Friday, December 28, 2007

Fusing!



Earlier this month I took a class on fusing and it's opened up a whole new world of ideas for me. A long time ago I took lots of classes on soldering, so I know how that goes, but it's messy and requires more time and equipment. The basic idea behind fusing is that you don't need solder or flux or pickle. You simply heat the metal with a butane torch (mine's a micro torch) until the silver begins to liquify and flows. Basic materials that I aquired to do this:


micro torch

butane

fire brick

old cookie sheet to sit the brick on

bowl of water to quench the hot silver

fine silver wire- 14 g.

tumbler


I'm using fine silver instead of sterling because sterling silver gets fire scale when heated. That's where the pickling comes in. With fine silver you simply heat it, quench it, and tumble it if you want it really shiny. The tumbler also work hardens the metal. Fine silver is especially soft after being heated so it's important to tumble it so that the piece keeps its shape.


So, I've set up a workspace in the basement for the metal work and I'm loving it! For me, designing metal pieces feels more creative than bead work. I love beautiful beads but I'm excited about the direction my work is taking. I'm planning on using the stones as accents in my new pieces and really concentrating on the look of the silver or copper.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the handbook to handmade




I arrived home from NYC last night to find my edition of the handbook to handmade: Volume I! How exciting! It looks beautiful and contains about 35 fabulous etsy artists. I happen to be on pages 14 and 15 and the photos look great. It was very exciting to be part of this project and now I'm busy thinking about where I can leave the book so the artists will get the most exposure. If you're interested in checking it out, you can look here for listings of the book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

STUFF

Well, I'm getting ready to fly out to NYC tonight and I've decided to bring all my Chanukah gifts with me and save a bit of postage. I'm happy to report that all gifts (except 2 books) are handmade by me, and others, and I didn't have to enter a mall once! I've had a great time going to crafts fairs and shopping on Etsy and I really like the gifts I'm giving this year. My husband and I have decided to try to have a "not made in China holiday season" this year and it's really hard! Especially shopping for kids who really want to fit into mainstream culture right now. Many are just not interested in being original, what they want most is to fit in. That's been a hard one to grapple with as a parent of a teenager. All we can do is set an example and hope....This is why I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Snow! Rain! Ahhhhhhhh


It actually snowed here on Saturday! The kids were so psyched but wishing it had been on a school day. We had snowball fights and built a snowman. I remember when whole winters in Seattle would go by without a single flake. But, there's no climate change, right?


And now we're trying to set a record for rainfall in 24 hours. They're expecting five inches today! A river of rain is running down my street and I'm keeping my eye on the storm drain at the bottom! Wow, maybe not being able to teach that 4th class this year at the college is a good thing after all. I have the opportunity to sit here on a Monday morning and think about the weather. And blog about it. Eesh.

My latest treasury!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=10648