Friday, April 29, 2011

First leather project

After trying leather tooling for the first time, I have this to report.

1. Carving is harder than it looks. Must practice!

2. Stamping on leather is much much easier than stamping metal and so much fun!

I have to go meet our Brownie troop for a meeting so I must take a break. But I can't wait to stain/antique it!

Huzzah!!!!! :)


Looky what I'm playing with today! :) I'm's always fun to learn something new!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting to know.....Copper

I got a chance to finish my acid etching experiments. I had a fourth pair that I added some turquoise cabs to.  But, the silver solder got into some of my etching lines and they look like a hot mess up close.  Not very noticeable in person, so I got myself a new pair of earrings!  :)

I've worked with copper a bit in the past, and I am enjoying working with it more.  It oxidizes so beautifully, and I love the rich warm glow that copper gives...

These are all listed in my Etsy shop.

Artisan Ear Wires!

Hot Air Balloon in Sterling

Hot Air Balloon in Copper

Hot Air Balloon in Brass

Hot Air Balloon in Gold Fill

Rotund in Sterling

Rotund in Brass

Rotund in Copper

Rotund in Gold Fill

Dog Ear in Sterling

Dog Ear in Copper

Dog ear in Gold Fill

Dog Ear in Brass

Wrapped in Sterling

Wrapped in Brass

Wrapped in Gold Fill

Wrapped in Copper

Zig Zag in Sterling

Zig Zag in Copper

Zig Zag in Brass

Zig Zag in Sterling

Squared Off in Copper

Squared off in Brass

Squared off in Sterling

Short Swans in Brass

Short Swans in Gold Fill

Short Swans in Sterling

Short Swans in Copper

Long Swans in Brass

Long Swans in Copper

Long Swans in Gold Fill

Long Swans in Sterling
Whew!  I've always enjoyed making ear wires, and haven't been keeping up very well with listings in my Ruby Mountain Beads  shop on Etsy.

Part of it has been lack of time for it, partly keeping up with adjusting prices to keep up with the ever changing metal prices...

I've got all kinds of excuses.  

But, the other night I sat down with my wires, and started making ear wires.  I am offering many of the same styles of ear wires I use in my own earring designs, and have plans to offer more styles.  

I want to do a bunch with ball ends too.  Brass and copper included!

So, these are all listed now in my Etsy shop.  And....I've got some bronze wire on the way, and soon I'll be able to offer findings in that metal as well.

I also have plans for clasps, jump rings and head pins.  The problem I'm always up against is time.  My family always comes first, and they are a demanding bunch!  :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I just noticed I've not been keeping up with reporting my Things a Week.... I'll have to see about putting together collages for both RAW and THAW. I just gotta find the time....and speaking of time, why is it that I feel like I'm busy all day long and there still isn't enough time to get it all done? Arghhh!!!

Anyway....about the earrings. Ahh...the earrings. 1 inch 20 gauge sterling discs have been stamped by hand and domed. I then attached them to 18g sterling wire that was formed into a leaf shape. I then chose these inky blue iolite rondelles, and wire wrapped them up and down both sides of the leaf..... These earrings are long and luscious. A sexy swing and such a gorgeous color in those beads! I oxidized all silver, and brushed it very lightly to leave the silver on the dark side...:)

These have been listed in my Big Cartel shop. You can find them by clicking here

Getting to know....Brass

These are the Athena earrings. Named for the Greek goddess of war... As I was making these, sawing, filing, hammering, stamping, forming....I couldn't help but think of shields or armor...

These are made for a strong woman. Not because she needs the armor for protection, but because she wants to show she is fearless...

This was my first working with Brass sheet. I discovered that when heat is applied to brass, it oxidizes (of course), but after you get the initial grime off, you're left with a pinkish fire stain. I think they call it copper flashing or something like that. I guess the copper in the brass is brought to the surface when heated.

I found a handy dandy recipe on the web to remove it though. I love people who are willing to share the ins and outs...and I am so thankful to the people who discovered the tricks in the first place. I mean, who would have figured this one out?

Two parts hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts white vinegar. Give it a nice long soak, and remove as soon as the pink is gone. Et voila!

I've still not soldered on brass, so that is next on the agenda in the getting to know brass phase. So far, I find brass to be stiffer than sterling or copper, but not too bad. Also do people have allergic reactions to brass the way they do with copper? I guess it depends on the person eh?

But, supposedly you can acid etch brass, and do just about anything to it that you would with I'm looking forward to continuing my experiments.

These earrings are listed as a made to order item in my Etsy shop. I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

RAW52-13 Adjustable ring band...

I've been wanting to make rings with adjustable bands for awhile now. This is the result of a bit of an experiment to create the best adjustable band with materials I had on hand. I'm quite pleased with the results. I took it for a test run myself.

The stone is Chrysocolla, and was cut by Ed of Stonesinmotion on Etsy. Although it has a few bits of boulder in it, you cannot deny what a gorgeous color this stone is. Almost opalish in consistency. Not really transparent, and not completely opaque. Just luscious :)

I like the adjustable band well enough to want to make more, now I just need to find the time!