Monthly Archives: February 2014

What left overs?

But first.


Is it possible that this is my bench? This organized, clean, ready to make wonderful things, bench?

I think it is.



What to do with those left overs.


That pile of, what can I do with all this scrap silver, stuff.


That, I know I can send it back to RioGrande to get credit but I can’t be bothered, stuff.


Because it’s so much more fun to play with my flame throwing torch thing.


And make pretty cool, very hot, silver balls instead.

Side Note.

Remember I told you about Willow. How she doesn’t like my studio, and can never settle?

Well, here she is staring at me, imploringly, because it was too cold to keep the studio doors open, and she just barked constantly if I let her stay outside.


She wasn’t interested in the, now cooled down, molten silver ball.


She just wanted out of there.

So, what to do now with the newly formed, just hanging around for the next adventure, blob of silver?

Well I decided to roll it through my rolling mill until it became a nice big round disc.

This one turned out just under 1″ in diameter, and is about 2mm thick.


I then found two small stones that I liked from my stash – which is getting a little out of control, but we won’t talk about that.


And wrapped them in bezel wire.


 I then soldered the bezel wire into collars for the stones.


 And voilà! The stones fit!


Next I cut a design in the silver disc being careful to keep it within the circumference of the bezel collar to be soldered to it.


As Willow watched, imploringly.


Then I soldered the two bezel collars; one onto the left over silver disc, the other onto a small piece of sheet silver.


During which Willow changed positions, to more comfortably stare at me imploringly.


I placed the stones back into the bezels to see if they still fit, and was, as I am always, pleasantly surprised that they did.


(She’s just being pitiful now.)


Next step. Trying to ignore Willow, I filed down the sides of the second bezel collar flush to the backing. You’ll notice that it’s nigh on impossible to keep a well manicured hand if you choose to make jewelry. Don’t judge me! I do it for art.


 (Now it’s getting just a tad creepy.)


And then I filed smooth the solder joint of the first bezel.


Is she finally settled?

She still looks a bit put out to me, but at least the staring has stopped.


This is a bit of a fuzzy photo, sorry, but I next soldered a little loop on the top of the second bezel.


And then soldered another ring through that one, and onto the left over silver disc.

That’s a bit tricky for me as invariably something unsolders itself when I’m not paying attention.


This time it was o.k., however, and now there’s no way those rings are opening.

(I forgot to photograph it, but I then popped a small silver ball on the bottom.)

(See that bench? Still clean. It’s all a little, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Spooky.)


All that was left was to file down the bezel collars to the best height for the stones.


Push the collar over onto the sloping side of the stone with the bezel pusher.


And finally, after only a few cuss words when the bezel pusher slipped once too often – the finished item.


Here it is cleaned up.


Top – Blue Variscite
Bottom – Burtis Blue turquoise


As usual, I’m not sure that I like it, but it does look somewhat better than the scrap heap I started with.

My biggest problem in jewelry making is finishing it. I never quite like the look I get at the end. Sometimes it turns out fine, other times I feel as though it’s just a little off.

One day I’m going to be super good at all this stuff.

Two new newbies.

I’ve decided to slow down with my jewelry making. To not concentrate so much on the end result, but rather on the process of making.

I’ve been using my files more, for instance, instead of my rotary tool, and really becoming mindful of what I’m doing.

It’s very calming.

I’m feeling very yogi ish.


red creek jasper


coral fossil

Almost too relaxed to go into the studio now …

Always beginning, never finishing :(


Does anyone else have this problem?

A few newbies.




Ocean Jasper




Thai Silver





The Jeweler and the Beekeeper. A short drama.

Last night I made the earrings a friend.


Which was a little easier for me this time as I threw caution to the wind and just forced that gem in there.

No fear.

But then a big, I don’t know what, came buzzing into the studio and I had to swipe it away with my towel and then it all got a little too much for me and I had to evacuate the studio.

All because of Willow.

I told you how she doesn’t like the studio, and that I can’t leave her alone in the house because Pickles has got a death threat out on her, and I can’t leave her in the garden as she barks constantly. So, because the weather’s so nice at the moment – no cold, no heat, pretty much perfect for Houston, – I’ve been working with the studio doors open so she can wander as she pleases.

And it’s been great … up until last night.

My latest concern. What else will invite itself into my sacred space?

I will now have to be on high alert at all times as god only knows where that thing is going to be hiding when I go back in there today.

It’s more than likely been plotting all night to get back at me when I least expect it, just because I lashed out at it with my towel. It probably knows that I contemplated turning my torch on it, only I wasn’t too sure that jumping around with a small flame thrower aimed at a very fast flying thing wouldn’t, at some point, all go terribly wrong.

Oh the dark things we think when we feel threatened.

So, if you don’t hear back from me, all has not gone well.

(Do you think if I get myself one of those snazzy beekeeping outfits it will hamper my jewelry making?)

My brain on art.

I had to have a bit of a tidy up yesterday as it was all getting out of control.


Even I can’t operate under these conditions, and, believe me, I tried.

I truly think that this is what my brain looks like. Cluttered with everything going on at once. No wonder I get nothing done.

I have to ignore the outside world just to survive.

Now it looks a little calmer.


I can feel my anxiety settling down as I look at it.

A couple of deep breaths and now I’m ready to perform surgery.


God that’s organized!

Even the, lets pile everything on here because I don’t know what to do with it, table is looking spiffy.


I’ve almost frightened myself now.

Except for this complete and utter mess I could almost consider myself cured.


Oh well.

(No hope for the wicked).

P.S. Just so you know, the turquoise is causing trouble. 

To be fair, the turquoise is set nicely, but the design just isn’t doing anything for me.

Have to have a rethink.

However, I did make a nice pair of earrings which I also had a lot of trouble with but I enjoyed figuring out.

I’m never going to make any money from doing this stuff as it takes me all day to make anything worthwhile.

It’s all in the process though, and, (thank heavens), I enjoy that.

Here are the earrings.


Every time I soldered something new onto them, something else popped off. I really should start using the medium solder as well as the easy solder. I have it but … (I was going to give you a reason for not using it but honestly don’t have one. It’s hanging on its hook all ready and waiting).

Also, one of the gems popped out when I thought I’d finished with them. I think I’m a little too gentle with setting them. It worries me that I’m going to scratch them. I think the more I do it the more confident I’ll get, however, so I’m not too concerned.

Practice, practice, practice …

So …

I’m going to try to make this today.


I started it last night, but it all started to go to pot and I decided to call it a day.

It’s a beautiful piece of turquoise. The colour is just stunning. Seems a shame to mess it up with my design but, as usual, I just can’t help myself.

I’ve made a few other pieces, but have yet to take some pics of them so I’ll get back to you on that.

I’ve started taking Willow into the studio with me because she just barks and barks when I leave her in the back garden, and I can’t trust her alone in the house because Pickles hates her and is on a mission to kill her. But I don’t think she likes it. I don’t know if it’s the noise I make, or that she’s simply bored, but she just sits and stares at me the whole time.

It’s not very relaxing when the dog’s not relaxed, and because she sits so close to me I get worried that I’m going to roll into her with my wheely chair. It’s all worry.

I’ve taken in her bed. Her chews. Nothing works.

It makes me feel bad.

And this cat, one of four strays in the back garden, just sits and looks at me also.


It’s a getting a little freaky.

Look at him. This could easily be a Stephen King moment.


That’s what I’m off to do today. Hopefully the soldering won’t be as completely disastrous as it was last night and I’ll be able to set the turquoise. If not, I’m just going to have to give it up and join the freaky cat and sit in the corner of the garden until my frustration dissipates.

If he’ll have me that is.

Btw. Don’t look him in the eyes …

Poor ol’ Wal :(

I thought I would show you a pic of Wally Walnut.


See. Depressed.

P says he always looks like this, but I know better.

Here he is in his go to, I’m feeling low, place.


Here he is looking after his old pal.


Whether he wanted looking after or not.


Now he’s just got me …

And Pickles.


(Pickles doesn’t like you looking at her because she’s a bit fat, but we don’t talk about that.)

Which brings me to.

Don’t you think this looks a bit like the Predator?


Gort Mask Predator

Or is it just me?

Shivering in me timbers.

I’ve been cold.

Not quite as cold as some people here in the U.S., but cold enough for me.

I don’t operate well in the cold. I tend to sit and stagnate, and get colder and colder, and more and more paralyzed.

I really wouldn’t survive the End of Days when the ice covers the earth and all that terrible stuff that happens in The Day After Tomorrow. I would just lie down in the middle of the road and die.

Probably get eaten by the starving wolves first.

And then, the very next day, the sun would come out again and melt all of the ice, and if I’d only just hung on, one more day, everything would have been alright, and I would be warm and get on with my life and lived to see my grandchildren, and lived peacefully until the next disaster happened, at which point I would probably lay down and die again.

I’m a bit of a defeatist that way.

What is happening with the weather anyway.

We’re freezing. California’s droughting, and England’s sinking. And that’s not including the rest of the world.

Really best just to stay in bed.

Other news.

I had to say goodbye to Spencer the One Eyed Wonder.


He had a good life.

Look at that eye. He might just have had one, but it was a beautiful one.

And I’ve been painting.







Most of them aren’t finished because I’ve given up painting again.

I’m not good at it.

But look at this one by Jean Miro.


Why is this one good :(

I do like Jean Miro though.


Big difference here.

So, it’s back to the jewelry for me.


This is Chrysoprase.


 And this stone is Prudent Man Plume Agate.

Great name.

If you don’t hear from me for another long while it’s probably got cold again and I’ve lain down with the wolves.

No worries though …

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