a hole in the top center of the ring shank. To do this, place the ring in the jaws and center the punch on the desired point. Tighten the screw handle until it pushes through the metal.
 Looking closely at the rivet you may see that I have used some E-6000 glue. Not really a case of belt and suspenders, but an aid to keeping all the parts aligned when riveting.
 After placing the components on the rivet, allow it to set up for 45 seconds. This will make it stay in place for the riveting. I don't show the riveting here but it works thee same as the punch. put the assembly into the jaw and center the rivet forming end on the top of the rivet. Turn the handle and form the head.
 You can see the fine result here, no messy hammer work, no balancing act while you strike with the hammer, just center, turn and done. A strong professional looking join. Yes it will get covered, but you can take pride in knowing it is right, even underneath the focal which in this case is an eye ball. The glass eye from Van Dykes Taxidermy is hollow on the back and is set with a small amount of E-6000
And the finished ring is ready for cleanup to remove the glue residues.  I chose a spring barrel from a pocket watch but you could use any combination of bezel and focals that please you.