Monday, May 01, 2006

Although my style of jewelry is very free-form and intuitive, I've sort of felt in a bit of a rut lately. I am going to start fabricating my own silver chains to add a more distinctive look to my work. I'm easily bored, I suppose, and the mini-torchwork is fun. It's also exciting to pull your finished piece out of the tumbler to see it all shiny and pristine. When you finish a silver piece, you tumble it in a polishing tumbler thingie for about 8 hours. If you want a shiny silver texture, you put in stainless steel shot, and for a matte silver texture, you use a ceramic or plastic bead-type of shot. It's interesting stuff. I'm thinking I'll get a second tumbler just for the plastic/ceramic, instead of switching out shot, which is messy and kind of a pain. It's neat, all the steps of the process to make jewelry. I love the more elegantly-wrought chains of the Victorian/Edwardian eras (such as those pictured above), and also Empire style. While I don't intend to copy these styles, I would like my chains to have the more substantial look of these chains from a non mass-produced technique, rather than the cheap flimsy things we see so commonly these days. The next big piece of equipment I need for my studio is a grinder/polisher. I'd love to take some lapidary classes, but that's a whole new can of worms maybe best not opened. On highway 7 in Arkansas there was a fabulous rock shop where I bought a lot of great pieces for experimenting in putting little gemmy bits into my jewelry. Should be fun.


nongirlfriend said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to see how yours turn out!

LJ said...

Whoaaaa! My crow gene just kicked in. Pretty shiny things! I will have severe grinder/polisher envy - being the stone freak I am. These are terrific Pfatale!