I came across Shadow Dog Designs aka Catherine viaFlickr and she is now one of my contacts.
Catherine lives in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and is a self-professed "nature geek". Nature is her muse and she only has to look at the marsh she lives on to gain inspiration for her beautiful jewellery.
In the Forest Glen of the Singing Wood Thrush
Designing one-of-a-kind jewellery satisfies a strong desire in Catherine to create. She uses mainly semi~precious stones and sterling silver in her creations but also likes to use Swarovski Crystals, Czech glass and polymer clay. She has also recently started to use copper and lampwork beads.
A Rose, I Suppose
Catherine sells her work through galleries in Texas, Virginia and South Carolina and also through art shows and home shows.
East Of Eden
Why "Shadow Dog Designs"?
Catherine says people always ask about her name! Her business was named 10 years ago to honour her two (now three) rescue dogs who shadow her everywhere and provide undying love and playfulness. Most specifically Chase, a Labrador/hound cross, who is now 15 years old and still going strong.
Wild Horse Canyon
I think Catherine creates absolutely beautiful jewellery ~ I hope you agree!
You can see more Shadow Dog Designs jewellery on Catherine's Flickr page
So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern".
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…
I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!
I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…
I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!
I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…