Saturday, March 24, 2012

And the Truth will Set You Free!!!

I have been on a major experiment phase this week!!!

For some reason I was (past tense) extremely fixated on figuring out how to add a new look to my jewelry.  I guess what got me started was a picture I saw.  It was a picture of a vintage bar from an upscale hotel/resort.  Not the type of bar you would belly up to and ask for a Bud Light.  It was the kind of bar that a women would sit patiently, wearing her blue silk dress and sip on a a pink Cosmopolitan.  Her husband would finally arrive in his tux, dressed for the evening.  She would smile at him as he approached her and they would exchange soft, gentle pleasantries.  Placing her half empty glass on the bar, she would grab her fur wrap and they would disappear into the corner...That was the kind of bar it was!!!  Inlaid into this beautiful vintage bar was a river of deep vibrant color.  It was so unexpected.  What was this beautiful splash of color doing in a bar??  I wanted that look for my jewelry.  Just a flash of unexpected color...but the color would knock you on your ass.  So am I making any sense here???

I enjoy the transparency, the color, and the many different looks you can get from enameling...however, this inlay stuff has really piqued my I thought I would take a little journey (come with me).

As far as inlay goes, I thought I would start with opals as I love the fire in an opal.

I have opals however,  I wanted the color to be embedded/ inlaid, not protruding.  An accent, not a feature.

Well to make a L O N G story train of thought went something like this...
  1. Opals, to
  2. Crushed gemstones in resin, to
  3. Opal "paper" and gold leaf in resin, to
  4. Fantasy film and embossing powder, and gold leaf in resin, to
  5. Polymer clay with gold leaf, and alcohol inks, to
  6. Glass and gold leaf, and UTEE, to...
 Wait...why am I now into scrap booking supplies??? 

All the stuff I google seems to come up with results saying. "faux" this (enamel) and "faux" that (dichroic).  I CAN MAKE REAL dichroic and I CAN why would I want this "FAUX" stuff??? 

Did I really just come full circle and come back to ENAMEL?????
So... here I am, realizing for the umpteenth time...I LOVE to I should just focus on this!!!

Below is some stuff I "made" or experimented with in my search for "The Truth"  
I purchased a few Abalone beads (top left) that I still want to try and saw up and inlay.
I also want to do something with the crushed sapphire(middle).

I did make a ring out of some of this stuff...and sterling.   
I guess it's a work in progress!!

I will go now...I have A LOT to clean up!
Good Luck on your journey!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adventures in Pickling!!!

I took a break from soldering the other day and ran out to pick the kiddo's up from school....Yes, I turned the pickle pot OFF!  I also ran by Wally World, otherwise known as Wal-mart, to pick up a few office folders and supplies.  While I was there, I saw just the right size crock pot for pickling (pictured above)...not too big...not too small, but JUSTTTTTTTTTT right!!...(why do I feel like Goldilocks right now?)  Best news of was only 10 BUCKS!!!  

(Side note for all non-metalsmiths that might be reading this...Metalsmiths and jewelers use pickle to clean their metal after they solder it)  

Anyway, to make a long story short, we came home and unloaded the car.  I went up to my studio with my new pickle pot in hand...and as God was my witness, the bottom of my old pickle pot had eroded and there was acid ALL OVER MY STUDIO!!!!!!  Talk about a great time to have a new pickle pot!!!  I was in "freak out" mode to clean up the mess...and I was certainly glad that I was using CITRIC ACID as my pickle, or it would have been a LOT nastier to clean up!!!
After my mess was cleaned up, I filled my new crock pot up with water and mixed in the citric acid.  All was good in the world...until...

Moving on to today...

My old crock pot had holes in the top of the if I did ever accidentally leave it on, it would not blow up or do anything weird.  Well, my new one doesn't have the holes...and I did forget to turn it off!!!!  I had unknowingly left it on "high" all night.  When I went up stairs it smelled really strange, but I thought it was the creamer in the coffee that I had spilled up there the night before.  But, boy was it strong !!!  When I did finally realize that the stuff in my crock pot was orange and bubbly...I thought, "Oh great, I am gonna die from these stupid fumes, just like my husband said."  (He is always teasing me)  To make another long story short, I poured some pool  hth Alkalinity Plus (also known as sodium bicarbonate) into my vat of orange brew and neutralized it.  Now it's this nasty dark brown color...(see picture above)

I just finished cleaning up my new crock pot.  I don't think it's damaged.  However, now I have another problem... I am in the middle of a project and I am out of pickle.  So my "stand by" pickle is: vinegar and table salt.  ( TIP: 1 Tablespoon of salt to every cup of white vinegar)  The Problem???...I am out of table salt too! (Frustration sets in!!!!!)
I do have Kosher salt and Sea salt.  So I flipped a coin and I am going to pray that the Sea salt works.  I am heating that up right now.  

On a bad throat does hurt a little:-(...breathing too many bad fumes????