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Showing posts from February, 2014

Rings And Gems!

I posted last week about Joopy Gems and the order of pretty 6mm rose cut cabochons I was eagerly waiting for. Well they arrived last Friday, which is pretty good going considering they were posted in Hong Kong on the Monday. And I didn't have to pay any VAT on them which was even better! I was really impressed with the quality of the cabs and the faceted top side makes them sparkle nicely in the light. I got to work making rings with them that I'm going to start selling made to order. They do look very pretty so I'm just going to have to make myself a couple! I'm planning to add some plain textured silver stacking rings too so they can be mixed and matched with the gemstone rings. I also made a couple of twist rings using thin strips of silver and copper to make stylised roses (use your imagination!) I think I'll just make these in particular sizes to start with rather than made to order...... but that may change! I bought myself a pro

A Real Gem - Joopy Gems

I decided last week that I was going to start making rings to sell. I've made a few for myself but so far have shied away from making them because of the possible size problem. By that I mean sending a ring off only for the buyer to contact me to say it's great but it's a bit too big/too small can you resize it? Making to order in the size the buyer asks for should hopefully make this a fairly rare occurance (I hope!)  I'm going to start with stacking rings - plain and with gemstone cabochons as they seem very popular. I do have a lot of smooth cabs but after closer inspection I found a lot of them are a bit rough in places or even scratched. The saying "you get what you pay for" definitely rings true with cabochons! I've decided for my own sake and the sake of my jewellery it's worth spending more on stones to get the quality I would expect if I was buying handmade jewellery myself. There's nothing wrong with buying cabs in bulk

Using Copper And Enamel To Make Your Own Cabochons

One of the things I wrote in my "things to do in the new year" list was to make more enamelled cabochons. I'd previously made a couple of 9mm small enamelled cabs which were a bit fiddly so I thought I'd make life a bit easier and go bigger this time. I also mixed the colours instead of sticking to just the one for a bit of variety. They are easy to make - just cut and dome a copper disc and enamel it! I still counter enamel the discs (just in case) then flip them over to do the fun side. You need to use a binder like Klere Fyre (which is spelt really oddly and I can never remember it!) as the domes are fairly steep and the enamel will fall off without something to stick to. Once they are done you carry on as with a normal cabochon. I use a wooden bezel pusher (an adapted peg in other words) as I invariably slip at some point when setting and I've had enough of ruining a piece at the very last stage by slipping and scratching the stone which is what usually h

Making Hollow Forms With Non-Conforming Dies

This term at jewellery night class we are learning about hollow forms, boxes and hinges. I'd prefer to try hinges at home myself where I can see better so I decided to try making hollow forms using a non-conforming die.  A die is a tool that is used to shape metal. A non-comforming die consists of one part as opposed to a conforming die that consists of two parts such as a dapping punch and dapping block where the metal fits between the two and is formed into a domed/concave shape. The die I made is called a silhouette die and consists of a shape cut out of the middle of a non-compressible material such as wood or acrylic. I cut this out using a jigsaw then filed it to smooth the shape a little. The hollow form will be formed by pushing the metal into the cutout. The college doesn't have an hydraulic press so we were going to form the metal by hand using dapping punches which meant the next step was to make marks for the screws which would hold the metal in place.