Category Archives: Class Projects

Workshops all over the place

I know that my in-person workshops have been VERY FEW and VERY FAR between, and that probably won’t change any time soon. So here is your chance to take some of my workshops in person.  I am pleased to say that they have been filling rather quickly and some are already full. But if you hurry, you can snag one of the remaining seats.

2016 Workshop Schedule

February
Tucson, AZ Gem Show – All classes at Potter USA

All workshops are limited to 6 students. So don’t wait too long to sign up. All workshops are in the evening (5:30 pm – 9:30pm) at Kevin Potter’s shop in Tucson. I will be using the JoolTool in each of these workshops, especially for the finishing details. So if you have been wanting to know more about the Hydraulic Press, JoolTool (you can even bring your own) and Sand Casting, these are going to be great workshops.

Feb 1 – Sand Casting
Feb 2 – Hollow Form & Shadow Box Jewelry (JoolTool and Hydraulic Press)
Feb 3 – Cab it, Form it and Set it (JoolTool and Hydraulic Press)
Feb 4 – Potter USA Open House
Feb 5 – Sand Casting – FULL

To Register, please visit my online shop

Tucson AZ Gem Show Workshops

February – March
The Makery Arts Jewelry Retreat – Texas.

Sunday Feb 28 – Friday March 4, 2016. 5 full days with 3 gourmet meals a day at the Sage Hill Inn. We will be learning all sorts of stone setting techniques including Stone-On-Stone, taught by myself, Francesca Watson and master maker, Jim Dunakin. This retreat is already more than 1/2 full. I was able to teach last year and it was SOOOO much fun. Nothing but jewelry making, creativity exchanging and lots of laughter. Everyone came out of there enthused, excited and creatively refreshed.

For more information and to register, please visit The Makery Arts Website.

Makery Arts Jewelry Making Retreat

March – April
Glass Craft and Bead Expo – Las Vegas, NV

This is a new show for me and I am so excited. I understand that the Glass Craft and Bead expo is the “Gem Show” for the glass world. And I am excited that it is only about 6 hours drive from my home here in Utah. I will be teaching 6 workshops, 4 full-day workshops and 2 evening workshops. Registration is now open. Again, space is limited, so I wouldn’t wait too long to register.

For more information, class descriptions, and registration, please visit the Glass Craft and Bead Expo webisteClick on the course titles below to be taken to each individual course for registration.

March 30: CUFFS AND COMPONENTS – HYDRAULIC FORMED JEWELRY
March 30:  INTRODUCTION TO SAWING AND PIERCING

March 31: SILHOUETTE DIE MAKING FOR JEWELRY FORMING
March 31: INTRODUCTION TO SOLDERING

April 1: CAPTURED DRUZY PENDANT

April 2- CREATIVE FREEFORM SETTINGS
Melissa Muir - Glass Craft Expo Workshops

 

September – October
Makery Arts – Bulverde Texas

Workshops are still being determined, but classes will be held September 29 – October 2nd. More information coming soon.

2015 Workshops

I am so excited to announce that I finally have some workshops on the schedule. I am going to be teaching in Tucson again. I will be teaching at Potter USA again this year. Kevin has been so gracious and allows me to teach in his shop after hours. So all of the workshops will be from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. The dates are not finalized yet, but they will all be within February 1 – 8. Want to see the classes? Of course you do. Well, here they are.

Melissa Muir - Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

Melissa Muir – Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

The name says it all. Embossing, texturing, fold forming, riveting and forming with the hydraulic press.

The name says it all. Embossing, texturing, fold forming, riveting and forming with the hydraulic press.

Learn to make your own custom Silhouette Dies for creating depth in your work.

Learn to make your own custom Silhouette Dies for creating depth in your work.

This is a fun pice where we use a hole in the form to encapsulate a round cabochon. It is not as easy as it looks. But the end result is fun.

This is a fun pice where we use a hole in the form to encapsulate a round cabochon. It is not as easy as it looks. But the end result is fun.

This one isn't done with a hydraulic press, but it is moving metal. Learn to use a hammer and swage block to create these stunning forms.

This one isn’t done with a hydraulic press, but it is moving metal. Learn to use a hammer and swage block to create these stunning forms.

Final dates and prices will be announced shortly. Keep your eyes on the update from this blog or on FB.

What? You aren’t going to be in Tucson? How about Texas?

Roadhouse Arts Studio and Gallery are hosting a week long jewelry retreat at the Sage Hill in near Austin Texas in March. My good Friend Francesca Watson is one of the gallery’s owners and she has invited me to be one of the guest instructors. I will be joining Connie Fox, Francesca Watson and Gail Stouffer as we journey through the creative design process. What can be more fun than a full week of nothing but tools, creativity and beautiful scenery? Workshop Dates: March 1 – 6, 2015. 

They opened registration just this afternoon and I believe they are nearly half full already. So don’t delay if you are considering it. For more information, check out their website: http://www.roadhousearts.com/spring-2015-jewelry-retreat/

Pepetools Superior Ring Bending Tool Giveaway

Remember, there is still time to enter the drawing for the Pepetools Superior Ring Bending Tool. Just subscribe to my blog and leave a comment. I am keeping a tally of everyone who has entered. But I get your information from the comment on the blog, so be sure you do that part. I understand some people have had technical difficulties in getting their comment to post. If that is the case, just use the Contact Me form and I will enter you from there.

Teaching in Tucson

Welcome back for a new year. As always, things are busy as ever. We are about 1/2 through the studio bathroom remodel (always fun, and I can’t wait to show the pictures.) School has finally resumed for the kids, and we have already dealt with the first round of sick kids.

So what have I been working on now? I am still working on my book. This is turning into something so much bigger than I anticipated and so much more work, But it is coming, I promise. I have been playing with new techniques and tools in all things hydraulic press.
Along those lines, I am going to be teaching four workshops in Tucson during the big gem show. I am still working on all the photos, but I have included a few below. If you are going to be in Tucson, I hope you will stop by. All classes are held from 5:30 – 9:30 pm, so you can shop all day and play all night. Each course is only $150 and includes all materials. All you need to do is show up.

 

Bracelet Making Workshop
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Have you ever wanted to use a hydraulic press, rolling mill or other tools to further your bracelet designs? Then this fun hands-on workshop is for you! In this workshop we will make multiple bracelets while exploring the various tools to manipulate the metal. We will play around with various surface textures such as hammering, roll printing, fold-forming, embossing and several others. And it keeps getting better…you will also learn all about pancake/blanking dies and how they can help improve your productivity. In experimenting we will use various forming tools that will allow us to create different bracelet forms such as anticlastic, synclastic and we will also learn about a few others that will add dramatic effects to your designs. This is a technique based workshop where you will take your creative process to the next level while learning to utilize the many fun tools available to create many different looks. This is the perfect class for beginners to advanced, there is something for everyone. No prior experience necessary.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Saturday, February 1st. 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:


Component and Metal Bead Making Workshop
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So you have a  Hydraulic Press. Now what? In this technique based workshop, we will be working with pancake/blanking dies. Don’t worry if this is all Greek to you, by the end of this workshop it will be second nature to you. With these dies we will make all sorts of components that can be used for things like earrings and pendants. We will learn how to add depth and dimension by forming with Silhouette dies. We will even go one step further and learn a few ways to use these formed pieces to create hollow forms or beads.  You will learn many different texturing techniques to add to your repertoire such as roll printing, stamping, forging, fold forming, piercing and more. You will create more than a handful of components and at least one bead if you desire. No prior experience is necessary.
Cost: $150 – All Materials included
When: Sunday, February 2nd. 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

DieFoldFormedsamples

DieFormedPendant

 

Captured Druzy Pendant

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In this project based workshop you will discover how to use a hydraulic press to create  the Captured Druzy Pendant. You will be amazed by the form, beauty, and dimension you can create with the hydraulic press. We will first create a formed piece that will then be pierced to allow the durzy quartz to be seen from behind. Next, we will solder wire prongs onto a backplate in order to secure a flat backed druzy quartz. When the final design is created we will secure all layers with tube rivets, including a bail of your design. You will be excited about the beautify of this design. Think of the possibilites. Experience with a jewelers saw is highly recommended, but not required.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Monday, February3rd, 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

Silhouette Die Making Workshop
You may already be familiar with silhouette dies available through Potter USA or even Bonny Doon, but you have also seen other forms that have been made by other people. So how do they do it? Well, this workshop will introduce you to several ways that will add endless possibilities for your own custom designs. We will also go over good and bad design ideas that will help you achieve consistent results with a minimum of post forming work. The best part is you will be introduced to many methods to create and test your silhouette dies using a product called Faux Bone. I am still getting pictures taken and ready.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Thursday, February 6th, 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.

Tool Time Tuesday – Anticlastic Bracelet Tutorial

Hello everyone. It has been a while. It seems I say that more and more. I have all the intentions on sitting down and writing a post, posting or filming a video or even working on jewelry and it just doesn’t seem to go as planned. So I am just trying to go with the flow of things. Thanks for your patience.

Basic Soldering Online Workshop

First off, I am running my Basic Soldering Online Workshop again. Many people indicated that the fall was a bad time and asked if I would run it again after the first of the year. So I am. In addition, you can choose to take the entire workshop, or just specific projects. I will have a yahoo group and Flickr group again so that you will have access to me through those means as well as email.

View more information about the projects: www.MelissaMuir.com/workshops

Coloredbracelet

Tool Time Tuesday

I did finally get a video edited that I filmed a couple of weeks ago. though. So for today’s Tool Time Tuesday, I am presenting a video tutorial to make an anticlastic bracelet with the hydraulic press. Kevin Potter of Potter USA, has come out with some great bracelet blanking dies. There are three different sizes. I am loving them because they make working on bracelets so much faster.
I will be listing the bracelet blanks (in copper) for sale in my shop next week if anyone is interested in buying the blank but don’t have the resources to get the press set up.
In the video, I show how to use the blanking die with both the larger press and the new smaller bolt together press. There are also some considerations that need to be made with the smaller opening and smaller platen size.
Enjoy. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

The Press and press tools can be purchased at www.PotterUSA.com

Who wants to take my online class? For Free?

I am a bit late on this post. My online class has been up and running for just over one full week. Things seem to be running smoothly. I am still adding little bits here and there as questions come up, but all in all, I think it is successful. 

As promised, I said I would offer a scholarship to one lucky person. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me what things you really want to learn. Yes, I am fishing for ideas. Ideas for new classes. Ideas for Tool Time Tuesday. Ideas for me to help improve my own skills. Ideas to help get me out of this depressing rut. This will also help me see if anyone is reading my blog anymore. I haven’t received comments for a long time now. Are you still out there? I am sorry for the Captcha crap when you enter comments. I have tried and tried to disable it, but am unable to do. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate ANY feedback I get. I will admit, it is very discouraging when there is only silence. So let me know what you think….. please. 
So if you would like the opportunity to take my current online workshop – Basic Soldering, be sure to leave your comment. I will announce the winner on Friday, October 19th. Even if you are already enrolled, be sure to enter. Your tuition will be refunded if you win. 

So what else is new? 

I have been busy, but I don’t seem to really have anything to show for it. I think that is the frustrating part. I am now a Board Member for the Creative Metal Arts Guild in Portland. Next month I will be revisiting my “old life,” When I present on web page design to the guild. That will be fun. I have been preparing and I have to admit, it is making me long to be in front of the computer classroom once again. I loved that career. 

Upcoming workshop

I have one opening left in the workshop I am teaching on Monday, October 22nd. It is my Lily Pendant and Cone Earrings class. I will be teaching people how to use my Swage Block. Of course, if you can’t make it and would like to learn, you can always purchase the step by step tutorial in my shop. If you are in the area and would like to attend, you can see more about the workshop on the Clear Skies Studios web page

What am I working on now?

Just this past week I have purchased the tools for working with Salt Water Etching. I really wanted to have a way that my girls could participate in some of my jewelry work. I am not comfortable with them working with the ferric chloride, especially since I no longer have good ventilation in my studio space (living room in the house we are renting.) So I got myself a battery charger and box of salt. I am currently playing with various resists to see which give me the best result. I am also thinking I will offer a mini online workshop on this (cost will only be about $15.) 
A friend of mine sent me a bunch of tools to demonstrate for Tool Time Tuesday. So I am working on getting some of those videos done up now and hope to present them over the next couple of weeks. I also have 2 more Featured Artists that I will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks as well. 
The rains have started here in Vancouver, Washington. I was really bummed as I have really been enjoying my outdoor lifestyle including hiking and biking, especially the biking. Well, I have the best husband in the world. He purchased some fenders for my bike, so I wouldn’t get so muddy and wet from the water being flipped up from the tires. He also got me some long fingered and water resistant gloves so my fingers would stay a bit more warm. I also bought a rain resistant jacket to help keep me dry. I am much happier now knowing that I will still be able to ride when it isn’t raining too hard. In fact, I went out this morning and enjoyed the fog and colors of fall. 
Okay, that is enough for now. I will be back soon with a Tool Time Tuesday. In the meantime, be sure to enter your comment to be entered for the scholarship for this online course. Good luck! 

Lots of Changes

Wow the last week has been just crazy. So crazy in fact, I was thinking I was supposed to get a Tool Time Tuesday out today when I noticed that it wasn’t Tuesday, it was Wednesday. We have now been here for 3 weeks, as of today. In some ways it seems so much longer than that and others it doesn’t seem possible that it has been 3 weeks already. The weather has been mostly rainy, but yesterday and today were so beautiful. Not a drop of precipitation and the temps were fairly mild. I took advantage of that and took a nice long walk with my baby. It felt great to get out. 

We are living in a fairly nice community just outside of Vancouver, Washington. After we got here, I got my two oldest girls enrolled in school. My oldest is in 6th grade and the next one is in Kindergarten. Well, the first day I took Riley to school was quite the shocker when it came to the kids. Now I am certainly one to not judge people on their looks as I love the freedom of expression that comes from it. Most of my friends were rather “colorful” when I was in high school. But I expect that of high school kids, not 6th and 7th graders. Their behaviors were also much more liberal than we are used to as well. So much so that Riley was actually quite uncomfortable with them. We came from some really great schools where the students and teachers really show respect for each other. When we attended church the first couple of times, my concerns were validated. We were told of another school that a lot of the kids have transferred to. We were fortunate to find out that there was room in the 6th grade and the bus picks up only one street over. So Riley started at the new middle school on Monday. She came home and when I asked her about her day, she beamed and said, “It was WONDERFUL.” It was such a relief. She has enjoyed all three days there so far. 
Kate had been attending kindergarten on a full time basis in Ohio. But here the school is only 2 1/2 days. That was kind of hard for me to deal with also as she has been in full time preschool for 2 years and then full time kindergarten. But again, we found out about another school that did have a full time program. We were so blessed. There are only 54 kids in the school (K-6) and there is a waiting list for the Kindergarten/1st grade class. Last month, one little girl moved out and there was an opening. They weren’t really letting kids in because it is too hard for kids to adjust from part time to full time in the middle of the year. But because we came from a full time program, they let her in. I have to drive her a little further to catch the bus, it used to pick up at the corner, but she is really happy and she is already doing really well. There are also some other opportunities she is going to have, like swim lessons, that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. 
So even with just that, I have been busy. I have my classes in canada in just a little more than 2 weeks. I have been frantically trying to find my tools and materials. That has proved rather time consuming and difficult. 
The other thing that is really getting me right now is this new Mac that i am working on. Even right now, I was about to hit save and post this entry. But one little swipe of my fingers and the last 30 minutes of work is GONE! SCREAM!!!!!! UGH!
I did finally find my bur-life and saw blades and have been working a little on some piercing. 
These will be samples for one of the classes that I am teaching. I am hoping to get a few more samples for each of the classes I will be teaching.
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These are a bit rough right now as i have only started the clean up. I  still need to file them and finesse the piercing. I have decided that I won’t be letting the students get too elaborate on their pieces. Piercing on a flat sheet is one thing, but it is quite another story when trying to cut a domed piece of metal. 
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So that is where things stand right now. I still need to figure out how to use this computer to get my handouts done and photos edited. It is proving rather difficult for me. I used to be a professional computer trainer for years and years. I am not used to being lost when it comes to working a computer. But Mac’s and PC’s are light years apart. LOL. 
Okay, one last thing. Lighting. The lighting in this studio (living/dining room) is AWFUL!!!!! What do you use for lighting? I have a couple of lamps, but they aren’t cutting it. I really miss my studio. It really makes me appreciate what I really had. 

The studio is just about packed

What a great response to my Tool Time Tuesday Post. Thank you all of you that responded to it and left me comments. I have to say, it means a lot to me when you take the time to comment. It really makes it worth it to me to do them. I honestly almost didn’t post that one because I was afraid people thought it would be a stupid one. I am glad that wasn’t the case. Thank you again for the feedback. I love it when I come on here and have comments. It makes my day!

Oh, I have a piece that I made a little while back. I didn’t show anyone because I want to use it as a project in my book. But now that I will be teaching it in March at the Fraser Valley Bead Show in March, the picture will be out there, so I might as well share it with all of you. You can tell me if you like it or not.

 

BrassNDruzy

 

Wow, what a week. I think I just about have it all done. There are the little bits of odds and ends here and there, but for the most part, I think it is just about done. I even have all the holes in the walls patched and now they just need to be sanded and painted.

I was really hoping to be further along than this, but that just can’t happen according to plan, right? On Monday my baby had to go in to have her tubes in. She was fighting a bit of a cold at that time, but we were all comfortable in going forward with the surgery. Well, the past couple of days, her cold has improved and then gotten worse. Last night my husband and I were up all night with her and we each had the pleasure of a cold shower. My poor baby had a fever of 106. I have had my kids have fevers up to 104, but NEVER 106. OH MY GOODNESS. With multiple cool baths and showers, a couple of rounds of tylenol and an antibiotic on board, we finally got the fever to break around 8:00 am this morning. Of course, by that time, we had had only about 2 hours of sleep. Talk about miserable, for all parties involved. Today she has been super clingy and we still haven’t gotten much accomplished. I was really hoping to have all the packing done here in the basement with all the boxes moved upstairs and ready to be loaded into the truck in 2 weeks. Oh well. At least I still have 2 weeks….. right?

So you want to see what I have been up to?

This is where the polishing machine and bench used to be.

 


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Watch as the ventilation system comes down.

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I have removed the vent hoods.

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This is the shelf we built to hold the dust collector that I use for my ventilation motor.

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Now the vent system is down and you can see the blower that I use for moving the air out of the studio.

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My rolling mill looks like it has been met by a rather large group of spiders.

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This shelf keeps getting empty and filled back up as we move things around while packing everything up.

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All the copper is packed up and the pegboard has been taken down. The boxes on the floor are coming out of the storage room and we are culling and sorting them to see what to toss and what to keep.

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The vise has been removed and even the bottle jack has been removed from my hydraulic press. We just need to wrap it up and move it upstairs with the rest of our stuff.

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My peg board (wall of hammers) is down and the storage drawers are all empty and packed away.

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All the mirrors and wall art has been removed. You can actually see all the pictures from the studio sitting on the cabinet there in the corner.  I just need to take care of some chemicals and get them disposed of and that will be done.

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So there you have it. Once we get all the boxes up stairs and a bit more organized, I will take a picture to show how many boxes I filled. It is actually kind of embarrassing that I have as much as I do. But when you consider that I teach classes, it kind of makes sense for me to have multiples of various tools.

 

Tool Order and JINX

Well, I must have jinxed it. LOL. We are not moving in 4 weeks after all. It looks like I have closer to 12. So we are still moving, but now I can breathe and relax and not have to do it all so quickly. Of course that would all come about after I have already booked my trip to Vancouver in 3 weeks to do some house hunting. Oh well, guess I will just go and get to know the area a little bit more. Perhaps a February move will have more mild weather than Christmas? Fingers are crossed.

If you have sent me an email in the past couple of days asking about tools and such, chances are, I have it and just haven’t been able to get back to you just quite yet. Things have been busy, especially with the changing schedule and figuring everything out. I am sorry and I will be in touch. Since I am not going as soon as I thought I was this also gives me a little bit more time for this order. I will still be placing it this next week. I was hoping to have it done today, but other things have come up that I had to take care of first. Not only that, but there have been a lot of questions about Tube setting tools and such. So I thought I would take a bit of time to answer them for you now.

I have had a lot of questions about which burs and sizes to buy when it comes to tube setting stones. Here are the tools I use every time I create my tube settings from scratch (or at least from a premade length of tube.)

 

  • Thick walled Tube (outer diameter is .5mm larger than the stone I am using. The wall thickness is approximately .5+mm)
  • Tube Cutting Jig (I currently have 2 in stock – $35.00)
  • Jewelers saw & Blades
  • Miter Cutting Vise (I have 2 in stock – $60.00)
  • Files (flat, cuts 2 & 4)
  • Burs (Setting and round)
  • Calipers (Digital –  I got mine at Harbor Freight)

Choosing the Right Bur

So how do you know which bur to use? You want to use a bur that is just slightly smaller than the diameter of your stone. For instance, if I have a 6mm stone that I am going to set, I would start with a 5.9mm round/ball bur to get the depth of the tube close to where I want it to be. Then I would switch to a 5.9mm setting bur to complete the setting.

The stones I tube set are typically 3, 4, 5 & 6mm. So here is what I use:

  • 3mm  stone
    • 3.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 100452)
    • 2.9mm Round ball bur ($3.40)
    • 2.9mm Setting bur ($4.05)
  • 4mm Stone
    • 4.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 400427)
    • 3.8mm Round ball bur (4.05)
    • 3.8 Setting bur ($4.85)
  • 5mm Stone
    • 5.5mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 100429)
    • 4.70mm Round Ball Bur ($4.75)
    • 4.70mm Setting Bur ($5.35)
  • 6mm Stone
    • 6.5 mm outer diameter heavy walled tube (Rio 400431)
    • 5.90mm Round Ball Bur ($4.75)
    • 5.9mm Setting Bur ($5.35)

I hope that helps answer the questions regarding the size of burs and tubing. I know that rio also sells tubing for stones 1.5mm – 6.5mm every 1/2 size. If you need help figuring out which tubing and/or bur to buy, just let me know. Again, the email is at the top of the navigation bar for the blog.

Upcoming Classes

I am still working on my schedule, but if you have a day that works for you and you would like to take a class, just drop me a line and let’s work something out.

I am trying to work on a locket project using the hydrualic press. I am trying to figure out how long to make it, but for now, I think it will be a Saturday class that is about 5 hours long. If you are interested in this, please let me know.

Beadtini Boutique

Beadtini Boutique is located in Sawmill Run at
1245 South Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley OH 44321

To Register for classes at this location please call:330-668-4717

Wire Angel

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Thursday, December 1, 2011
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Spinner Ring

Saturday, December 17, 2011
10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Tool Time Tuesday – Matched Ear Wires

Well, once again it is Monday. However, my flight to Tucson leaves at 5:45 am tomorrow, so I will not be around to make my post. Again, better one day early than not at all.

This week is going to be a lot of fun for me. I am very excited as I am flying to Tucson to hang out with Kevin Potter in his shop. I am going to learn everything I can about the hydraulic press and Stakes. I will even have the opportunity to make a few of my own tools. I am so excited! I am also going to be staying with some good friends of ours from grad school. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the hot weather. I enjoy summer as much as the next guy, but I am ready for it to be done. Fall is my very favorite season and it always has been. I am so glad that I get to be here in Ohio to enjoy just one more.

The other night the topic of creating ear wires came up on one of my email groups. The person was looking at buying a jig to create them. Now, I am very grateful to jigs. They do come in handy every now and then and it is also how I got started with wire and jewelry in the first place. I recall talking with one lady at a show that had helped to write a book on making jewelry with the jig and she had said she NEVER used one any more as she could do all the same things with her pliers. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. Sure enough, slowly but surely I began to do more and more with just my round nose pliers. I pretty much never use my jig any more. It has been years since I have even looked at the thing. At any rate, I told about my own situation and that I thought that there were better places for her to spend her money. The conversation continued with several of us and the concern about making her ear wires match came up. What a great opportunity to create a video. YAY!

Now the video(s) here were filmed around midnight and posted that night (I went to bed at 3:00am.) So I did notice one big oversight, I forgot to tel how to finish the ends. So watch the videos and come back here so I can tell a little more about that.

I am either extremely slow, or very chatty. Either way, the video was too long for YouTube. Therefore, there are two parts. Enjoy!

Part 1: http://youtu.be/4ZtN5EeMLik

Part 2: http://youtu.be/hojFmMiyw2g

 

Okay, to finish the ends I do any number of things. You can take a file and lightly file the edges and round out the end that way. It takes a little more time. The next thing I use is called a Wire Rounder. They are about $10 – $12 (I think?) and you just put it on the end of your ear wire and twist your wrist. It is basically a cup bur  mounted to a handle. The last thing I do is take a cup bur put it in my flex shaft, push the petal and ZIP, it is all done.

 

New Pieces

I have done a little in the studio, but not a whole lot this past week. I had a full day set aside on Friday. I even took my baby, but we ended up having a showing of our house. So I spent the day cleaning and then took a nap instead.

I made more bracelets, because really, can you ever have enough? Someone had mentioned that they would like one in Sterling. So I made one. I have since oxidized this one and it really brings out the details of all the folds. DANG, silver is much more difficult to fold and unfold. But it sure is pretty!

Fold_Formed_Bracelets


This next one is a different take on a Mother’s Bracelet. I made it for the friend that I will be staying with in Tucson. I don’t know if she wears jewelry or not, so it might just sit in her jewelry chest or on top of her dresser, but it sure was fun to make at any rate. I also made little pendants for her little girls.

Justine


Riley is in the studio

My 11-year-old has been bitten by the piercing bug. She LOVES it and is always asking me if she can go in the studio to do some more. Just wait till you see the piece she is working on now. It is not simple and quite elaborate for a beginner. I am really proud of her. She is learning a lot, but enjoying it. Santa may have to bring her a saw for Christmas.

This is a shape that she drew free-hand and then pierced out. She showed one of the Recess Aides at school and was then commissioned to make another for the aide. I have also now had a talk with Riley about the value of her work. LOL. She did get a pair of earrings in exchange and is happy with the transaction.

Riley Hedgehog Cutout


Riley is filing the rough points on her little hedge hog. It makes my heart so full to look at pictures of her working in the studio. *PROUD MAMA HERE*

RileyFiling


Here are some other pieces that she has done. The two at the top are the original and the commissioned piece.

The three at the bottom (from left to right) are a cat, dog and mouse. All drawn freehand and then cut out.

Rileyanimals

Class Changes

Classes in my Norton Studio:
Tuesday, September 20, 6-9pm – Fold formed and pressed bracelet (like those above.) $65, all materials included. Students will make one bracelet.

Saturday, September 24, Hydraulic Press and Pierced Pendant 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. $75, all materials included. Students will make one
pendant. This one will be rescheduled at a later date.

Classes at Beadtini Boutique in Copley
www.beadtiniboutique.com
330-668-4717

Wednesday, August 31
– 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Creative Findings. This is a combination soldering
and wire class. You will learn to create soldered embellishments
including toggle clasps, head pins, links, creative ear wires and other
embellishments.

Wednesday, September 14 – 6:00 – 9:00 pm:
Spinner Rings. You will learn techniques to size and make a wide band
ring with spinning rings. This class is a great introduction to working
with a torch.

****Date Change!*****
Saturday, September 17 – 10:30 am – 2:30pm:
Bezel Set Pendant. Students will work with both copper and fine silver
to bezel set a small cabochon on a copper back plate. Prior soldering
experience is required to take this class. NEW DATE ***** Saturday, September 24*****

See you all next week when I return. I should have a lot of REALLY good stuff to share.

FUN FUN FUN in the Studio

Okay, I have been finally spending a lot of good quality time in the studio. I pay for it dearly the next day as I usually don’t enter the studio until 9:00 pm or later and get to bed around 2:00 or 3:00 am. That doesn’t work so well when the baby gets up at 6:00 to eat. YIKES! But OH IT HAS BEEN FUN!!!! I have never really had my kids on a schedule before. Not a strict one anyway, particularly over the summer. It isn’t uncommon for us to all go to bed around 10:00 or 11:00 pm. As school is starting this week (tomorrow for my oldest and Thursday for my Kindergartener) I started getting the girls ready for bed at 8:00 and in bed no later than 9:00 pm. Oh how I wish I had done this AGES ago.

Want to see what I have been up to? I am on such a high lately that I have a hard time waiting all day just to get the kids to bed and I can get back into the studio.
This first one I did over a week ago. But I couldn’t really show you since it was part of the bead Soup Package. But now that she has it, I can show it. It was made with my hydraulic press. I pierced out the center and soldered it on to a back plate, textured it and set the stone. SO FUN!

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This one I made Sunday night. It took about 4 hours to make and I am still not totally happy with it, but it was so much fun to try some new things. I am really enjoying my press. I can finally add the depth and dimension to my pieces that I have always wanted. Everything always seemed to be so flat. Not anymore!

I domed a large circle, drew the patterns I wanted, drilled my holes and began piercing. The other half of the circle is pierced and waiting to be used. Still thinking about that one. It has an entirely different pattern on it. I soldered it on to the back plate and then I searched through my scrap silver wire to see what I could come up with. This is what I ended up with. I really like how it turned out. though getting everything soldered on to it without having the solder go everywhere was very difficult and not entirely successful in all the areas. The bail is a tube on the back of the piece.

flowera


Here is is from a different angle so you can really appreciate the depth of the domed shape.

flowerb


I made this one last night. My baby sitter is turning 16 on Thursday. She has been wonderful. We weren’t able to afford to pay her a whole bunch and several times she has worked for jewelry (which mostly ended up on her mother. LOL) But she has been wonderful working with Kiari, as Kiari isn’t an easy baby. Her favorite color is pink. So I formed the flower with the press, drilled and pierced the center and then soldered it onto a sterling back plate.Then I soldered on the stem and tube setting (and the stupid thing moved just as the solder flowed. UGH!) I cut away the sterling back plate around the flower and stem. I soldered on the setting for the diamond and then pierced out the shape of the leaf. Then I soldered on a tube on the back plate for the bail. Final steps were to set the Pink SwaroGem and diamond. And yes, it is a diamond. I have had them for ages and this is the first time I finally used one. The diamond didn’t show up very well, so I went back in with some SilverBlack and blackened the leaf a bit and now you can see it much better.

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Today the girls and I had a studio play date. I formed the flowers for the earrings, pierced them out, drill the holes and made the drops for the crystals. The ear wires are also hand made. I really hope she likes this set. It will be fun to see what she thinks.

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As I said, we had a studio play date. Kate made a necklace, also for my sitter. While she did a good job, it is certainly something that a 5 year old would make. There isn’t much of a pattern. But she is so proud of it.

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Riley has been asking me for a while to show her how to use a jewelers saw. Today I was finally able to do that. She is a natural. Just look at that form!

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I drew out some lines for her on a post it note so she could get used to using the saw. The lines got progressively harder, straight, slight wave, very wavy, zig zag and then random shapes with soft and sharp turns. She didn’t break a blade until the very end. She was heartbroken. I was thrilled that she finally broke a blade and had to learn how to load the new saw blade.

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She has wanted to wear my magnifiers since I got them. I may have to order her a pair of her own. Either that or go without one myself as I am not sure I will ever get to use it if we are both in the studio together. HA!

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She picked out a rather intricate shape to work with, but she did a great job. She wanted to do a firefox, and so she did.

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Here is the final piece. I did a little bit of smoothing on the edges with a file and polishing, but the rest of it was all her. She did such a good job that I actually had to file the points on the tail and around the ears. They were sharp. I am so proud of her. It was so much fun to look over and watch her do this. She did break about 3 or 4 blades on the pendant, but that is okay, more practice learning how to insert the blade.

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Tool Time Tuesday….

Well, It didn’t happen today. We were having too much fun doing other things. Sorry. But I do think that there might be a Tool Time Wednesday. I have a couple of things ready. I just need to get them filmed and edited.


 

North East Ohio Classes

I have a couple of classes coming up. This Saturday I am going to teach a hydraulic press and piercing class. We will make something similar to the pendant I made last week.

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I have room for only 2 more people, possibly 3. Class is 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Cost: $75 and includes all materials. This class will be held in my Norton Studio.

Classes at Beadtini Boutique in Copley
www.beadtiniboutique.com
330-668-4717

Wednesday, August 31 – 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Creative Findings. This is a combination soldering and wire class. You will learn to create soldered embellishments including toggle clasps, head pins, links, creative ear wires and other embellishments.

Wednesday, September 14 – 6:00 – 9:00 pm: Spinner Rings. You will learn techniques to size and make a wide band ring with spinning rings. This class is a great introduction to working with a torch.

Saturday, September 17 – 10:30 am – 2:30pm: Bezel Set Pendant. Students will work with both copper and fine silver to bezel set a small cabochon on a copper back plate. Prior soldering experience is required to take this class.