Tag Archives: making jewelry

New Earrings and Process Pictures

The long awaited Dragonfly Wing Earrings are now available in my Etsy.

I thought I’d share a little about my process and how these earrings came to be. The idea for them came about when I saw a beautiful dragonfly outside my studio on a sunny summer day. I began by doodling a rough idea. Then I go into a computer program to draw out the design as a vector graphic. After I have a vector design I hand saw it out. In this case I cut it out of brass.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the look of them so I tweaked the design slightly and re-cut them.

Once I was happy with the design, I sent the file off to have them laser cut out of stainless steel. When I get the parts back from the laser cutter they are pretty rough, so I spend some time cleaning them up.

After they are cleaned up I solder the sterling silver posts onto them and do the finish work.

Head over to my Etsy Shop to get a pair, and to celebrate the release of these earrings I’m offering free shipping through the end of the month. Use the coupon code “SEPTEMBER12” at checkout.

New Earrings and a New Space

Last week I created these new silver basket earrings. They are big but very lightweight. They will soon be available on my Etsy.

I also had company while making the earrings. Sadie, joined me on my bench for a while. Since I’ve been back in Seattle my studio has been out in the garage, so I keep the door open while I’m working, and Sadie was pretty content just to sit and watch what was going on outside.

On Friday, Stephanie and I found a studio space in Ballard. We are pretty excited about it. It’s a nice large space. There are two other artists in the building – both painters – and a maritime IT guy. On Sunday I painted the floor, and yesterday moved my stuff in. Now to get everything set up.

Silver Jewelry Care

Since this question comes up a lot, I thought I’d do a post on caring for silver jewelry.

If your jewelry is sterling silver with a satin finish and doesn’t have a patina (darkened), the best way to clean it, is to lightly scrub the surface with a Scotch-Brite pad or fine steel wool in a circular pattern.

If your jewelry is sterling silver with a shiny finish but has tarnished, rub it with a Sunshine cloth to remove the tarnish.

To help prevent your jewelry from becoming tarnished, you can store your jewelry in a zip-lock bag with anti-tarnish paper.

If it does have a patina, then a gentil liquid soap and water is best. If you need to get into crevices, a soft toothbrush will work, but be sure not to rub too hard or the patina will come off.

Also, it is normal for patinas to wear off of jewelry over time. This is especially true of rings and bracelets since they take so much abuse, but less so with earrings and necklaces. Jewelers usually use “liver of sulfur” or “silver black” to impart a patina on jewelry. These chemicals require proper handling and disposal, but one thing that most people have at home is bleach, which can also darken silver, but sometimes with unpredictable results, so use at your own risk.

Spirograph Basket Earrings in Process

Yesterday I started on several pairs of the Spirogrograph Basket Earrings, and I thought I’d share a few process shots.

Here are the finished earrings that I’m making.

In this photo I’m putting the solder on the steel components using an acetylene/atmosphere torch.

Next I attach the silver rings that will hold the earwires.

Here are the components with the silver rings attached.

Then I sand the pieces to clean up the firescale.

I didn’t have a chance to finish them yesterday, as I teach jewelry making on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Today I will finish them up by creating the earwires and attaching them.