Thursday, 17 November 2016

What's New - Earrings and Bangles

In the last couple of weeks I've been busy making new pieces which was a nice change from made to order bangles which take up most of my time these days!

I've had chance to make 12 new sterling silver bangles that needed sending off to London for hallmarking. These are now back, photographed and starting to be listed and appear in my Etsy shop.

I've also been using some more of the texture cards from Rolling Mill Resource on Etsy. I'm so pleased with how well the new designs work on copper and silver. I sometimes had a problem with getting a good imprint on silver but this latest order are working really well.
I also used some twisted copper wire I'd had hanging around for a while to make some open hoop earrings.

Sterling silver studs always sell well so I used some small pieces of embossed sheet to create some simple disc studs.
 I also made a couple of pairs of silver open hoops too.
All my new stuff is already up on my website and I'm in the middle of tweaking and updating things there. I love a good tweak and of course always feel the need to do it approaching the busiest time of the year for orders... :D

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Using A Bead Reamer

A while ago I bought a set of diamond coated bead reamers and thought it was about time I tried them out.

I got them from Cooksongold for just under £9 and they arrived in a plastic pouch. There are four bead reamers in the set: two thin round reamers - like a smaller version of a round needle file - and two conical shapes - one with a barrel shaped body. 

So, what do you do with a bead reamer? They are designed to be used to enlarge a hole in a bead and can also be used to smooth the area around the hole. Back when I used to make a lot of bead and wire jewellery, every now and then I would come across a couple of stone beads from a string with "wonky" holes. By that I mean when the hole was drilled in the bead it didn't meet properly in the middle causing a narrow area that stopped the wire going through to the other side. 

I thought I'd try out the bead reamer on a stone bead with this problem.

The 20g copper wire will only go about halfway through the bead because the hole isn't straight.

I used one of the round reamers and twisted it inside the hole a few times before doing the same at the other end. I checked it with the wire and it went through nicely.

It was really easy to do as the diamond particles on the reamer grind the inside of the stone away making the hole bigger.

Another use for the reamers is to enlarge the hole in a pearl. I have quite a lot of pearls......

.... and some of the smaller sizes have pretty small holes. Sometimes I like to use a thicker gauge wire especially for pearl dangles so being able to make the hole in the pearl bigger is very useful.

This potato pearl is about 5mm and the hole will take 22g/0.6mm wire.

I wanted to be able to use 20g/0.8mm with it so I used the thin round bead reamer.

I did the same as before and twisted the reamer in the hole a few times before doing the same at the other end and it very quickly enlarged the hole. You can see the dust from the inside of the pearl on my finger in the photo.

The hole was soon large enough to take the 20g/0.8mm wire. Some of the coloured coating/dye {not sure what they do to these pearls to colour them!} did come off around the hole but not enough to spoil the pearl.

If the bead was used as a dangle or bead link the wire wrap would cover the small amount of "damage" to the hole.

I also tried the reamer with a ceramic bead. I occasionally make bangles with a ceramic bead threaded onto them. The hole in the ceramic bead obviously needs to be bigger than the bangle wire.

The reamer did the job but it did take a bit more effort than the pearl and stone bead.

Here's the before and after photos of the hole and you can see it is bigger after using the reamer.

I did try using the conical shaped reamers with the ceramic bead but found they weren't as succesful as the thin round reamers. When I put any pressure on them they pushed down into the handle and the handle moved but the reamer stayed still when I twisted them.

Pulling them out again and adding a bit of super glue would no doubt sort that problem out.

On the whole I'm glad I bought them as they make it very easy to sort out any problems you might come across with rogue bead holes.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Turning My 9ct Gold Scrap Into A Pair Of Earrings

For someone who's loved silver forever I seem to have an awful lot of scrap 9ct gold! Some of it is from gold chains and a ring I had when I was younger and some of it I was given by my Mum as she wasn't a big gold jewellery person either. She preferred wearing my early bead creations bless her!

There's also a couple of scrap pebbles from previous projects.
I started by melting it into as large a pebble as I could manage with my torch.

I ended up with a slightly saggy looking black lump. As I thought gold wasn't supposed to oxidize I decided to look up exactly what 9ct gold contains and found out it's made up of 37.5% pure gold and the rest is made up of silver, copper and zinc. That's explains the oxidation........

This is the 9ct gold after pickling - still a bit grubby and you can see some of the copper on the surface.
I then ran it through the rolling mill, annealing several times as I did so.

This is the result. It started to split on one edge and the copper content is very evident from the annealing before it was pickled.

I chose this design to imprint onto the gold as it fit the size of the sheet the best.

The patterned gold after pickling. I think the copper is drawn to the surface of the gold during annealing but I wasn't too worried about it as I have the means to remove it with...........

Super pickle is a 50/50 mix of clean pickle and hydrogen peroxide and is fabulous for removing copper from where it shouldn't be.

As you can see the super pickle did it's job.

After tidying the edges of the two gold pieces I added a satin texture to two pieces of silver sheet and soldered the gold pieces onto them.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the earrings yet so I used fairly large pieces of silver sheet.
Then I started trimming them...

I still didn't know what I was going to do at the top of the earrings so left it a bit longer.
Then I decided to trim that off too.............:D

 And add a jump ring for the earwire. 
{I think my design mojo had nipped out that day}

I soaked the earrings in the super pickle again to remove the copper that had appeared on the surface from soldering then added sterling silver earwires.

After tumbling the earrings to clean them up and polish them I decided to oxidize them in liver of sulphur to add a bit of depth around the join where the gold part meets the silver and also because I like the contrast of oxidized silver with the shiny gold.

I cleaned them up with wire wool and tumbled them again and here they are all finished...

I really enjoyed making something different and as I have some scrap 9ct gold left will most likely be making something else of the golden persuasion soon.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 2 September 2016

A Useful Infographic Guide To Soldering

Here's an infographic courtesy of Cooksongold that should be very useful to budding solderers!

It covers the basics you need to follow to solder succesfully but the most important thing to bear in mind is, like anything, soldering gets easier the more you do it!

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 26 August 2016

New Rolling Mill Texture Cards

Several months ago I swore off using texture cards with my rolling mill after some pretty unimpressive results with copper and silver sheet. The last lot of patterns I bought were from a different supplier than usual and left me feeling that using the cards wasn't a good idea anymore - the imprinted patterns were so faint.

 Then a friend told me that Tracey from Rolling Mill Resource on Etsy had a GoFundMe page as she needed to raise funds for a new laser cutter machine. In return for pledging a certain amount of money she was offering double the value in texture cards - so $50 would buy you $100 worth of texture cards. Ooh, very tempting, especially as she was promising lots of fab new designs.

So I gave in to temptation and paid $50 {about £35} then waited a few weeks until Tracey had her new laser cutter and had listed her new designs. I then spend ages choosing my designs.
 And here they are... 

Aren't they lovely? I chose a lot of the smaller complete shape designs in pairs as they are perfect for earrings.
The designs seem to be cut deeper than any texture cards I've previously used so I was confident they would produce good results.

I was really pleased with the results - the designs came out very clear, especially on the copper sheet. I'm not sure if it's the colour of the metal that causes it but designs on copper always look better somehow :D  I think I'll get another use out of these three pieces of card too as the design is still deep enough for another go - bonus!

I cut out the shapes and made them into simple earrings. I've not had time to do anything else yet as I've been busy with made to order stuff lately but I'm really looking forward to trying out the other designs I chose.

Copyright © 2016 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.