Category Archives: Hydrualic Press

Long over due post – TONS of Videos

I could go on and on about how busy I have been, but that doesn’t really help anything at all. As you can see, I still haven’t figured out the balance between motherhood and work. There seems to be so much going on that every now and then something has to be dropped. Sometimes that is a video, or a blog post, or a piece of jewelry. I have tried very hard to make sure that I don’t drop the balls that involve my family, though sad to say, every now and then one of those gets dropped as well. Luckily, my girls have been very forgiving up to this point.

So what is going on? Well, all three girls are now in school. We still struggle with how to help Kate work through her learning disabilities. It sure makes things difficult when doing homework and trying to keep up with the other two. She just doesn’t seem to retain the information. And I am not sure how to help that. She is making great improvements in school, but we are still so far away, it feels. Riley has finally hit that maturity level where I finally feel like I can just let her take the reigns and do what she needs to without much oversight and prompting from me. That has been a relief. She is doing really well in school. She hates the “B” days when she has Gym and LOVES her “A” Days because she has calculus. I am not entirely sure she is my kid, LOL. Kiari is making huge improvements as well. It is so fun to watch her learn and grow. She is so sharp. I remember back to when she was born (10 1/2 weeks early and only just more than 3 pounds) and thinking what her future would be like. I am so blessed that she is sharp as a tack and picks up on things quickly. She sure has gotten fun.

Fun Family Trip to Las Vegas - M&M world

Fun Family Trip to Las Vegas – M&M world

 

I have finally been able to work a little in the studio. I try to get everything done during the day while the girls are at school so I can spend all my time with them when they are home. That gives us the opportunity to work on homework and our new family VLOG on YouTube. We even already have four videos out there. Our channel is called MUIR MANIA. It is still a work in progress, but the girls are thrilled to have a channel they can be a part of. If you would like to follow some of our crazy antics and just know about what is going on in life, please subscribe. They are thrilled with each new subscriber. And once we hit 100, we get a personalized channel name.

Link to subscribe to our Channel: http://bit.ly/2eD3itt

And be sure to check out our first four videos. We will have lots more crafts, treats and just family updates. It is a family video blog, so there will probably be a little of everything.

5 Fun Halloween Treats:

4 More Fun Halloween Treats:

Kelsi – Our story of Preeclampsia and Infant Loss:

Muir Mania – Vegas style:

Tool Time Tuesday RECAP

Well, I have been severely lacking in posting my Tool Time Tuesday Posts. So let me catch you up. Because while I am behind there too, I have at least made a few videos. Here is what you may have missed.

Fun tip: Removing a pancake die tab quickly with the hydraulic press:

Sand Casting: From Start to Finish

Using the JoolTool:




There are so many files. What is the difference?

You know I love Tube Setting:

See you all tomorrow for an actual Tool Time Tuesday Post. ūüôā

Giveaway #2 – BulletProof Silhouette Dies

The last giveaway was so much fun and It was just the first of many that are going to be happening over the next month or so. I recently did a video showing how to use the BulletProof Silhouette dies from the ToolCottage.com. I will admit right now, I was somewhat skeptical when I saw the three little thin sheets of rubber they use for the forming. But I tried it as they instructed and was so pleased with the results. The dies themselves are made of the same material used in banks and other high security institutions for their bullet proof “glass,” hence the name “BulletProof Dies.” I love that they are clear and you can easily see through them to line your pieces up. That comes in really handy when working with an etched or roll printed design. They have quite a few designs to choose from and they are ¬†VERY affordable, individually under $10US. And to make the deal even sweeter, they can custom make dies based on your specifications. Renee Davis of The Tool Cottage has graciously donated Four sets of dies. Each set includes 3 dies of the same shape, but in graduated sizes, and three sheets of rubber for forming your metal. These dies can be used with a hammer, vise, or most commonly, the hydraulic press.

TC-Silhouette-Giveaway

Speaking of the Hydraulic Press. Have you had a chance to check out my workshop on craftsy yet? I have seen some great results from students that have taken the online class. If you have been considering taking it, you can use this 50% off code, good until the end of the month. That makes the class only $15 for a 2 hour class.

10612_Hydraulic_Press-010_10612_retouched_10612

To see how to use the BulletProof dies, check out this video:

Video Link: https://youtu.be/rfaQCXfijyQ

ENTER NOW

I have FOUR sets to giveaway. If you would like to enter for a chance to win, just follow this link and sign up. http://eepurl.com/ccOR7v

You must sign up for each giveaway I am offering to be eligible. It was the easiest way for me to keep track of things. Winner agrees to pay shipping and to be added to my email list. Don’t worry, I don’t get spammy or send out too many emails and you can always unsubscribe if you decide you don’t want to hear from me. ūüôā

Winners will be drawn on Saturday, August 27, 2016. Good luck.

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 webiste. Click on the course titles below to be taken to each individual course for registration.

March 30: CUFFS AND COMPONENTS РHYDRAULIC 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.

How do you do everything you do?

Hello everyone. I know, it has been a very long time since I last posted. I will address that in this post. We have had a rather interesting time over the past month or so. School is finally out for the girls and we are starting to get our summer routine in order, which is anything but routine so far. ¬†If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you will already have¬†a sense of why I am so behind on Tool Time Tuesday videos, blog posts and new jewelry. It has been pretty crazy to say the least. As I post different projects I am working on, I often hear, “How do you do everything you do?” Well, as you have already seen, there are too many balls to juggle and some things get dropped, like my blog and videos.

So what has been happening at my house the past few weeks? Let’s take a look.

First, the girls had decided they wanted a play set out in the back yard. We found a few that we liked, but they were so expensive that we decided we would keep looking. In the meantime they found one they really liked, but again it was a bit out of our budget. So the girls decided they would help come up with the rest. They have a goal of $500 and have already made $200. They put their heads together and came up with some ways to help earn money. Kate has decided to make and sell jewelry. I have some wonderful friends that have also pitched in to make this happen by sending leather, beads, findings and such for them to use. Kate’s little business is booming and she is accepting custom order requests.

MakingJewelry6 MakingJewelry4

MakingJewelry5 MakingJewelry3

MakingJewelry MakingJewelry2

We didn’t want them to have to wait all summer without playing on their new play set, so we purchased it and have started the water treating of it. OH MY! What a chore. we still have one more box to open and inventory.

playset

Well, just as we got started on that, we received some very much needed rain. I tried to enjoy it and love it. And I did….. until we started to get flooded.

Bedroom Closet

Riley’s bedroom flooded. As we tore into things, we found quite a bit of mold. *sigh* So we are in the process of tearing out her closet and part of the wall in her room. We will also be tearing out the bathroom on the other side of her closet as we are pretty certain there has been water issues there as well. So I started working on getting contractors to come in and give me bids.

In the meantime, I continued to get the flowerbeds ready to finally get our mulch. We have wanted to do it since we moved in two years ago and this year we could finally afford it. YAY!

Flowers_Kiarai Flowers

Flowers2 Flowers3

flowers4

Then, we got hit with another heavy rainstorm. We ran from one end of the house to the other checking on things as the downspouts and drains were overwhelmed with the heavy rains. The placed that had flooded before, flooded again. And this time, it claimed a new victim….. my studio. *sob* I love that all of my tools ¬†can be stacked on these little carts. They are easy to move.

carts

However, there was a bit of damage and the floor had to come out. It is a laminate floor. The water flowed down the walls, under the plastic and foam where you could hear it squish as you walked. We drilled a hole to see how bad it was. Let’s just say, we actually had some fun making it squirt up through the holes. So out came the floor. Next, I will be moving all of the equipment and taking down my benches so we can tear into the walls. *cry* I now have a traveling dehumidifier. We swap it between the studio and Riley’s bedroom. It might be a while before I can get back to my videos and jewelry. BOO!

Studio_no_floor

To let my head rest from some of this and just get a change of scenery we took advantage of a really nice day and took a mini hike. I picked a really mild one with instant gratification ¬†– a waterfall at the end. I wanted to test out my foot to see if it has healed enough to do more strenuous activities…. it hasn’t. BUMMER! But we enjoyed the morning all the same.

Hike hike2

I have very exciting news. Even with all of these set back. I have finally finished the biggest phase of my book. A friend is working on the layout right now and I have a small group of people helping me with the editing. I am so excited, even if I am really behind schedule. It is getting so close now. This is what my bench top looks like at the moment. All my pieces laid out for photographing and getting ready to list some for sale so I can raise the funds needed for publishing costs and a studio remodel….. that was never in the plans.

Bench  Photos

Yesterday I received a new tool. A mini guillotine shear from Pepetools. It is so stinking cute. It has a 4″ cutting edge, so it really is small. In fact, with the exception of the handle, it comes fully assembled and weighs very little. I need to figure out how and where to mount it (as I will be taking down my benches here soon) and then I will be doing a video review on it. I can’t wait to give it a try. There are times that I would have liked having a smaller shear near my presses and I think that is where it is going to go.

shear

So now you know how I do everything I do….. a lot of things get dropped. I think I am giving up on trying to get everything together and being on top of things. Because even when I do get in that mode, other things happen and it all goes out the window anyway. Whether is it someone coming into town that you need to get together with, parents or kids with medical appointments, floods, unexpected construction work, etc.

I am just so grateful that we are in the situation we are where we are able to handle the hurdles that have been placed before us. I have learned that just because there is a schedule, sometimes you just have to release control and go with the flow. I am also trying to get my head wrapped around the fact that I will never be able to move and will have to die in this house because we will never get our money out of this one. LOL. Oh well, it is a great house with an amazing view and great studio. How can I complain about that?

Tool Time Tuesday – Hydraulic Press Essential Setup

Hi Everyone. I know the title reads Tool Time Tuesday, and that is because that is what this was supposed to be. However, I updated my Final Cut Pro – the video editing software I use for my videos – and it wouldn’t let me import my videos. I worked on it for three days. Finally had to load it on to my old computer with an older version of the program. UGH. Otherwise this would have been done on Monday. I did get the video up last night though, and even that was a miracle considering I am not feeling well right now. My productivity has gone right out the window. Even once I get done here, I am going to go back to bed.

A while back I did a blog post about the tools I consider essential when getting a hydraulic press set up. Well, this is a companion video to that post.

As you all know, I totally love the Hydraulic press. It has completely changed my body of work. The book I am currently writing is how to use the hydraulic press to make jewelry and is nearly finished. So of course, you will see a LOT of pieces by me made with the press.

CopperVinesPendant

There are a number of presses available out there, and they will all pretty much do the same thing. I happen to have purchased a press by Potter USA and that is what will be featured in my book and videos. However, the information and suggestions will work for any number of the presses.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/gvy2MG1NUnc

Tool Time Tuesday – It’s coming…

Hi Everyone. I know that I have been rather quiet on my blog lately. I actually have some new tools that I cannot wait to review for you. However, for the past two weeks we have had roofers on the top of my house, and even though I am in the basement, it is not quiet in the least. So that has made it rather difficult to do any sort of good filming. It has given me the opportunity to concentrate on getting photos edited and chosen for my book. Want to take a peak at some of the projects that will be included?

Hydraulic_Press_Jewelry_Collage

 

 

The projects range from very beginner to more advanced taking you step by step through the process. It is very image heavy. I am getting quite excited. I have two projects to finish up and I will move onto the layout and editing.

As it stands now, there are about 20 different projects and I have a list of others that have been moved to the second book.

My goal is still to have the book published in May. And I will keep you posted on the details as I have them.

I am excited to be hosting the¬†giveaway with Pepetools for the Jump Ring Maker and will be announcing the winner of that this week. Good luck to all of you have entered. If you haven’t entered, be sure to do that here:¬†http://eepurl.com/bbI3kj

Have you ever looked back at things you have done in the past and thought, “Geez, I am sure glad I got better.” Well, I do that with my jewelry for sure. I cringe when I see some of the pieces I first made and gave to my sister….. and she still wears. I am glad she loves them, and I am so glad I have made improvements. Well, this also goes for the videos I have made. I will never claim to know everything. Yes, I am quite knowledgeable in certain things, but there are always different ways to do the things I share. In addition, I am still learning. The videos I create are a way for me to share what I have learned. And as I have progressed in my knowledge, so has my video skills. People are often surprised to learn that I do everything on a video, including the recording. So sadly, sometimes my hands move out of the screen. And yes, I hear about it every time¬†it happens. LOL. But hey, it’s free. ūüôā HAHA. So with that, how about we have a little “Best Of” Tool Time Tuesday as the conditions here aren’t conducive to recording just now.

Remember when I got my very first hydraulic press? Well, it is a good thing I learned about spacers. You should never fully extend your ram as I did in this video.

Speaking of spacers, Let’s see what materials can be used for spacers. It sure is an arm saver when you have to pump the jack a lot.

How about a quick tip for filing flat spots on a piece of metal that is difficult to hold?

Check out one of the ways I use dividers in my studio.

I have a few new tools to review for you soon. And I even have another online workshop review. First, I am going to make something with the techniques I have learned so I can share with you my own results. There certainly is a lot going on here in my studio and household. But there are a lot of really good things on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them all with you. In the meantime, if anyone figures out how to create a couple of clones of me, I would appreciate it as I could certainly use the help.

Tool Time Tuesday – Mini Hydraulic Press Review

I have been home from Tucson for just over a week now, but I think I am finally just now getting back on track. It is crazy how long it takes to get back into the swing of things when you have made a trip, let alone an 11-day trip. Sadly, the trip was rather difficult on my girls, especially my youngest. So I don’t think I will do much traveling for a while. I am leaving in just a week and a half to teach at the retreat in Texas and I will be gone for 9 days there. But that one has been in the works for almost a year, so I can’t exactly cancel, not that I even remotely want to. LOL. Speaking of the retreat, there are still a couple of spaces open if you think you might like to join us. ūüôā It will be a great time with great instructors in a beautiful location with gourmet food (which is included in the price of the retreat.) ¬†http://www.roadhousearts.com/spring-2015-jewelry-retreat/

My Giveaway is still open for the Pepetools Jump Ring Maker. So if you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to enter.¬†http://eepurl.com/bbI3kj¬†We are about 1/2 way to the goal for entries. So please enter and share it.

JumpRingMaker

Tucson was so much fun this year. I was able to share a room with some good friends from when I lived back east in Ohio. It was so good to spend some time with them again. I also got to meet many new friends. It was the most fun to meet some of you, my blog readers. It is always fun to put a face with a name. So thanks for stopping by to meet me and introducing yourselves. I am looking forward to next year already. I will have some really fun things to show you in the very near future. I got myself some VERY beautiful rocks, so be on the lookout for some eye candy. I also bought¬†some copper sheet (at a discount due to being scratched and dinged a bit) and was able to get it cut into 6×6″ squares and will be destashing some of that very soon. In fact, I need to destash quite a bit. We have to put a new roof on our house and the bids are CRAZY for this big house of mine.

While I was in Tucson, I got to play with a lot of the new tools that Kevin Potter of Potter USA has come out with. And of course, I brought quite a few of them home so I can review them for you. That reminds me, I also have an online workshop I am reviewing and will be able to give one lucky winner a free subscription to the workshop. More details to come soon. Sometimes it is so hard to be me. *snicker*

One of the tools that I brought home was the Mini Hydraulic Press. This press is an 8-ton press that is meant for cutting pancake dies only. It will not do any kind of forming, it just doesn’t have the strength. In fact, the opening is too small for the bracelet pancake dies. So this is going to be for any of the other pancake dies that are 4″ or smaller. The nice thing about this press is that it has such a small foot print.

Press Size Comparisont

The Image above gives you an idea about the size of this little machine. It is so much fun to use though. This is a great tool for anyone that is wanting to get into a production mode and just punch out shapes. If you want to do anything other than that, you would be wise to move up to the next larger size.

Want to learn more? Check out this short little video.

Made it to Tucson

i just pulled in to my hotel here in Tucson and am ready for a week of fun working in Kevin Potter’s shop, shopping and teaching. ¬†Speaking of teaching, I am changing the dates for a couple of my workshops. The components workshop is now on Friday, February 6th. ¬†And I am canceling the Caught Ya! Pendant. I still have a few spaces left in the other workshops, so check them out if you are ¬†in the area.

http://kcjewelbox.com/Workshops_c26.htm

NEW CLASS DATE: FRIDAY, FEB 6th. Melissa Muir - Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

NEW CLASS DATE: FRIDAY, FEB 6th. Melissa Muir – Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

I will post pictures of everything as I get the chance. See you all soon.

Progress and feeling great

I want to tell you all thank you so much for all your love and encouragement over the past little while. The last couple of years have been so hard for me with the moves and trials we have had. I really suffered emotionally and it is crazy. The kicker for me was when my blog had to move and I lost all my subscribers, photos and had to redo them all. That was so frustrating that I just had to stop even visiting my blog because it just made me so mad. But, The fog has lifted. I am creating again. I feel great again. I have ideas again. I am ready to go and moving quickly. Thank you.

This past week my friend and jewelry artist, Mary Govaars, came and worked with me for 7 solid days. What did we do? We got my book organized. She helped me identify ALL of the projects. She also helped me to see that I have at least two books that I will be writing. There is just too much for one. That is a good problem to have, right? We laid out the sections and flow of the projects. All of the projects and steps have been written and are currently being edited and verified.¬†The book progresses beautifully from beginner projects all the way to advanced. There are more beginner to intermediate projects than advanced, but the second book will pick up where this one leaves off and readers will continue to grow their skills. I am so revved up and excited, I am almost like a kid in the candy store and can hardly wait for my kids to leave for school so I can get in to the studio and play. I haven’t felt that for such a long time. It is wonderful.

Fold and Hydraulic Formed Pendant - Melissa Muir

Fold and Hydraulic Formed Pendant – Melissa Muir

This pendant is one that I started working on when my friend Francesca Watson came to visit in October. It actually had several melt downs and went through a fair amount of silver trying to make the bail. However, I changed it up, finally bought my acetylene tank and got my torch set back up, and there were very loud squeals of delight and celebration coming from my studio when everything worked and I didn’t melt it again. If you were within about 30 miles, I am sure you heard the squeals. I floated on clouds for the next two days knowing that I finally got this project done. It feels so good to be back.

Talkin’ Tools

If you enjoy Tool Time Tuesday, then I would like to introduce you to my friend Kathleen Krucoff. ¬†She offers a feature on her blog Mystical Mytical Metalwork called Talkin’ Tools. In her first installment, in a long time anyway, she talks about chasing hammers. Her work has evolved and right now she is really into chasing and Repouse’, and she shares her favorite tools for the different techniques she is trying. it is always good to hear about tools from a number of people. Everyone has their opinions and way of doing things. So take a few minutes and check it out. You might find another blog you love to read and is full of great information and resources.

Speaking of Tool Time Tuesday, I will be back tomorrow with another installment. So I will see you all again tomorrow!

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.