Thursday, October 28, 2010

I love my job!

 I have previously blogged about this ring. I have known the owner since she was about 5 years old.

She brought it into me to see if I could repair it.

This pieces needed a little more than repairing.
It needed to be restored.  The word restore makes my heart race with great delight and my eyes glaze over with the anticipation of a great challenge.

I had included this ring in a previous blog, so check it out to find the back story on it. :o)

I have spent several work hours with this ring. In addition to the repair and restoration, she wanted it sized to fit her also.

I hope that she will enjoy it for many more years to

God Bless you Kayleen and your marriage!

I hope you love it! It is a beautiful ring!

I love love love my job!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Donations!

 Each year the Sulphur Springs Symphony League has an auction in the fall of the year. It is an event that I have looked forward to for at least the last 14 years. Our little town is blessed to have them as part of who we are. They are such a large part of our Fourth of July Celebration each year on our town square. They are a partially hidden support for our students who play the stringed instruments in our local schools. I say partially, because they do not stand up and shout out what they do to benefit the students. They are like WD-40 on a squeaky door. It causes things to run so much more smoothly without even being noticed. As a parent whose children have benefited from the Symphony League, my heart is grateful. I hope to always participate in donating something special for their cause. This year I wanted to hand craft a couple of pieces that played back on the symphony theme.

For the first piece I went into one of my secret hiding places and pulled out one of my favorite things that we made in Metal Arts class at school. A piece of Mokume-Gane. Mokume translates from Japanese as "wood eye" referring to burl wood grain and gane means "metal".  Looking at the pick you can see where the name comes from.

 It took over six weeks to make this metal. We started out with 13 pieces of surgically cleaned metal. By stacking them and heating them to an extremely high heat for long hours we were able to begin the process of making this Japanese metal form, Once it reached it's inital forming temperature, we pulled it out of the kiln and used sledge hammers to pound it as flat as possible. Then we reannealed it and pounded it again. We repeated this process again and again and again. Needless to say, this was  s-l-o-w tedious work. The metal was finally 1/3 of the oringal stacked thickness. We drilled holes and graved trenches into the metal to make the pattern. Once the patterns were cut into the metal, we continued to flatten the metal by use of the rolling mill. After two passes through the mill, we had to anneal it once again. It went through the rolling mill at least 250 times that I know of.  

I do not have a lot of this metal, but I wanted to make something that would be useful and different. Sooooo I made a guitar pick with it. The odd angels on the pictures are caused by the texture I put on the finished pick so that it would not be slippery. This piece of metal is formed from sterling silver, fine silver and copper. 

The second piece is made of sterling silver. I got the idea to make this from seeing a few pieces that are similar to this. I call it "The Heart of Music". I don't really know how original that is, but I felt it needed a title.

I hand crafted the two pieces by bending sterling silver square wire. I wanted it to have a sturdy structure, that would hold the design. 

I always hesitate to post the ugly pictures. You know the ones that are not of the finished product. I hope it doesn't scare anyone off from my shoppe.  This picture was taken right after I dunked them in the boric acid for soldering purposes.

 I soldered them together and added the baille.  I used my chasing hammer to put a "hammered" finish on the pendant. It is just enough to make you want to look at it a little closer and to reflect on it a little longer.

 I had the chain in my shoppe. I chose it as it was simple and would not take away from the statement the pendant was to make.

Though these two pieces are fairly simple, I did put my heart into them and hope that whoever wins them in the auction will treasure them.

Kudos to Sulphur Springs Symphony League! Keep up the great work you are doing in our town. You make a difference for us all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hand Crafated 14K Baby Ring

A grandfather requested this ring be hand crafted for his highly anticipated grandaughter.

I do not know names, but I do know the importance of grandbabies and the joy they bring when they arrive. I am so delighted to be in on this little suprise.

This is an almost step by step look at how it was made. 

1) Measure out the metal. The ring was to be a size 3. 

 2) I wanted to put a texture on it that would last without showing great wear in the future. The completed ring fit my pinky finger. Hopefully she will be able to wear this her whole life and smile at the memories that will come with it over the years.

3) Once the hammering is done, the metal is a bit out of shape.

 Thank God for Parallel Pliers. They straighten the metal so nicely.
4)The hammering stretches the metal slightly, so it has to be remeasured.

5) Once I cut the metal to approximately the right size, I began to bend the metal into a semi round state.
Remember, I did say semi-round.

6) You manipulate the metal to meet perfectly for soldering puposes.

7) You coat the ring with boric acid to protect the metal from the fire. You also add flux to where you want the solder to flow to.

8) Once the ring is clean, you shape the ring in to a round shape. You do this by placing the ring on a  mandrel and and hitting it  with a leather mallet on all sides.

Nice and round!

9) Emery both sides of the ring to get any major scratches off that were made during the fabrication process.

10) Once it is shaped properly, and the first metal clean up is done, you hammer the ring where the solder joint is. The will normally strech the ring to the right size.

11) Tripoli will normally remove the remaining scratches on the ring.
12) Rouge makes the metal come alive! It dances with the light and shimmers only as true gold can.

Finished! Now it is ready to be shipped to the
Houston area immediately!

Congratulations on your wonderful gift of a precious grandchild!
Thank you for allowing me to make this to be treasured keepsake, that she will have her whole life. What an honor, you have given me.