Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Argentium Silver

No picture today...:-(

I had a new idea and wanted to try it out today.  I didn't have enough Argentium silver to finish the I dug down deep into my drawers and found a 1/2 sheet of Sterling silver.  

I must say...after not working with Sterling for a while I can REALLY tell a difference.  

I didn't like Argentium very much at first.  It was WAY to brittle for me!!..but after I figured out how to solder with it...and to be really careful with it when it's hot...I started working in it all the time.  So after digging out my old Sterling silver and working with it...I can really tell the difference in the color.  The Argentium is so much whiter than Sterling...which is prettier to me.  It looks more like fine silver, which I LOVE!!!  It is also purer, has a longer shine than Sterling silver, and is ALWAYS resourced responsibly, which is not always the case with Sterling silver. I am starting to sound like a commercial...can you tell I like the stuff??  So if you haven't tried working with it or wearing the Argentium silver you should definitely try it.  Below is a list of Argentium resources:

Argentium -

I better get back to tending to my thumb...I drilled a hole in it today...silly me...won't do that anymore:-)

BTW...I enameled on a piece of Argentium about 2 years ago...and it still looks GREAT!!!

One more thing...I purchase my Argentium from Hauser and Miller here in St. Louis...but there are other suppliers as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cocktail ring

This was a ring I created for a lady that wanted a nice "cocktail" ring.  It was made with an emerald she picked up from her travels abroad.   

Now that I have made this, I am hooked on getting a hold of some nice, fat and juicy gemstones.

Plique-a-jour Enamel: Fancy Bubble series

Thought I would show a piece of enamel work I did a few years ago...why...because I need to revisit this series.  It was very, very time consuming.  It's a  technique called plique-a-jour.  Enamel is suspended on a glue and water mixture and fired many, many times until the "cell" / or area fills with enamel.  It is stoned or cleaned after EVERY firing...and you have to solder with a special high fire solder.  I will need to get back to this soon.  Hopefully by summer 2012.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dandelion Necklace

Working on my dandelion idea when this design came into my head.  

Below is a pix of when I was soldering the discs onto the pendant...from the back.  The back was domed... so to "fill" the front while I was soldering I placed a few nickles in the cavity along with some ceramic fiber...this held the dics's in place while I soldered.  Notice the 3rd hand and the nickles are also holding down the piece.  :-) 

The next picture is the finished piece.  Made of Argentium silver, 18 karat bi-gold and 14 karat gold.  (Specifically 22 gauge silver on frame and backing, back was roll printed once, for texture.  Round 20 gauge-14 karat wire for center of "dandelion".) 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Tiny Enameled Flowers

Working on my tiny flowers today.  Next week I will enamel them.  Will post pictures of the enamel process next time. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recycled Bracelet in new Lark Book

Very excited about my recycled school folder bracelet being selected for the Lark bracelet book.   I think the book will be out in spring of 2012.  
The bracelet was really fun to make.   I should make a tutorial on it!!!...humm...something for me to think about.