Friday, February 3, 2012

Roll It!

The Aspiring Metalsmiths have chosen to post tutorials for the January blogroll.  The idea is that we will all share a technique in which we are proficient.  I probably shouldn't have signed up for this one because I certainly do not proclaim to be proficient at anything related to metalsmithing since I've only been doing this for a little over two years.  But  I thought I would share a technique I learned recently (which I'm sure is nothing new to my teamies).  So, big disclaimer right up front - I am not an expert.  This may not be the best or correct way to do this, but it's been pretty fun to play with.  I actually am not completely sure of the name of the technique.  Rolling mill inlay?  Anyway, here goes!

First, I cut out my background piece.  In this case I chose a rectangular piece of 18 gauge copper.  Next, you'll want to cut out an image which you would like to inlay on the copper.  I used a scrap piece of sterling I cut from a spoon bowl, roughly 24-26 gauge.  Note, neither of these pieces needs to be perfect because the shapes and images will be distorted slightly.  It's part of the fun!


Now, I sweat solder the silver cross to the copper back plate.  In this step, it's important to make sure the solder flows completely around all the edges of your image.  Next, you'll want to pickle and clean up your piece.  

And now, roll it!  This is the fun part!  I love to watch the image squish and distort.  I'm weird like that.  Take care to do this slowly and gently so that the metal doesn't crack.  Although, on a couple of my first pieces using this technique, I did force it and kinda liked the cracked effect.


 <--- This picture was taken after two passes through the rolling mill.  All together, I think I put this piece through 7 or 8 times.  It's really up to you as to how flat you want the inlay, how thin or thick you want your final piece and how distorted you want your image.

Now, I have finished rolling the piece.  At this point, it may be necessary to hammer your piece flat.  Or you may choose to shape it differently.

                                                                                     Next, I chose to round off my corners a bit.  Then, I used my disc cutter to punch a hole at the top of the piece to make a pendant.  Obviously, at this stage, the steps will vary with whatever you choose to do with your inlaid piece.

And, here's my final piece.  I gave it a spin in the tumbler to polish it up and added a leather cord.  This has been really fun and interesting to experiment with.  The possibilities of this technique seem endless.

Thanks for humoring me!  Now for some real educational enrichment, check out the posts from my much more skilled and experienced teammates:

Sylvia Anderson 
Metals Addict
Lilian Ginebra
Amy Estelle
Mary Anne Karren
Shannon of Gifted Designs
Pennee- All Wired Up Jewelry Designs
Jessica @ Abella Blue

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade for the Holidays

This month's Aspiring Metalsmiths Team blogroll topic is "Handmade Holidays."  There are so many ways to expound on the topic that I couldn't choose just one, so here is how I will be celebrating the Holidays with handmade gifts.

My favorite gifts to give every year are Thistle Farms products handmade by the women of Magdalene House here in Nashville, Tennessee.  Magdalene House is a residential program for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farms is their social enterprise.  By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women who make them.

These products make fabulous gifts for all ladies.  From candles to room spray, from body wash to body balm, lip smoothies to sachets and more, the products are available in delicious scents like Holiday, Tea Tree Mint, Lavendar, Tuscan Earth, and Citrus Vanilla.  My personal favorite is the Tea Tree Mint.  The body wash wakes me up in the shower and the candle oozes pepperminty Christmas.  I have sampled them all and use them daily.  The fragrances are true and delicate, not overpowering.

Also available on the Thistle Farms website are some amazing inspirational books written by the founder Becca Stevens, including a book of stories from the women of Magdalene House and some great devotionals.  Becca was recently honored at the White House by President Obama as one of 15 "Champions of Change" during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Her books are fantastic stand alone gifts or a great accompaniment to any of Thistle Farms other products.  Buy these handmade products this Holiday season and know that your gift serves more than one purpose.  I am buying for my mom, my mother-in-law, my niece, my daughter's teachers and myself!

The other aspect of handmade holidays I want to tackle is buying handmade for children.  This can be really tough thanks to cunning advertisers and big box stores, but I've managed to find a few handmade gifts for my daughter right on etsy this year.  I wasn't really surprised when she announced that she wanted a drum for Christmas.  She loves all things musical.  So I found this cute little drum on etsy.  It reminds me of one I had when I was little, and I know she will love it.

I also found this great handmade baby doll sling.  My daughter loves her baby dolls and is always asking me to tie a blanket or towel around her for a baby carrier.  She will be so surprised when she opens this one! 

So, Happy Handmade Holiday shopping from me to you!  And check out how some of my other teammates are celebrating "Handmade Holidays."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What's New

What am I working on?  Well, I think I'm working on attaining my official status as a stonelicker.  Just a few short months ago, I had only successfully completed two bezel set pieces and just the thought of another attempt practically gave me an anxiety attack.

Having recently joined the Aspiring Metalsmiths Team on Etsy, I was in awe of the beautiful stone and metalwork of my teammates.  Quite frankly, I became totally jealous of their creativity and abilities.  So, I finally decided to bite the bullet, order a few special stones, and gave myself permission to screw up.  And screw up, I did.  I turned an amethyst drusy into ametrine, dropped a gorgeous green turquoise and broke it and then charred it.  After seeking advice from my much superiorly skilled teammates and a little practice, I'm improving.

And now, I have become a stone addict.  How many loose stones does one have in her possession before she officially becomes a stonelicker?  I think I have approximately 50-60 stones laying around my studio just daring me to try to set them.  So that's what I'm working on, taking on the dares one stone at a time.  Here are the latest.


Matador Ole Necklace                              

   Check out the awesome artists below and see what they are working on.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Disciples Do Not Disappoint

I want to take a moment to attempt to express my deepest gratitude to my Disciples family.  I say attempt because thank you just doesn't seem like enough.  Because of the courageous compassion and generosity of those at General Assembly, $2300 has been donated to Week of Compassion from the sale of Resurrection Silver's Disciples Jewelry Collection.  I just keep dreaming about what fantastic goodness will be done with your gifts.  Thank you so much!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chalice Update

Official totals are 152 Chalice Pendants, 16 pairs Chalice Earrings, 15 pairs St. Andrew's Cross Earrings, and 20 St. Andrew's Cross Charms.  I'm pooped!  The next week will be spent polishing silver and pricing.  General Assembly begins July 9!  Can't wait!